Right Way to do Fasting this Navratri?

There is a saying in Ayurveda, you are not what you eat, but what you digest. The whole purpose of eating is for the food to absorbed by your body in form of ahara rasa (nutrition) or removed from the body in the form malas (stool, urine, sweat). Therefore, for regular cleaning of the digestive system and minimizing the production of ama (toxins) in the body, occasional fasting is advised.

In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24–72 hours.

Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time.

Advantages of FASTING:

  1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance

  2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation

  3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides, and Cholesterol Levels

  4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders. Studies also suggest that fasting protect against and improve outcomes for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s

  5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism

  6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength

  7. Human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone that is central to many aspects of your health.

  8. Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity

  9. May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy.

  10. Good for the brain: Increase the growth of new nerve cells, and it increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. BDNF can help prevent brain problems such as depression and the development of new nerve cells can improve other brain functions.

  11. Cellular repair: Fasting causes your body to begin multiple cellular repair processes that are beneficial for your body. This includes the removal of waste material from cells and protecting against immune system damage.

  12. It causes the initiation of immune system regeneration by stimulating stem cells to regenerate old and damaged cells, as well as killing off some old and damaged cells and generating new ones to replace them. This happens because white blood cells are depleted during fasting, inducing stem cells to regenerate new cells in response. This also means that you are less susceptible to certain diseases that you are usually more vulnerable to as you begin to age, potentially improving your life-span as a result.

Fasting during Navratri is an ideal way to detox the body, enhance digestion and increase positivity.

While the benefits of fasting during Navratri are plenty, many of us fast incorrectly which further disturbs the balance in our body.

When following a traditional Navratri diet, it is also recommended to:

  • Use rock salt instead of common salt for cooking

  • Use healthy cooking methods like roasting, boiling, steaming and grilling

  • Be strictly vegetarian

  • Avoid grains for the first few days

  • Avoid any fried and heavy food

  • Avoid onion and garlic

  • Avoid overeating

Breaking your fast

When you break your fast in the evening or at night, have a light meal. Avoid heavy meals as that not only makes it difficult for the system to digest but also undo the cleansing process and positive effects of fasting. Eat small quantities of easily digestible food.

Observe fast with yoga and meditation

Gentle yoga poses, stretches, twists and bends complement the fasting process. It speeds up the detoxification process, and you will feel uplifted and energized.

You can have Rajgira atta (Amaranth flour), Singhara atta (Water Chestnut flour), Kuttu atta (Buckwheat flour), and Arrowroot flour. Amongst herbs and spices, cumin seeds, curry leaves,a black salt, green chilly, and dry mango powder are considered good to consume. Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, raw banana, and arbi can be eaten. You can also have dry fruits, coconut, sabudana, and jaggery during Navratri.