Navaratri is a fervent Hindu festival, celebrated by Hindus all over the world along with India. This festival is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Durga, over the span of nine days. People of all age groups are engrossed enthusiastically in the festivity. For some these are the nine days of dancing, feasting and frolic, whereas for others these are the holy days for spirituality and fasting. Extensively fasting is a customary practice during these holy days. Some devotees follow strict nine days of fasting while some keep fast for the first two or last two days of Navaratri.
Fasting this Navaratri?
Fasting during Navaratri is a conventional practice, as this festivity takes place in the period of transition in the seasons. This change makes our body vulnerable to fall prey of numerous seasonal diseases.
Fasting enhances the immune system, detoxifies the body, hence fasting during this period has health benefits ofcourse along with its traditional and spiritual value.
Earlier fasting was related only with religious or cultural reasons but nowadays fasting is gaining popularity among health enthusiasts, as it has several health benefits too.
Benefits of Fasting
- Fasting slow down aging
- Promote weight loss
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves overall fitness
- Decreases the risk of metabolic diseases
- Leads to a stronger immune system.
Fasting is therapeutic for the body as it acts as a detox and keeps you healthy. So it is crucial to select the right type of food while on fasting, as the body becomes deficient in important nutrients. Because of that you may experience weakness and water retention. While on fasting, eating only limited things, sometimes upset the sodium levels in the body which leads to water retention.
During fasting you are restricted to consume wheat, rice and legumes or lentils, which are energy giving carbohydrates, and as a result you feel weakness.
Avoiding carbs during fasting is not good, as they provide energy to the brain and muscles, without that you can’t survive productively throughout the day. So to prevent feeling low, maintaining blood glucose levels, don’t starve, eat small meals with the right kind of carbs.
Here I am suggesting a list of superfoods to keep in consideration while on fasting during these festivity. As they’re loaded with antioxidants, energy boosting and improving the immune system.
8 Superfoods which can consumed during fasting
It is a quintessential superfood for fasting in India. As not a single fast is completed in our country without sabudana. Sabudana khichdi, tikki and kheer are popular dishes during fasting. It is high in carbs that’s why a fast energy booster. It improves digestion and relieves problems related to constipation, as it has starch which functions like fibre in the digestive system and improves gut health. Sabudana is gluten free, promotes strong bones, it has minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
2. Singhara(water chestnut)
It is indeed a superfood for fasting as it gives enough nutrients to your body as a fasting meal. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals like zinc, iron, potassium, and manganese. Along with that it provides energy giving carbs so that you can have lots of energy throughout the day while on fasting. Singhara is rich in potassium and low in sodium, this balance helps water retention in the body. It is the major reason why it’s a superfood for fasting people.
It is nutritious and gluten free, also a good source of carbs, dietary fiber, protein and minerals like calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. It’s a superfood for fasting, just mix rajgira grains with melted jaggery in appropriate proportion to bind them together and make Chikki or laddus. These laddus are energy giving and a rich source of iron. Rajgira or Amaranth has so many health benefits along with increased weight loss, such as it reduces inflammation, lower cholesterol levels etc.
it is another superfood for fasting, which is gluten free, a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein and minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. It improves blood sugar control and heart health.
5. Samak rice(barnyard millet)
It is known as fasting rice(vrat ke chawal) but actually it’s not rice. It is a nutritious seed which is gluten free, rich in fibre and a great source of energy. It is truly a superfood for fasting as it is super easy to digest, a good source of B-complex vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. You can make khichdi or kheer whatever you like, with it.
6. Sendha namak(Rock salt)
Eating sendha namak during fasting is a good option, as not eating salt at all has adverse health effects of low sodium levels. It causes poor sleep and seizures. So adding rock salt in your fasting meal is good to avoid low sodium levels.
Rock salt is better than table salt, as it has less sodium and trace levels of several minerals like iron, zinc, cobalt, nickel and manganese. It is good for blood pressure, and it helps in absorption of minerals better than table salt.
keeping yourself hydrated during fasting is needed. You can have lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk etc. to stay away from dehydration and flushing out toxins from the body.
8. Seasonal fruits
Including seasonal fruits in your meal during fasting is always a good option as they help to overcome the body’s natural nutritional needs. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and high in water content which is beneficial during fasting.
Say goodbye to all commercial processed food like Potato chips, preservative added Falhari mixture… stick to home cooked fasting meals with above suggested superfood to make your fasting a healthy one.
The prayers, chanting performed during Navratri pooja uplifts you spiritually, and detoxify your mind and soul from negative thoughts, similarly these super foods along with fasting and meditation helps in physicals detoxification.
Lets maintain Body Nutritional value by eating less but healthy food during your fasting and celebrate festivities in a happy and healthy way.
Disclaimer – Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.