Diet Tips for Healthy Eating During Navratri
Here it’s coming the month of October, the air would get filled with fragrances of flowers and incense sticks marking the welcome of Goddess Durga in our Homes. Yes, we are talking about the festival of Navratri which is celebrated throughout the country with complete devotion. The celebration starts with fasting for all nine consecutive days. But this fasting takes a feasting mode in most of the Indian families with different delicacies from Puris to Kachoris occupying a major portion on the Indian Fasting Food Thali. Some of the health effects of this feasting could be weight gain for weight watchers, raised blood glucose levels among diabetics etc. So, one needs to be cautious in selecting the foods to be eaten during this festive time and yet enjoy the festival as well.
When we plan for Navratri food , the first food item which comes on the plate is POTATO. Potato is a healthy vegetable if prepared in a healthy way and in limited quantity. Potato is one of the good source of Vitamin C and is almost 80% water. The best way to have this vegetable is having it in boiled form like making a salad with other vegetables like cucumber, carrot, and pomegranate etc. Limit the intake of potato to one in a day for only 3 days during this time.
Other delicacies prepared during fasting like kheer, sabudana, pakodas , paranthas can be fattening if taken on all the nine days of fasting. Excessive consumption of these foods can also lead to acidity, bloating, gastric trouble etc. That is why, overindulgence must strictly be avoided.
So, here are few dietary recommendations which should be kept in mind while planning food during this festival time.
- Follow the small frequent meal pattern even during the fasting time. Eating at small intervals would keep the body’s metabolism running and would also avoid bloating issue.
- Avoid fried preparations like puri or pakodas. Go for less oily options like kuttu cheela or singhara atta cheela or rotis of these two flours.
- Make efforts on including more green vegetables in your diet for these nine days. Use pumpkin, bottle gourd, cucumber, tomatoes. They are not only less in calories but also good source of healthy vitamins.
- It’s important to remain hydrated during the fasting time, so have more fluids like coconut water, lemon water, herbal tea, green tea, vegetable juices etc. They not only help in flushing out the toxins but also contribute in lowering the cholesterol because of their antioxidant composition. Avoid fruit juices as they are concentrated sources of calories and lack fibre. Instead take whole fruits to reap all their benefits.
- Avoid using full cream milk and its products; instead go in healthier alternatives like skimmed milk, curd, yoghurt. Thin buttermilk with coriander and ginger is very filling at this time.
- Make healthy vegetable and fruit salads with peanuts, makhana, pumpkin seeds. Chestnut salad is also very refreshing and rehydrating during Navratri.
- Have low-fat home-made paneer as one of the meal. It would give a good amount of protein and would keep you satiated for a longer period of time.
- For making deserts , either use plant base stevia, jaggery , raisins or dates as a sweetener.
- Use yoghurt in dough instead of oil.
- Herbal tea or green tea can be a very good option. Green tea not only helps in weight loss but is also very good for skin and digestion.
- People having high blood pressure amust keep a check on their salt consumption level.
- Avoid sabutdana as its mostly starch and hardly provide any nutrition except calories.
- Samak ke chawal can be good option for rice eaters and utilised in the the form of ghia pulaov, in making idli, dosa, and cheelas.
Last but not the least, please do not forget to control your portion size. Also, follow your workout regime on daily basis for these nine auspicious days. Dancing in satangs can be fun and a good way to burn those extra calories.