Healthy Digestion-4 Ayurvedic Tips
4 Tips for Improving and Maintaining Your Digestive Health.
To keep your digestion healthy and maintain digestive health it is also essential to understand the six stages of digestion, the subtle ones and the actions that occur during each.
You can appreciate the complexity and understand your body performance to turn the food into nutrients, and you can help it for more efficiency with these 4 Ayurvedic tips for healthy digestion.
4 Ayurvedic tips for building and maintaining digestive health.
1.Do not snack throughout the day
I think you heard it so many times.
Well, Ayurveda shares the same view.
Each of the six stages has an essential process and must be completely finished before moving to the next one.
People seem to eat for oral stimulation, not for physical hunger, when they are bored or in need of a break, while reading, watching TV, walking or driving.
Also, maybe you have already learned that eating at fixed hours, or small meals and often, keeps your metabolism going.
This is far from the truth. In this way, your stomach will be always full and continually working, which hampers the digestive system and leads to a sluggish metabolism.
Your body is meant for foods that need to be left to be fully digested, and let it inform you when it's time to eat again.
If you eat around the clock or too many meals/day, you don`t let your body to perform the necessary six stages which can lead to toxic accumulation (ama).
Eating continuously, you always return to stage one, the sweet Kapha stage of digestion making your body to be in the state of heaviness which promotes weight gain, lethargy and water retention.
If you do not make the digestive process complete, you will not be able to reach the bitter and astringent stages, the stages where detoxification occurs.
The bitter stage is a tricky one, often people eat again because they think they are hungry. In this time what really happens in your body is that finally enter Vata stage (air & ether elements), where you feel light and empty.
According to Ayurveda, you think more clearly with an empty stomach, and your mind is sharper.
After 35 years of age, two meals/day is more than enough, and as you get older, it's advisable to make the meals as light as possible.(1)
2.Sit down in quiet
Sitting down in quiet while you eat is as important for your digestive organs as it is for the mind. Take two-three deep breaths to relax your organs and to prepare the body for receiving food.
Give thanks for the food before beginning, in this way the energy of good thoughts positively loads food, especially the amount of water found in it.
Doing something else while you eat, sends energy out of your entire body. So, help your body benefit the energy of your meal, ensures that is adequately fueled, and the food is fully digested.
3.Learn to listen to your body`s cues
As long as we are unique phenomena, we do not digest the food at the same rate.
Eating only when your body is hungry can take time and practice, but it is the best way to build and preserve an active and healthy digestive fire.
The food is your body fuel, it is prana (the vital force, energy), excess and poor quality fuel can do more harm than good.
Before you eat ask yourself:
When I ate last time?
Has the last meal fully digested?
Am I eating due to physical hunger or an emotional one(anger, worry, anxiety)?
Am I able to sit down in quiet and mindfully enjoy the meal?
If you just ate 2-3 hours ago, it is not really hungry but rather the desire to snack something.
The meals around the clock it is a routine that should be aware of because the body and also the mind starts to be programmed, and always when the ``meal time`` is coming, the feeling of hunger is even stronger.
Vatas have a variable digestive fire and is recommended to have the waiting time of 4-6 hours between meals. Their meals should be substantial enough with healthy fats and protein to be sustained and nourished.
If they eat before the digestive process has finished, Vata imbalance occurs such as constipation, bloating, and/or gas.
For a person with Pitta qualities, the digestion is faster, they can eat every 4 hours and can feel acidity in the stomach if they have not eaten for a long time.
When they eat before their digestive process has finished Pitta imbalance occurs, such as inflammation, ulcers, heartburn, and/or excess heat in the system.
The person with Kapha qualities, the digestion is slow and is recommended to wait at least 6 hours until they eat again. Kaphas are the ones who especially need to reach the last two stages of digestion, bitter and astringent.
If they eat before the digestive process has finished, the Kapha imbalance occurs and will experience water retention, lethargy, sluggish metabolism and/or weight gain.
4.Before adding, subtract
``Before adding, subtract`` means to reduce before you add more food in your system.
Healthy bowel movement means a healthy body and mind, which is crucial for the elimination of toxins. It is the result of the food fully digested, the nutrient has been absorbed, and the waste eliminated.
The daily stools indicate your health, and according to Ayurveda a bowel movement at least twice/day is ideally.
A healthy stool is a light brown color with smooth texture maintaining its shape, floats, mild odor and do not stick to the toilet.
If you ignored your stools, start to pay attention to them because they tell you the condition of your body.
Vata imbalance has hard, dry, some kind of rabbit stools.
Pitta imbalance has watery, unformed stools.
Kapha imbalance has mucousy, sticky stools.
Ayurvedic Guide for Healthy Digestion
Ayurveda provides us a guide to improve and maintain and improve digestive health.
1. Do not take iced drinks, cold foods, especially the combination of iced drinks & hot meals. Consume room temperature or tipped water.
2. Favor warm, cooked foods but not overcooked, and NG leftovers.
3. Wait at least 30 min after meals before drinking.
4. Avoid snacking to space out your meals, to allow for complete digestion before eating again.
5.Take your time when eating, a relaxing walk after or rest for 15 min, but do not sleep.
6. Make your biggest meal at lunch, when your digestion is most active, and do not eat again until dinner.
7. Do not mix meat and/or fish with milk, all three are difficult to digest and in combination, can results toxicity(ama).
8. Avoid mixing raw and vegetables with milk products which cause sour stomach, bloating, and gas.
Also read:***The six stages of digestion