Chaitra Navaratri, the nine-day long Hindu festival, will be celebrated on April 6, 2019. The festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Rama and the ninth day of Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated as Rama Navami. Like Sharad Navaratri that falls in winter, Chaitra Navaratri also features pujas, festivities and fasting. For nine days, people observe a strict vrat or upvas, eating only sattvic vegetarian food. Vrat or upvas is observed during Navaratri for spiritual reasons. By fasting for nine days, one can detoxify not only the body but also the mind. The mainstay of the Navaratri diet includes fruits, vegetables, milk and unsweetened beverages. If you observe the fast correctly, these are some of the health benefits you can reap. Why Do We Eat Sattvic Foods While Fasting During Navratri?
Reduced Blood Pressure
On Navaratri, people fast by cutting down on salt from their food. By doing reducing your intake of salt, you can bring down your sodium consumption. The practice can have an impact on your blood pressure, effectively lowering it.
Flushes out Toxins
Some also observe the Navaratri fast by drinking a lot of liquids like coconut water, chaas (buttermilk), lemon water, etc. Hydration on such liquids helps in flushing out the toxins from the body and maintaining the electrolyte balance.
On this day, people eat clean, home-cooked food cooked with minimal oil. The traditional diet of sattvic food helps the digestive process, reducing problems such as flatulence and indigestion.
Fasting can help you reach the ketosis state, which accelerates fat burning. Visceral fat or excessive fat around the organs such as liver and kidneys is targeting during the vrat or upvas period.
Kick Starts Metabolism
Fasting helps you kick-start your metabolism. During fasting, your leptin (hormone that stops hunger) sensitivity increases, which in turn increases thyroid production and improves the rate of metabolism. Why A Plant-Based, Vegetarian Diet May Be Healthier According to Ayurveda.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
While fasting, blood sugar levels fall. And in the absence of sugar, the body secretes less insulin. This leads to improved insulin sensitivity in those with insulin resistance.
The triglyceride levels in your blood decrease when you fast, reducing the risk of narrowed arteries.
Strengthens Immune System
Fasting also helps the immune system remove old cells and create new ones. So observing a vrat or upvas during Navaratri is like pressing a reboot button for your immune system. Navaratri 2019: What’s the Difference Between Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri?
The Benefits of Navaratri Fasting (Watch Video):
Some also observe the vrat or upvas by consuming fruit. Whichever way you chose to do it, remember that the benefits of fasting for Navaratri go beyond just the spiritual. Observing a vrat or an upvas during the nine days can be a welcome change from overloading on junk food.
(This article is written for informational purposes and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)