As the revered festival of Ganesh Chaturthi approaches, devotees undertake fasting, symbolising devotion while also aiming for physical and spiritual purification. While fasting is associated with many health benefits like detoxification of the body and weight management, it’s extremely important that certain things are kept in mind while undertaking it to avoid health complications. Navigating the dietary choices during fasting, particularly during festivals, demands a strategic approach from a nutritional standpoint.
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Here are some tips to ensure a healthy fasting experience:
1. Sustain Energy with Protein-Rich Choices:
Incorporate protein sources like paneer or tofu, buckwheat, curd, and nuts like almonds into your fasting diet to preserve muscle mass. Almonds provide 6 grams of plant protein per 30-gram serving. Almonds are also free of trans fat and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. They are known for various health benefits, such as promoting heart health, aiding in diabetes management, and benefiting skin health.
2. Break Your Fast with Mindful Choices:
One might feel the inclination to binge eat while breaking the fast, but breaking your fast mindfully is crucial. Begin with water, then follow it with a light, balanced meal containing proteins, fibre, and healthy fats to effectively replenish your body.
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3. Balance Your Festive Treats:
Be cautious with sweets, as overindulgence can lead to erratic blood sugar spikes. Instead, savour natural sweeteners like dates and figs in moderation to maintain a balanced and healthy approach to festive eating. This way, you can enjoy the festivities while prioritizing your well-being.
4. Choose Nutrient-Dense Snacking Alternatives:
Many tend to resort to unhealthy fried snacks during fasting days, but it’s time to shift towards a healthier approach. Embrace wholesome options like fruits, makhanas, and almonds to keep yourself nourished throughout the day. The satiating nature of almonds can also make fasting more manageable for you.
5. Stay Hydrated:
Proper hydration is essential for regulating both the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Dehydration also causes irritability, headaches, and a decrease in performance, which are undesirable effects, especially while fasting, so make sure you are drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated during the fasting period. You can also consider opting for herbal teas and coconut water to stay replenished.
About the author: Dr Rohini Patil has an MBBS degree and is a nutritionist