Navratri Festival, Fasting, Feasting and good health!

Navratri Festival fasting and feasting comes as a package. As the customary practice prevails, there is always a precedence of an episode of fasting to prepare the body for the grand feast on the festival day!

Navaratri days have begun and the rites and rituals are conducted as per the custom in every household. Fasting and dietary restrictions are practiced as per traditional belief, and here are few scientific facts bolstering the age-old practices.

How fasting is beneficial to us?

Fasting is generally an accepted mode of detoxification, thus helping the body to flush out the impurities and replenish the vitality. It creates a sensation of lightness and derives energy for healthy individuals. The method of fasting ranges from custom to custom and is tradition specific.
Fasting utilizes the energy reserves of the body. It helps to remove the plaque from arteries, improve circulation and improve the metabolism.
Yet another advantage is that fasting gives a day break for the digestive system and hence the functionality improves after the break; the same as how a break helps us to relieve the work stress!

What are the types and duration of fasting?

Fasting ranges from 24-36 hours:

  • Few types of fasting demands complete abstinence from food and even liquids
  • For few others, fruits, water and herbal teas are permitted
  • Sometimes fasting is from dawn to dusk sparing the liquids

Can fasting harm your body? Can I fast if I have underlying health concern?

One must realize that fasting may be hazardous at certain situations:

  • Fasting for a day is seldom hampering health; but for people with general health issues, low immunity, those who are on medications for chronic ailments, pregnant women and children, some precautions have to be taken.
  • When the body is deprived of nutrition and if the energy reserves are lacking, it will lead to breakdown of proteins in the body, which the body does in case of emergency and release free radicals in the body causing deleterious effects. Instead of receiving benefits of fasting, such people might face serious implications to their health leading to hormonal variations, increase in cholesterol and uric acid.
  • Yet another role defining factor is the liquid intake. When the body gets dehydrated, it can affect the fluid equilibrium leading to electrolyte imbalance. Hence, few people develop symptoms like dizziness, muscle aches, joint pain, fatigue and restlessness after the fasting. Hence, it takes 1-2 days for many to get back to routine after a day’s fast.

Hence, fluid replenishment is encouraged to prevent these situations and to prevent the free radical synthesis in the body, which can also be dangerous to health.

Therefore, fasting should not proceed to a state of starvation which can have serious implication on your health and life! It is important that you discuss with your doctor and decide on the fast under his guidance. It is, advisable to undertake a series of short fasts of two or three days and gradually increase the duration of each succeeding fast by day or so.

Why is a fast preceding a feast?

It is an age old wisdom created by the then medical scholars. As detailed, fasting helps to remove the excess reserves of the body and makes the body prepared to accept the heavy to digest, savory dishes to be served on the festival days and relish them maximum with the dear and near ones.

How should I break my fast?

Breaking a fast…the most significant part!

Just as fasting, breaking the fast should be done with liquids, followed by fruits and a light diet; thus preparing the digestive system to take the normal load in a day’s time. Therefore, care should be taken to break the fast in a step wise manner-

  • Break the fast with fluids, herbal teas and fruit juices are better options
  • Start with taking light food. Here are food items that are good to be included in your post diet menu:
    • Dry Fruits : Almonds, Apricots, dates , raisins, figs
    • Fruits: Apples, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple , melons, lemons, grapes
    • Vegetables: cabbages, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, radishes, onion, coconuts, lettuce, tomatoes, soybeans
    • Milk, cottage cheese
  • Say NO to junk foods, fried foods and packaged frozen food stuff
  • Normalize your diet and slowly build a routine diet with more of vitamins and minerals and      lowering the high calories

Now let us delight in the feast- in a healthier way!

Traditional Indian Medicine, Ayurveda , Naturopathy, Homeopathy and other Nutritional therapies have advocated positively to the concept of fasting; laying down a few constraints to the health compromised individuals, pediatric age group and pregnant ladies.

To understand more about the impact of Navratri festival fasting on your body or to plan your fasting and feasting regime with underlying health concern, do reach out to us.

At Syncremedies, meet with 3 doctors from Allopathy, Ayurveda & Homoepathy TOGETHER to offer the most effective solution to your concern.

Modern medicine can facilitate in immediate control of the symptom and traditional medicine can aid in treating the concern from its root in the long run. Each consult lasts a duration of 40 minutes with a treatment plan that encapsulates Diet, Exercise, Therapy and medication essential to control and treat condition and also give you perspective to manage traditional practices such as Navratri festival fasting along with retaining a healthy body.
You can meet the doctors online through a video consult at the convenience of your home or visit a clinic near you.

For more tips, on good health during fasting read https://www.syncremedies.com/2017/06/12/ramadan-fasting/

Author
Dr. Anjana
Ayurveda Doctor

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