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Whole Body Detox During Navratri: Fasting Tips For Spiritual And Physical Wellness

Certain fried foods are eaten during fasts. But, too many fried snacks and foods, as well as rich kheers can load the system, instead of cleansing it.

In ancient India, regular fasting was followed by the sages, as a method of purification.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : September 30, 2022 10:38 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 are said to renew our spiritual energy. The fast and special diet renews 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.

Restoring and rejuvenating the body

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.

A few tips to make things easier

Many people may not be well versed with the idea of fasting. Yet they may decide to participate in the Navratri fasts. If you are one of them, here are a few tips for you.

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  • 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 eaten 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.

Vegetables and fruits contain valuable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and other elements that actually aid the process of cleansing the system. If these are taken in juice form, they are easily assimilated, and the digestive system gets a much needed rest.

Make your fasting food more interesting

You need not eat boring food when you keep a fast. You can add flavour and variety by tweaking things a little. A few tips to make these special days fun.

  • 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.
  • The special salt taken during Navratri is actually beneficial to health. It helps the absorption of nutrients.
  • Have Kuttu flour, instead of normal cereals. It will help cleanse and add nutrition to your food as it contains protein.
  • 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.

(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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