Guess what? Fasting improves your health!
Order our healthy meals now Fasting right and scientifically can give you great skin, hair and toned body. And who doesn’t want that? I do! I learnt of the benefits of fasting from my grandma, who said she learnt from hers, who I guess learnt from hers! When it comes to good health, no one knows more about good healthy habits than our lovable grandmas! And today, come to think of it, she seems to know a thing or two about Facebook logins too! And Google is her friend for all things new. Truth be told, our scriptures have laid down extensive guidelines about healthy living and food habits for good health and long life. We follow these guidelines cause mommy said or cause that's how its done or well, cause “its old wisdom, must be true”. On digging deeper though I learnt that there is a scientific rationale behind fasting. It's simple and easy to follow through. Fasting is advised during a change of seasons, as our bodies acclimatise to the changed weather. One guess is that connecting it to a celebration made it easier for people to follow and change. Heck, smart move. In India, Navratri heralds festivities as the start of winter season and end of monsoon. Biologically, the scriptures believed, at this time our bodies are very vulnerable to the climatic changes and hence need a special routine change in order for it to cope with the imminent changes in weather. There are primarily 3 types of fasting described in Ayurveda: 1. Light food fasting (Only khichdi, sabudana etc) 2. The Fruit and vegetable only fasting 3. Abstinence from food and water completely (that means literally no food or water) Abstinence from food and water completely is not prescribed in Ayurveda more than once or twice in a year - and that too for only a day or less. This kind of fasting gives our digestive system a much-needed rest and gives it a chance to clear out any waste materials accumulated within. The fruit and vegetable only fasting, too is very rarely prescribed - it is used only to clear out unhealthy toxins or free radicals from our body. However the Light food fasting is prescribed by Ayurveda almost 3 - 4 times in a year and that too for longer periods of time - and this is the most effective means of preparing our body for the sudden climate change. Navratri diet: Quick tips Avoid all extreme foods: Garlic, Flax seed, Fenugreek seeds, Garam masala, Non-veg food are the extreme heat producing foods and Onion, Dhania powder , Chia seeds, Basil seeds are the extreme coolants - Both these extreme kinds of foods are in the no-can-do-list. Rest your digestive system: Giving your digestive system a little less work to do helps the body reserve more energy to cope up with strengthening the immune system. This is why heavy to digest high-gluten flours like Wheat, Barley, Oats is not allowed during a Navratri fast - Instead, light cereals like Rajgira (Amaranth), Singhara (Water chestnut flour), and Sabudana is allowed. Roots and tubers like Potato, Sweet potato and Tapioca help give more energy to the body with minimum stress to the digestive system - since they are all predominantly simple carbohydrates Strengthen your immune system: Have a lot of fruits, vegetables, Juices, Neembu pani, Coconut water etc to increase the amount of antioxidants in your body - this helps in detoxification, and gives a boost to immunity. Store proteins: Protein is the nutrient required for the wear and tear of the body - forming new cells, repairing old damaged cells requires a lot of proteins. Milk and milk products, Peanuts and Almonds, Walnuts etc are good sources of protein while still being less stressful to the digestive system. Choose low-fat or skim milk over high-fat options to maintain better health. Things to remember: Fasting does not mean overeating on the foods in the allowed list. Remember, we do need to give adequate rest to the gut for this to work well. Do not overeat at any point of time. Continue the small and frequent diet pattern for optimum benefits. Choose roasted or baked items over fried foods. Do not fast if you have a medical issue like Diabetes or High Triglyceride levels. Do not fast during pregnancy or lactation. We hope you have a healthy, happy and a soulful Navratri.
- Tags: Health