Navratri 2022: This is what Ayurveda says about fasting

The much-awaited Navratri festival is here, during which people offer prayers to Goddess Durga and many also observe fasts. While fasting is considered auspicious during this nine-day period, experts say that it is also a great way to detox the body. But how?

It’s because during this season (chaturmas) the metabolism/agni is comparatively low, and fasting gives your body enough rest,” Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya, an Ayurvedic expert, wrote on Instagram. She added that “our gut needs fasting every once in a while to function optimally.”

Other than helping one feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and detoxified on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level, fasting has many physical health benefits, too, like “helping in regulating health disorders like PCOS, obesity, high cholesterol, liver disorders, cancer, thyroid, IBS, hormonal imbalance, auto-immune disorders, skin diseases, stress and stress-induced disorders, acne, dull-skin and a lot more,” Dr Dixa further wrote.

Agreed Dr Karishma Shah, Integrative Health Nutritionist & Holistic Life Coach, and told, “Occasional fasting has always been recommended as it gives your digestive system, your mind, and the body some rest.”

According to Dr Dixa, one can do different types of fasts, like: 

* Dry fast (no food- no water)
 *Fasting on water
 *Fasting on fruits
 *Fasting on liquids (herbal drinks)
 *Fasting from grains
 *Fasting on sugar and salt
 *Intermittent fasting
 *Circadian rhythm fasting [a time-restricted feeding (TRF) in which a person eats all of their food across a span of hours in the earlier part of the day]

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However, “if you are pregnant, have health issues, or are on medication, you should not fast as it will do more harm than good,” warmed Dr Karishma Shah.

 The experts also listed the food items one can include in their fasts during Navratri-

*Dairy (milk, curd, buttermilk)
*Rajgira/kuttu roti
*Sabudana/millet khichdi
*Boiled sweet potatoes & potatoes
*Coconut water/ Sugarcane juice
*Home-made sweets
*Using Himalayan Salt

“Please do not consume unhealthy chips, falhari chiwda, and fried food. It is better not to fast than eat unhealthy food that can lead to various disorders,” Dr Dixa added.

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