Navratri is a festival celebrated for nine nights and ten days, in honour of Goddess Durga. Many people observe a fast during this period, and can eat small amounts of certain foods throughout the day. During long durations of fasting, people often drastically change their eating schedules and their diets. Fasting brings in a lot of dietary restrictions which may cause constipation that might have a bad impact on their gut health.
To ease these symptoms people should avoid some foods while adding some others as well as make certain lifestyle changes. OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Ms. Neelam Ali, Dietician NIIMS hospital, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences (NIIMS), to know about diet and lifestyle tips to manage constipation while fasting during Navratri.
Tips to avoid constipation while fasting
Listed below are a few tips to avoid constipation this Navratri:
1. Keep yourself hydrated
Hydration is most important to get regular bowel movements. Make sure you drink enough water to prevent constipation. Also include liquids such as lemonade, coconut water / green juice(cucumber, bottle gourd), red juice (tomato, pomegranate, apple), and buttermilk to keep you hydrated and energised.
2. Add some fibre
Add some chia seeds and flax seed powder to your daily routine during fasting. Soaked almonds and walnuts are good options. Add coconut water and some salad, foods like makhana (fox nuts) are rich in fibre & best for evening meals. Add barnyard millet (sama ke chawal) to the diet instead of sago, which has less fibre.
3. Avoid tea and coffee
Caffeine present in tea and coffee can affect proper digestion and cause constipation. So avoid the excess consumption of tea and coffee while fasting. These also have a diuretic effect that may increase the loss of water through urine and might increase blood pressure.
4. Do not eat large meals
It is essential to maintain a proper gap between snacking as you can get constipated if you eat a lot of food in one go. Large meals also need more fluid intake to get hydrolysed by the body. It is okay to eat small amounts of food throughout the day.
5. Avoid fried food
Intake of fried food can lead to sluggishness and less physical activity may lead to constipation. Again, fried food needs more water to be metabolised, resulting in constipation. Further poor gut health might have a bad effect on your overall health. So, it is important to fast smart. Avoid excess sugar to ease poor digestion and absorption and acidity.
Also read: 5 Navratri Fasting Tips For Pregnant Women
6. Work out
By improving blood flow to your abdomen, light exercises such as walking, running, and yoga can help with enhancing bowel movements. There are certain yoga poses like downward facing dog and malasana (yogi squat) that can also help in better digestion.
7. Sleep on time
The festival season is full of events and social gatherings but sleeping late and waking up early can negatively affect your digestion and lead to constipation. Therefore, sticking to a sleeping routine daily is important to avoid constipation during navratri fasting.
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