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Rejuvenate Your Body And Mind With These Fasting Tips For Navratri

• While you may eat heavier fasting foods during the day, have a light dinner.

Navratras are synonymous with fasting, prayers and celebrations. As we get ready for the celebrations, here are a few fasting tips for those special nine days.

Written by Editorial Team |Published : October 3, 2021 10:18 AM IST

Many of our religious rituals and festivals are based on fasting, like Navratri. The worship is accompanied by fasting. Actually, fasting during festivals is said to renew our spiritual energy. The fast and special diet renews and refreshes the body too, by cleansing the system. Fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, sprouts, nuts, taken during fasts provide high nutrition and also help to detoxify the system.

Benefits of fasting

Fasting during Navratri originated as a means of restoring and rejuvenating the system. In ancient India, regular fasting was followed by the sages, as a method of purification. This was based on the belief that when we fast, the body processes are given a rest. Specific principles were laid down to make the method more scientific. The sages, with their own powers of higher consciousness, knew that controlled fasting should be followed. Fasting and eating specific foods, helps to remove the accumulation of wastes and improves the functioning of the nerves, soothing them and bringing about relaxation and mental well being.

Fasting during the Navratras

During Navratri, a total fast by drinking only water is not advocated. Raw juices can be taken, but they should be diluted with water. Certain fried foods are eating during fasts. But, too many fried snacks and foods, as well as rich kheers can load the system, instead of cleansing it. Avoid tea, coffee, canned juices and aerated drinks. Instead, have juices of fresh fruits and vegetables, to which water must be added.

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Vegetables and fruits contain valuable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and other elements that actually aid the process of cleansing the system. Recently cold-pressed juices have become popular. Experts say that cold-pressed juices contain more nutrients. Green juice, made by the cold pressed method also detoxifies the body and makes the system more alkaline. Ingredients like spinach, mint, parsley, celery, cucumber, lemon juice and fresh ginger can be added to juices. Also have the juice of a lemon with a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. This helps to flush the system.

Tips to make your Navratras healthy and special

Fasting food can be bland and boring. But you can make it interesting and tasty by adding a few simple twists.

  • Vegetables and salads can be made more appetizing and tasty by adding chaat masala.
  • Have nimbu pani, adding the juice of a lemon to a glass of water, one teaspoon honey and a pinch of salt.
  • There are enough fruits and vegetables to choose from oranges, apples, pineapples, papaya, carrots, tomato, cucumber, etc.
  • Dilute the juices suitably with water and add lemon juice for taste.
  • Apart from juices, have buttermilk, coconut water and nimbu paani to keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water too.
  • While you may eat heavier fasting foods during the day, have a light dinner.
  • You can also do deep breathing exercises (like yogic pranayam) and meditation. It really calms the mind and brings about a sense of peace, which is ideal for auspicious occasions and fasts.

The health benefits of fasting foods

During the Navratras, many special foods make an appearance. These also come with immense health benefits.

  • The special salt taken during Navratri is actually beneficial to health. It helps the absorption of nutrients.
  • Having Kuttu flour, instead of normal cereals, also help cleansing and nutrition, as it contains protein.

(This article is authored by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations.)

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