The countdown has already started. Navratri, the biggest festival of all times is about to begin. A festival of 9 days, when we worship the nine powerful manifestations of goddess Durga in our own way. Fasting during Navratri is considered very sacred and many of us follow it with great devotion.
Why do we fast during Navratri?
According to Hindu beliefs, fasting purifies the heart and soul of a person. Keeping spiritual benefits aside, fasting is also good for the health as it detoxifies the body, improves your digestive system and controls blood sugar levels.
It also eliminates gas, lightens the body, improves mental clarity, provides a clean tongue and fresh breath and preserves overall health. Most importantly, it aids in weight loss!
However, a strict fasting for 9 continuous days can bring blood sugar levels down and can cause weakness.
What is blood sugar level and why is it so important?
The blood sugar level or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a living organism. The food we eat, gets digested and is transported to the blood in the form of glucose.
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas of our body reacts with glucose to release energy. The ideal blood sugar level is 90-130 mg/decilitre of blood. During fasting, the blood sugar level goes down which makes us drowsy and weak.
How Do We Manage The Sugar Level?
Here are a few tips to maintain the sugar level and stay energized throughout the festive time in a healthy way while following navratri vrat.
Eat Small Meals:
It is better to eat small meals every 2-3 hours instead of starving. Small meals in regular intervals keep the metabolism intact, manage blood glucose level and we stay fuelled up all the time. Yoghurt, smoothies and fruits are the best options as they will fulfil fluid requirement of the body too.
Along with potatoes and sabudana which are widely used for vrat recipes, vegetables like cabbage, spinach and capsicum can be added to complete the fibre and vitamin requirement. Instead of puri or pakoras, roti and chilla can be taken as it will reduce excessive oil intake.
Amaranth is a gluten-free super-food with lots of protein that we can include in our food during fasting. It can be taken as porridge with milk or as savoury daliya with plenty of vegetables.
Fruits & Nuts:
Fruits and nuts are low in calorie and keep us full for a longer time. They are a great snacking option and can be taken any time of the day. Roasted makhana, dates, almonds and raisins are some great dry fruits to keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Increase Fluid Intake:
Increase the fluid intake. Fruit or vegetable juices are healthy and can be taken throughout the day to fuel us up. Honey or jaggery should be preferred over refined sugar in the juices.
Take Sweets In Moderate Amount:
If you are terribly hungry, then sweets come to your rescue as they give instant energy. But always try to take sweets in a moderate amount to avoid too much calorie intake.