Navratri means nine days of mind, body and soul purification and control of ego. The basic principles of Navratri diet involves eating less, eating once in a day, not eating refined carbohydrate-based cereals.
Today heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are the new epidemics of the society and they were practically unknown in the era of Ramayana and Mahabharata, said Padma Shri and Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India.
Dr. Aggarwal said that as far as mythological era is concerned, people used to prevent development of insulin resistance by not eating carbohydrate once in a week, additional once in a month on Ekadashi or Purnima and observing carbohydrate fast for nine days twice in a year during Navratri.
Eating carbohydrates everyday leads to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes and pot belly obesity.
During Navratri diet, eating fruits and fruit-based products are permissible: Flour made from Singhara, Kuttu, Samak rice and rajgira (chaulai) are fruit-based products, which can be converted into food articles like chapattis, rice and dal.
One should also eat less during Navratri. Eat 50% of the normal diet during Navratri and that too once in a day and that too consisting of only fruit based products.
The best is to eat fruits and vegetable salad. Frying and deep frying products in Navratri does not make sense, especially if they are fried in vanaspati ghee.
Smoking, alcohol and non-vegetable food should be avoided at any cost as they are against spiritual detoxification. As per Bhagavad Gita, any food item that is grown under the ground is not Satvik and should not be eaten during a fast.
Nine days of dietary detoxification has to be done along with mental detoxification. A person should practice non-violent communication, distribute non-materialistic gifts and think positively different during these nine days.
We should practice positive affirmations everyday as to how one can help the family and the community.
Dr. Aggarwal said that people who have diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can also observe these fasts but they should talk to their doctors before doing so as their requirement of drugs may reduce by 40% during this period.
The easiest way to remember spiritual fast is whatever is not offered to God should not be offered to the body.