Navratri is a period of nine days during which several Indian women fast by eating only a certain number of foods. In general, fasting also means eliminating certain foods from your diet. Regardless of the reason for fasting, one thing that often occurs is acidity. As women get ready to observe the Navratri fast from October 15 to 24 this year, they should pay close attention to what they eat to control acidity. Read on to find out how to avoid acidity while fasting this Navratri.
What is fasting?
Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food or certain types of food for a period of time, says Ekta Singhwal, dietician, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. It is practiced for a variety of reasons, including religious, spiritual or health purposes. During fasting, people abstain from consuming regular meals and often limit their intake to specific foods or liquids. For example, Navratri is all about keeping all types of meat, lentils, alcohol and wheat flour out of the diet, and eating vegetables like potatoes, carrots and cucumber.
How Fasting Affects Your Health
Fasting can affect your metabolism, gut health and weight, so the health effects can be both positive and negative. The impact depends on the type and duration of fasting. Short-term fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss and support autophagy (cellular repair), the expert explains. However, prolonged or extreme fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies and muscle loss, among other things.
How to avoid acidity during fasting?
Fasting can sometimes lead to acidity or heartburn due to increased stomach acid production in response to an empty stomach. It can be aggravated by consuming sour or spicy foods during non-fasting hours. Irregular eating patterns during fasting can also disrupt digestion. This is what you need to do:
1. Choose non-acidic foods
Choose non-acidic foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains during non-fasting hours. That means fruits like watermelon, papaya and banana can be your friends during fasting.
Drinking a good amount of water can help you lose weight because water can increase feelings of satiety and boost your metabolism. Staying hydrated can also help maintain stomach pH and prevent acidity.
3. Avoid spicy foods
Spicy and fried foods taste very good, but try not to eat these during fasting as they can cause acidity.
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4. Small and frequent meals
Sometimes people eat large meals at once during fasting, and that’s not really a good idea. Eat small and balanced meals more often instead of large ones to prevent overeating and acidification.
Over-the-counter antacids can provide some relief if acidity becomes problematic, but consult a doctor before using them regularly, says Singhwal.
Healthy ways to fast during Navratri
Navratri lasts for nine days, so you need to keep some things in mind while fasting. Here are a few tips:
• Include a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and nuts, to ensure you get essential nutrients.
• Drink plenty of water and some herbal tea so that you do not become dehydrated during the fast.
• Practice portion control to avoid overeating when breaking the fast.
• Minimize the consumption of fried and high-fat foods.
• Plan balanced meals that provide energy and keep you feeling full during the fasting hours.
But be sure to consult a doctor before starting a fasting regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you.