Chaitra Navratri already starts from 28th March. These 9 days of fasting are celebrated two times in a year, the first is during spring named as Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri. It also comes later in the year as Sharad Navratri, completing into Dussehra.
Chaitra is the first month in the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar and its beginning marks onset of Chaitra Navratri. Each of the 9 days of this festival are devoted to nine forms of Goddess Shakti. The ninth day of Chaitra Navratri also falls on Ram Navami.
Navratri is a time of fasting, and to cleanse the body and build its immunity for the next season. Both the Navratri periods falls at the change of season, so the rituals are formulated such as to prepare the body for the next season.
Gargi Sharma, the expert nutritionist, suggest the following tips to remain healthy while you fast. Healthy Tips For Fasting During Navratri
– It is better to eat small meals instead of starving yourself. The frequent meals help maintain blood glucose levels and ensure you are fueled up to go through the day.
– Unless you are doing a ‘nirjal vrat’ fast without water, keep yourself hydrated. It is recommended that you consume lots of water. Other fluids like coconut water, green tea, buttermilk and lemon water are also great.
– Though a lot of vrat recipes involve frying, try to bake, roast or grill vegetables to make your meal healthier.
– It is a good idea to pair foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes and sabudana used in fasting with other fibrous vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, spinach and cabbage.
– Amaranth is a fantastic source of protein that you can include in your menu during fasting. You can whip up an amaranth porridge with milk or even stir it up as savoury daliya with lots of vegetables.
– A flour named Kuttu used abundantly in Navratri, is a wonderful combination of carbohydrates 70-75% and protein 20-25%. You can make chapattis with it and steer off those oil laden pooris.
– Samak rice is easy on your digestive system and you can enjoy it with your favourite sabzi like aam ki sabzi.
– Those sugar cravings can be curbed by indulging in fruits, raita, dates, apple kheer or samak rice kheer.
– Mid-day munchies can keep those hunger pangs at bay. However, stay clear of those namkeen packets as they are high in salt and fat content. You can instead opt for roasted makhana, or a handful of assorted nuts.
– Stay off refined sugar and substitute it with healthier alternatives like jaggery or honey.