Fasting During Shravan Month: Things To Keep In Mind If You've Diabetes Or Hypertension

Living with diabetes and hypertension? Here are a few things to consider if you're fasting during the Shravan month.

It's Shravan month, and if you're one of them who observe fast on each Monday (Sawan Somwar Vrat) during the month, you must read this.

Regardless of the religious significance, fasting is a good way to keep your system clean as well as to detoxify the body. While fasting has many health benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. For people with chronic medical conditions, fasting may make their condition worse, if you go on without food or drink for hours. If you've health issues like diabetes and hypertension, it would be wise to discuss it with your doctor on how to go on fast safely during the Shravan month. And we have done it for you. Here's what experts say about fasting with diabetes or hypertension.

Health Benefits of fasting

"Fasting is popular for its health benefits. Several research proves that fasting can reduce your blood sugar, manage, and help you lose weight, reduce heart disease risk, and decrease inflammation," said Dr Ankur Phatarpekar, Interventional Cardiologist & Director Cathlab, Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai.

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Fasting Tips For People With Hypertension Or Diabetes

What is hypertension? Dr Phatarpekar explained, "Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through the arteries. Arteries transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells and helps to eliminate the waste. Hypertension occurs when the force of blood flowing to the arteries is consistently high causing heart to work too hard to pump the blood in the body."

If you have hypertension, you should focus on eating food that helps keep your blood pressure under control, he said.

For example, he suggested eating -

  • Fruits like orange, grapes, bananas, pomegranate, avocados, dates, pineapple, watermelon, apple, etc. These fruits are loaded with vitamins, plant compounds, and minerals that help in keeping the heart healthy by reducing the risk of hypertension.
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes are known as carbohydrate-dense vegetables. It is packed with vitamins B, vitamins C, copper, fibre, potassium, tryptophan, eye health-boosting lutein, and manganese.
  • Moong is the best and healthy to have during fasting. It prevents from obesity, hypertension, and oxidative damage and elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Nuts and seeds are rich in fibre and essential nutrients. A handful of nuts are enough to kill hunger pangs and it will keep you full for a longer duration. Almonds, pistas, chia seeds, dates, figs, and pumpkin seeds are good options.

Avoid foods that have high sugar, salt, and saturated or trans fats as these can increase blood pressure and damage the heart, Dr Phatarpekar added.

Eat Light But Nutritious Food

Talking about the significance of fasting during the Shravan month, lifestyle nutritionist Smitha Shetty stated, "Shraavan is the month when the sun is not at its peak, hence our digestion gets affected, which in turn affects our guts. Hence, it is a common practice to fast in India, and people follow different types of fasting."

The nutritionist wants people who are diabetic and hypertensive to be careful while fasting. She noted, "People living with hypertension or diabetes need to eat light but at the same ensure that it's nutritious."

These people can have kuttu ka roti, paneer tikki, peanut salad, makhana sabzi, she suggested.

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