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The festival of Navratri is just around the corner, meaning that many of you would be observing fasts (vrat). It is a form of self-retrain towards eating during certain periods of time during a day, and encourages one to eat only certain food items such as fruits. This enables the body to remove toxins, induce a sense of calm, and reduce stress.
Stress is the body’s way of reacting to any circumstance(s) that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these circumstances with physical, mental, and emotional responses. During stressful events, the body releases a burst of chemicals that cause muscle tension, headaches, fatigue and lack of sleep.
Prolonged exposure to stress is touted as a major factor for impairment of the cognitive regulation of emotion, as per research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Further, stress has been associated with ailments such as cancer, lung disease, diabetes, thyroid, and cirrhosis of the liver, as per a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Fasting is an eating pattern in which certain food items are to be consumed within a cycle of eating and fasting (refraining from eating). This traditional Indian practice helps manage erratic eating habits, and boost the digestive system by removing toxins from the body.
The removal of toxins will boost your gut health and help your mind to calm down. In fact, as per research published by Harvard Health Publishing, good gut health is inextricably linked to mental well-being. Therefore, the overall levels of stress and anxiety may plunge when fasting, as the body experiences a period of cleansing and improvement in gut health.
When fasting during Navratri, the observers have to eat a lot of fruits as part of their diet. Fruit such as oranges, apples, and pomegranate are widely consumed, which provides fiber to the body. Fibre works brilliantly for digestion, as it has a natural laxative effect on the digestive system, thereby removing toxins from the body. Fasting alters the eating pattern as the observer must eat at certain fixed timings and consume foods that are low in calories and full of nutrients.
So ladies, give a boost to both your gut and mental health this Navratri!