Godess Durga
The image shows an artist putting finishing touches to idol of Hindu goddess Durga.Reuters

The festival of Navratri for the year 2016 starts on October 1. If you are health-conscious and are planning to fast, you can make it even better by switching to healthier options. These nine days of fasting can be utilised to detoxify your body and help you become more hale and hearty.

1. Avoid oily food

Avoid excessively oily snacks like singhara or chestnut flour pancakes and other fried snacks. Opting for grilled or baked food items and using minimal oil is recommended if you aim to detoxify your body. Fruits and vegetables are healthier options to choose from. You can also opt for chapatti instead of poori as it is more fibrous, non-oily and healthy for heart.

2. Have snacks made using kuttu or buckwheat

You can use kuttu or buckwheat flour to prepare snacks like cheela, cutlets or simply have it with curd. It is extremely healthy and provides you with various health benefits. Buckwheat is a source of vitamin B and fibre, and also aids in lowering blood pressure and controlling diabetes. It is a great ingredient to consume for detoxing your body.

3. Consume dry fruits

Hunger pangs are really common when you are fasting, you can pop in dry fruits such as nuts like peanuts, cashews, almonds, makhana or foxnut. They provide you with fibre and even calcium while fuelling your energy and curbing your hunger.

4. Replace sugar

Switch to jaggery or honey instead of processed sugar as it provides nutrients and antioxidants in abundance without harming your health. It improves digestion and provides a lot of energy. Jaggery is also known for combating abdominal pains, menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms in women.

5. Drink plenty of water

If you plan to fast without drinking water, make sure that you consume enough of it on the previous day. You can also have coconut water, butter milk, lemon and honey mixed with water, juices or green tea. This would provide you with essential minerals and salts, vitamins, nutrients as well as antioxidants while supplying sufficient water content to your body and prevent dehydration.

These are a few ways to be healthy during the festival. Fasting is not about starving, so make sure you don't stay hungry and harm your health. Consume healthy food and beverages this season to boost your health.

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