Fasting tips for pregnant women planning to fast in the last 2 days of Navratri | Health

During this festive season in India, Hindu devotees take up a fast of Navratri that includes a specific diet which bars alcohol, meat, grains or pulses due to religious rituals. A fast is kept by the devotees, either on all the nine days or in joda i.e. the first two or the last two days of the Navratri, to please and seek blessings of Durga but with fun and celebration comes responsibility, especially for soon-to-be-mommies.

The coming days are infused with colour and festivities as people across various states in India are celebrating the auspicious festival of Navratri. Preparations are in full gear as devotees are planning out their religious rituals, food and outfit for all the nine days and on that note, pregnant women must be extremely careful if they decide to embrace the fast as it’s not only the mother but the foetus as well that requires nutrients through a healthy diet.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Biju KS, Senior Medical Officer at Vieroots Wellness Solutions, said, “It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid prolonged fasting as it’s not safe for the baby’s growth. They should fast with the doctor’s consent and under the guidance of a diet expert and should consume quality meals which are nutrient-dense, during the non-fasting hours, as this will aid in the growth of the baby. Hydration should be given equal importance during the fasting period.”

As per her expertise, she suggested the following fasting tips for pregnant women who are planning to observe the Navratri fast in the last two days of the festival:

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· Fast for short spells, say 5 to 6 hours rather than going for a whole day fasting.

· Consume water, frequently during the fasting hours.

· Better to avoid seed oils and instead use ghee during these days

· Consume sabudana, buckwheat, amaranth, samak as these food items keep you fuller for a longer period and provide fibre.

· Consume milk, paneer, buttermilk, lassi and curd

· Eat dry fruits, nuts and makhana which are good sources of fatty acids and protein.

· Hydrate yourself with water, fresh juices, lassi etc.

· Avoid consuming sugar-laden and fried food items

· Incorporate fibre-rich vegetables like potato, sweet potato

· Include sendha namak

· Avoid festive stress and get ample rest

· Meditate

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