Blog by Nutrition Expert: Madhu Soni
It is that time of the year when most of us are fasting and there are many who do not keep this fast with the fear of feeling low on energy and unable to continue with this fasting during the Navaratri.
So let’s clear all these myths and learn simple tricks to stay high on energy & eat healthy during this festive season so as to complete our daily chores along with the additional rituals to be performed during this festive season!
Choose your food wisely
Since eating grains and cereals is prohibited during the fast, gluten-free diet flours like buckwheat flour, and water chest flour come to the rescue. These indigenous four are rich in magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and essential fatty acids which makes them an ideal choice for all those who are looking at maintaining a healthy weight.
Both buckwheat and water chestnut also known as kuttu ka atta and singhare ka atta in Hindi are versatile flour which can easily be cooked as chapatti, thalipeet, dosa or bhakri.
Sustainable energy level during the day
For someone who has a very hectic schedule which involves a lot of physical work, they need to choose calorie-dense food like barnyard millet or amaranth. These pseudo cereals are high in proteins magnesium and potassium which will provide prolonged and sustained release of energy.
Adding paneer is another great way to increase the nutritional value of your fasting meal.
During this time, the markets are flooded with farali namkeen like sabudana chakli, wafers, chips etc., opt for healthier options like makhana, dates, anjeer or almonds or walnuts and peanuts. Sweet potatoes are an excellent choice if you are looking to improve your immunity and reduce inflammation.
Carry rajgira laddo or chikki to override in-between hunger pangs.
As the salt intake is less during the fasting period body loses its fluid very fast hence it is imperative to keep sipping water throughout the day. Besides water include butter milk, coconut water and nimbu pani in your diet. Nimbu pani is a great way to replenish the body's salt. Avoid excess tea and coffee as it leads to the leeching of calcium.
All these superfoods consumed during navratri are high in proteins and fibre so having them in controlled portion sizes is very important.
That one meal during the day need not be the compensation for all three meals. Having frequent small meals helps to elevate the metabolism and energy levels during the day.
The best food to eat during fast are these fruits which are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. One can never go overboard with fruits. Bananas are rich in potassium and blend very well in milkshakes, smoothies and yoghurt and make a great start to the day.
Plan your meal
A sudden change in eating patterns affects the mind and body hence planning is essential. Chalk out the menu for the day rather than eating whatever is available.
Excessive sweet food will lead to weight gain and low energy levels. Avoid fried food and choose grilling, air frying and baking.
Finally, I would like to conclude by ensuring that fasting which has been an age-old tradition in our country if done in the correct manner with never leave you with lesser energy but with an increased dose of immunity and better health.
Wishing all of you a very Happy and Healthy Navratri!