Navratri 2019: Here’s to healthy fasting
Navratri is a nine-night Hindu festival, dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is observed twice a year, one being now, in the month of April. Though our temples are all decked up and we observe fasts due to spiritual reasons, it is also scientifically believed to be a fast observed to give rest to the gut. Apart from the religious significance, experts believe it is good to fast during this week to let the liver rest and rejuvenate. However, it is important to do it right.
Nutritionists Anjali Hooda and Kavita Devgan tell us how one should fast right this season:
Avoid typical snack items such as fried food and diet namkeens or chips, because they are packed and have high-calorie contents and high sodium.
Go for anti-inflammatory foods such as yogurt, potato and fruits, as these don’t disturb one’s basal metabolic rate (BMR). You can’t have processed food during Navratri, which is a great thing. Vegetables such as bottle gourd, squash, zucchini, and pumpkin are great to fill your stomach. You can also have fox nuts (makhanas) or banana chaat. Buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta) is a great source of protein and should be taken once a day. In summer, one can mix buckwheat with other grains (gluten-free) such as water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta). You can make chapatis by mixing these flours with potato. One should not stress the liver and let it rest. Hence, starch and sugar intake should be minimal. To hydrate, have lassi, buttermilk, coconut water or herbal teas. Kombucha drink is cooling and hydrating. It is a fermented drink that has good bacteria, which makes it perfect for the gut. Alternatively, you can have kanji.
When peckish in between meals, have nuts such as almonds and walnuts, or seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, as they are high in iron and magnesium.