As you gear up for Chaitra Navratri 2023, which is from March 22 to March 30 this year, you need to prioritise your health as well. The nine-day Hindu festival, which is dedicated to the nine avatars of Goddess Durga, is a time of fasting, prayers, and celebrations. While religious devotees fast for nine days, there are many who use this time for rejuvenation and healing. So, fasting may be seen by some as a process of detoxification. As you do fasting, your energy levels will go down. But you can stay energised during Navratri by following easy tips.
HealthShots connected with Neha Pathania, Chief Dietician, Paras Hospital, Gurugram, to find out how to keep energy levels high during Chaitra Navratri 2023.
Ways to stay energised during Navratri
1. Eat small and frequent meals
Most of the days, you must be eating three large meals. During Navratri, opt for five or six small meals throughout the day. Pathania says that this will help in maintaining blood sugar levels and avoid the feeling of lethargy. Also, using sendha namak (rock salt) while cooking is an excellent way to maintain optimal blood pressure during long hours of fasting. Also, rotis and pooris made out of kuttu (buckwheat flour) are good alternatives to avoid hunger pangs.
2. Consume high-protein foods
During Navratri, people generally avoid eating grains and pulses, which are foods high in protein. You can always make up for this by consuming protein-rich foods such as nuts, milk, yogurt and paneer.
3. Stay hydrated
As you do fasting, drink plenty of water and natural fruit juices to stay hydrated. It helps to detoxify the body and aids in digestion too, says the expert. Another healthy option is to drink coconut water, which can keep your body energised and active during fasting sessions.
4. Avoid oily, fried, and artificially sweetened foods
Fried and oily foods are not energy-boosting foods, as they are difficult to digest and can make you feel sluggish. Go for healthier options such as baked or grilled foods, suggests Pathania. Artificial sugars should be avoided during this time as well, and go for jaggery or honey instead. Raisins may also be considered a healthier alternative.
5. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet
Fruits and vegetables are all good sources of fiber as well as vitamins, and minerals. They also provide essential nutrients to the body and keep you feeling full. So, go for bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, sabudana (tapioca), makhana (fox nuts), tomatoes, cabbage and capsicum while fasting during Navaratri.
6. Exercise regularly
Light exercises such as walking, yoga, or stretching help in improving blood circulation, reducing stress, and keeping you energised, says the expert. It is crucial to remember that fasting doesn’t mean starving yourself, but it does definitely mean that physical exercises should be done in moderation to avoid over-exertion and fatigue.
7. Get adequate sleep
It is essential to get enough sleep during Navratri to maintain your energy levels, so aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Taking short 15-20 minute naps also help to recharge the body during active fasting and keeping energy levels balanced. You can also try out tricks to help you sleep better at night.
8. Practice stress-reducing techniques
Stress can drain your energy levels, so practice meditation, deep breathing, or other stress-reducing techniques to stay calm and energised, suggests Pathania. Yoga accompanied by light soulful music is known to calm the senses.