Karak chaturthi or karwa chauth is a Hindu festival celebrated in the month of Kartik. Hindi movies have gone a long way in popularising this festival during which women fast throughout the day for the wellbeing of their husbands, or even fiance, and break the fast after a glimpse of the moon in the evening.
While this ritual fasting is considered to be of great importance, it is equally important to remember that abstaining from food for a day can have a huge impact on your body. If not done right, fasting can cause hypoglycemia, a condition in which your blood sugar levels drop below normal, leading to dizziness, weakness, headaches and other related issues. Therefore, doing the karwa chauth fast the right way is very important.
Here are a few tips and precautions suggested by Akanksha Mishra, a Nutrition and Wellness Expert associated with myUpchar, which can help you sail through this auspicious day without any health issues.
Precautions you must take
While keeping this fast is considered to be very important, it’s equally necessary to tailor the fasting ritual as per your own health and requirements, especially if you have an underlying health condition. “Usually, if you have conditions like diabetes, hypothyroid or hypertension or are pregnant then you should not do this fast,” Mishra says. “However, if you still want to keep the karwa chauth fast then you must consult your doctor about your medication. This is even more important if you are pregnant.”
If you have diabetes, avoiding hypoglycemia is even more crucial for you. “Talk to your doctor about changing the timings of your medications and eat enough food during the sargi ritual to prevent hypoglycemia,” Mishra recommends.
Sargi tips every woman needs
Sargi marks the beginning of the karwa chauth ritual and also refers to the early morning or dawn-time meal consumed by the women. This ritual involves the gifting of a collection of nutritious foods by the mother-in-law to the daughter-in-law so that she is nourished enough to sustain herself through the day. Mishra recommends that whatever you do, don’t miss or skip the sargi.
“Take plenty of water, fiber-rich foods like fruits, fruit salads, dry fruits and whole grains during the sargi,” she suggests. “Since proteins can also help you sustain your energy levels throughout the day, include paneer, milk, yoghurt, almond milk and lentils in your sargi too. It’s also necessary that you eat well the day before. All this will help ensure that you don’t feel exhausted or fatigued while fasting on karwa chauth.”
How to break your fast the right way
What you do at the end of your fast is just as important, since your body has been deprived of fluids and electrolytes throughout the day. “Break your fast with salted nimbu pani (lemonade) or coconut water to balance the electrolytes in your body,” Mishra says. Binging and overeating after fasting all day is not only unhealthy but dangerous too. So, instead of a heavy meal, Mishra suggests you take a light meal after breaking your fast.
“Your meal should consist of 60-65% carbs, 20-25% proteins and 10-15% fats apart from plenty of water,” she explains. “The carbs should come from fruits, simply cooked vegetables and cereals like plain rice. Have protein-rich foods but avoid richly cooked curries. Avoid tea, coffee, fried foods and spicy foods in this meal to help prevent acidity and heartburn.”
For more information, read our article on Balanced diet.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.