People who fast during Navratri are at an increased risk of food poisoning and diarrhea Eating leftover and oily food can make you sick...Keep a check on your liquid intake to celebrate the festival of Navratri with all the enthusiasm Starving and not eating for too long can make you feel weak. It is advised that you consume mini meals after an interval of every 2-3 hours New Delhi, 29th March 2017: Have you ever wondered what is the reason behind the 9-day fast during Navratri? In addition to the religious reasons, fasts also help in the purification of the body by relaxing its metabolism. The consumption of low calorie and less spicy food items helps relieve the body of the extra work it has to do on a regular basis. However, this purpose gets defeated when people indulge in starchy and oily foods like potatoes and kuttu pakoras. Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “During Navratris, people have fewer food options, which are mostly restricted to kuttu and singhara flours. We advise that the people who are on a fast consume ample amounts of liquids to maintain energy levels and prevent dehydration. It is also strongly recommended that the kuttu or singhara flour left over from the previous year should not be used as they may be contaminated and result in diarrhea. Eat lot of fruits. Eating too much of very oily and high sugar food items like burfi, ladoo and potato fries may also cause diarrhea.” Keep the following in mind in order to avoid the chances of food poisoning and diarrhea and help in maintaining a healthy fasting routine: • Use singhara flour, it is not a cereal but a fruit as it is made from dried ground water chestnuts and hence a good substitute for a Navratri fast, where cereals cannot be consumed. It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcal per 100g. • Singhara plants bear ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed. These seeds or nuts are boiled and eaten as a snack and can be eaten raw as well • The Singhara is made from dried ground water chestnuts. These nuts are boiled peeled and dried before grinding. In such a case, there are no chances of impurities. • Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). It is included in many low carb diets. They do not contain the fat that regular nuts have. They also contain less carbohydrate than white flour. • Avoid eating deep fried chestnut flour pooris or parathas. • Buy only branded best quality flour as leftover flour from last year can lead to food poisoning. • One should not use high trans fat vegetable oils to cook chestnut flour bread. • You should consume as many fruits as you can, fruits are the best alternatives for the individuals who are on a fast. • To keep your body hydrated, you should drink as much liquid as you can like in the form of water and juices.