Though fasting during Navratri is meant for purification of the body by giving rest to the body’s metabolism with low calorie and less spicy food. By and large people are very conscious of avoiding spicy foods such as onion, garlic and the like, but often tend to binge on oily and starchy foods which defeat the purpose of being on a fast.
[Read: Benefits of Fasting during Navratri]
The problem in Navratri fasts is of course that it lasts for so many days. It is difficult to survive only on fruits and vegetables for such a long period of time. The pressures of work with its requirements of running around can burn out your energy and leave you feeling weak. So, you do need to have some starch but only so much that does not let your energy level drop and not stuffs you.
Given below are some pointers to manage your starch intake during Navratri:
- Avoid withdrawal symptoms by having starch in moderate amount: If you feel you can easily stay on fruits and vegetables for nine days, get wiser. In a day or two, withdrawal symptoms set in and you might end up binging on heavy starchy foods such as potato chips, sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada and other stuff. Limit your portion to a level that does not make a mockery of fasting.
- High Calorie foods to watch out for: You need to avoid some high calorie foods during fasting if you really intend to gain health benefits out of the fast. The high calorie foods which need to be taken in moderation during Navratri are paneer, fried potatoes, sabudana vadas prepared in ghee or oil, full cream milk, yoghurt made from full cream milk, paranthas or puris made from singhada (water chestnut) flour, makhana kheer with milk that has been condensed a lot, cashews and other nuts, or any other heavy food.
[Read: Health Risks due to Navratri]
- Judge your capacity to bear hunger: Fasting means depriving yourself ultimately. You need to weigh and balance your foods so that it can be endured for the nine day period. You can have any non-spicy food but just need to ensure that your stomach and digestive system is not as loaded as it is on normal eating days.
- How to eat in fasts: It would be advisable to keep some sort of starchy foods handy if you work during Navratri fasts. Apart from fruits, vegetables, milk with fat taken out, you can also have the starchy or high calorie foods mentioned above but of course, in moderation.
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