While Navaratri fasting is very popular among the Hindu society, there is a scientific reason behind this fasting. It happens twice in a year during seasonal change. This is the time when the weather changes and the body become vulnerable due to low immunity. This is the reason why food items such as meat, grains, salt etc. are prohibited. Ayush theory suggests that food items such as the onion and salt can infuse negative energy and there are high chances of falling ill. However, the real question remains as to what to eat during the nine days of Navratri. Here is a guideline for the same:
- Keep the hydration going: This goes without saying. The level of water consumption and beverages, in general, should be stepped up during this time. While frequent drinking of water comes real handy, drinking lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk and plain milk will ensure that your energy level does not drop and a person can run through the day without any lethargy.
- Do not go empty stomach: While rituals can be a binding, it should never be a hindrance to health. Going empty stomach for long can harm the body to a large extent. First, it creates acidity in a person and makes it difficult for a person to digest food when he consumes it. Second, staying empty stomach for too long can cause a tendency to vomit, and leads to nausea and headache.
- Avoid fried food: Fried food might taste like heaven after a long day’s fast, but remember it does more harm than good. Food items such as aloo tikki, sabudana and papad are extremely popular among folks during this time, but they are very taxing for the stomach after the fast. Too much oil can lead to an upset stomach and dehydrate the body. Some healthier options include kheer and khichdi. Dairy products have the unique advantage of keeping the stomach full and maintain normal body health.
- Increase your intake of fruits: Fruits are one of the best options during the Navaratri fasts. Some of the recommended fruit options include watermelon, apple, mango, musk melon etc. Fruits keep the tummy at peace without any harm. However, people suffering from high blood sugar should ensure that the portion size of fruit consumption is limited. Lemon and any type of citrus food should also be avoided during this time.
- Opt for healthy vegetables: While most devotees follow a strict vegetarian diet, some vegetables should get the preference owing to their nutritious benefits to the body. Vegetables such as the potatoes, bottle gourds, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumber etc. are extremely beneficial for the body. It should be kept in mind that vegetables are boiled or cooked in non-refined oil for a healthy fast. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.