Navratri: Fasting, Food, and the Health Benefits
Fasting, Food, and the Health Benefits
In our fast-paced world everything is automatic and ready to use, from the cars we drive to the food we eat, everything happens with little thought and effort. So are our celebration of festivals and rituals, which are followed with no second thought on the reason behind each tradition. The Navratri fasting for instance, is carried on by many as a habituated ritual without a thought behind why only certain types of foods are consumed during this period, and why the idea of fasting emerged. So, what got our ancestors into creating a tradition that ensured we eat at certain times of the day, include/exclude certain items in our diet, indulge in certain activities (Golu, Dandiya, Ramleela,etc.), based on different regions? Let’s probe and understand.
Navratri vrat foods might seem simple, but are filled with ingredients that help build a healthy lifestyle, help lose weight, detoxify the body, and boost immunity. The high-fiber diet with lots of liquids make it easy on the stomach, and the fact that people refrain from eating meat, consumption of alcohol, and certain forms of grains and pulses during this period contribute to the health benefits.
Here’s a look at the health benefits of the popular ingredients from Navratri Vrat foods.
Mulai keerai, rajgira, or amaranth, seeds are high in fiber and help reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and hypertension, while the lysine content helps the body in the absorption of calcium.
SINGHARE KA ATTA OR THE WATER
A great source of all the basic vitamins and simple carbohydrates for your body, during the fasting phase, Singhare ka atta also has rich volumes of potassium and zinc that help you build a strong immune system. Chestnut is also known for acting as an excellent coolant for your body.
BUCKWHEAT, PAPPARAI OR KUTTU ATTA
A fruit grain that’s good for your cardiovascular system, blood sugar control, and a lowered risk of diabetes substituting the buckwheat grain with regular grain and atta helps detoxify the body. High on carbohydrates and less on calories, this grain helps those looking to cut down on excess body fat and get fit.
The regular salt is swapped with rock salt during the navratri period. While some choose to avoid salt completely, some pick rock salt, which is considered to be a healthier alternative to the refined salt.
FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND JUICES
During the nine nights of Devi Navratri diet, people consume a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, yogurt, milk, etc., are included. All these ingredients are known to cleanse and detox the body, giving you a naturally glowing skin.
Heat producing foods like garlic, flaxseeds, fenugreek seeds, garam masala, non-veg foods etc. are avoided during Navratri and are replaced with substances that reduce body heat like, coconut water, milk and milk products, dry fruits, chia seeds, lemonade etc., are consumed in sample amounts, which help the body in repairing old damaged cells and contribute towards building a healthy and active life.
So, are you ready to embrace the secrets of our ancestors and kickstart a healthy lifestyle this Navratri? Tell us, in the comments below.