15 Ayurvedic tips for healthy digestion & healthy life
Indigestion, bloating, acid reflux, diarrhoea, or constipation? Ayurveda says that the answer is in your kitchen, not in your medicine cabinet.
In Ayurveda, the foods that we eat are just as important as how they are prepared and consumed. This is essential considering that in Ayurveda the quality of our digestion is the cornerstone of optimal health. We can’t be healthy if our digestive system isn’t working properly, as simple as that. And it's important to keep in mind that not only do we digest food, we also digest emotions, senses and experiences.
Agni is the Sanskrit term for the digestive fire that breaks down the food we eat, assimilating what is useful, and eliminating the rest. Ayurveda teaches us that impaired Agni is at the root of every imbalance in the body. When our Agni is healthy, you can easily digest both foods and emotions, making us physically and mentally sound. On the other end, when our Agni is too strong or too weak, we begin suffering from digestive, health, and emotional issues.
By cleaning up your diet, you clean up your life. When you are able to break down food easily, assimilate nutrients, and evacuate them from your body, you feel replenished, radiant, refreshed. However, when food sits in your digestive tract for too long, toxins (Ama) accumulate, and dis-ease appear.
10 practical tips to improve digestion
Here are a few suggestions to follow, according to Ayurveda:
Space meals 3-4 hours apart to allow for digestion to complete before adding new food to the system.
Prioritise cooked, fresh and local foods.
Incorporate spices like turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds, coriander, and hing (asafoetida) in your diet.
Always soak legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.) and grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.). Soak them in a bowl of water for a few hours, then rinse before cooking.
Don't eat fruit after a meal.
Use ghee (clarified butter) to cook food as it stimulates Agni and improves digestion.
Avoid ice-cold drinks or food as they slow down Agni and digestion.
Take small sips of warm water during a meal to aid digestion and absorption of food.
Avoid contradicting food combinations, such as very hot and cold food or raw and cooked food together.
Drink herbal tea, for example CCF Tea, a traditional Ayurvedic blend of three spices (cumin, coriander, and fennel).
5 healthy eating habits to cultivate
According to Ayurveda, HOW you eat is as important as WHAT you eat.
Eat in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, and sit down to eat.
Never eat when you’re upset, when you are emotionally disturbed or when your mind is dull and cloudy.
When you eat, you eat. Stay away from distractions (phones, loud music, intense conversation, etc.).
Proper chewing is essential to good digestion, ensuring food gets thoroughly mixed with saliva.
Eat your biggest meat at lunch when the sun is at its highest point of the day and therefore your digestive fire is at its strongest.
I hope this is helpful and you can start right away to apply a few of these recommendations. Find the ones that resonate with you at the moment, put them into practice and see how it goes!
Let me know if you have any questions, always happy to share!
Love & light.