For most of us, nine-day long Navratri fasting is only a religious practice but if we look at it closely, there is a scientific reason behind it. During Navratri, we witness a change in weather and the changing climate lowers our body’s immunity, this is why we fast – to keep our diet healthy and to protect our body against infections. But there are some rules that we must follow to have a healthy fasting.

Here are a few tips by Deepti G Dua, Dietician at Mutation Diet Clinic, Gurugram, for smart eating during Navratri:

-Eat small meals: It is important to eat small meals at regular intervals. It will keep your metabolism intact. Also, try to have heavy-meals in the first half of the day for easy digestion.

-Avoid sabudana: Try to avoid sabudana or other fried foods, and include more of yoghurt, smoothies, lassi and fruits, in your diet. This will not only keep you full but maintain the optimum fluids in the body.

-Avoid oily food: Instead of kuttu poori or pakodas, have boiled aloo chaat, air fried paneer tikki , makhana kheer, or mixed fruit curd.

-Say yes to samak/ rajgira: Samak chawal is a common fasting food. It is gluten free by nature and is ground separate from all other grain products. So try idli and dosa from samak chawal atta or samak chawal pulao. You can also use singed flour or rajgira flour instead of using kuttu flour.

-Adequate liquid intake: Keep sipping on water, coconut water, lemonade, chaach, as much as you can. It works as a great detox.

-Include roasted makhanas or nuts: Instead of having namkeen, that is loaded with calories, try having a handful of roasted makhanas as they are low in cholesterol.

-Eat more fruits: Fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and low in calories. So, snack on fruits like papaya, guava and banana everyday and take a slice of pineapple at night if you feel constipated.

-Include Sendhanamak in your diet: You should use ‘sendhanamak’ in your diet during fasting as it is great for digestion. Sendhanamak also helps to reduce swelling and water retention in the body and helps in maintaining your blood pressure level.

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