Do you feel bloated and suffer from gastric problems every second day? Do you experience an unexplained chest pain and headaches? Even after being tired, you find falling asleep a mammoth task for unknown reasons. If the answer is ‘yes’ then my friend you are suffering from poor digestion. Thanks to the all-encompassing traditional science of Ayurveda that treats a healthy digestive system as a cornerstone of holistic health and believes that every disease is a by-product of an inefficient digestive system. The medicinal science of Ayurveda places prime emphasis on the role of fiery metabolic energy known as ‘agni’ that allows the humans to properly assimilate the food while eliminating the body from toxic matter (ama).
In Ayurveda, ‘Agni’ is regarded as a source of nutrition and awareness. Agni coordinates countless psychological process–including digestion, absorption, assimilation, and sensations. Strong digestive ability helps in creating healthy tissues and produces ‘ojas’. While on the other hand, improper nutrition and unhealthy eating routine weaken the metabolic fire that hampers the digestion and produces toxins in the body which is the root cause of many problems.
Here are several tips inspired by Ayurvedic principles that can help you improve your digestion while allowing you to lead a healthy life:
- Eat when you are hungry: Many people complain about feeling bloated and uncomfortable just after having their meal. And, this is because most of us eat when we are not feeling hungry. It is very important to understand the difference between eating out of necessity and eating out of habit as this makes a huge difference in our overall health and feeling. Always eat when you are hungry and the stomach is empty as the digestive enzymes are strong to break down the food you intake nourishing our entire body with all the required nutrients.
- Take out time to eat in a seated, calm environment: Many of us do not have the luxury to eat our food in a calm and seated place. Most of us munch on a sandwich while working on computer screens or suck down a fruit juice while racing to catch a bus or a train. But taking out few more minutes to eat can bestow you with huge digestive benefits. When we sit down to eat, we actually focus on the amount of food we are taking in on chewing it properly. Also, for healthy digestion and optimum nutrient absorption, it is imperative to chew the food properly.
- Eat Healthy and Fresh Food: Ayurveda maintains that when food is wrong, medicine is of no use and when a diet is correct, medicine is of no need. Always go for fresh, highly nutritious food such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, etc., that are rich in prana and do not leave us feeling sluggish and tired. Additionally, an ayurvedic practitioner strongly recommends for a vegan diet that promotes a healthy digestive system and ensures a proper functioning of the intestine.
- After meals, give yourself time to relax and breathe: Many people have a habit of popping the dishes into the sink and moving out of the door before they have even finished their last bite. Less do they know that such activities hinder the body’s ability to absorb the food, halts the blood flow to the stomach and decreases circulation. After you have finished your food, take few minutes to relax, then take a walk. You can also do a Vajrasana that helps in easy digestion preventing indigestion, constipation, and other digestive challenges. There are several Ayurveda training institutes in India, particularly in Kerala that provide quality Ayurveda education which includes topics such as Triphala and various ayurvedic medicines for digestion, ayurvedic cooking, Ayurveda digestion, etc.
- Intake your biggest meal at lunch: The Ayurvedic principle states that when the ‘source of energy– the sun is at the highest point the Agni is the strongest.” Therefore, ingest your biggest meal during the lunch and give your body adequate time to properly digest the food before hitting the bed as our digestive process becomes slow at night.
Eating and Digestion are life-sustaining events and a strict adherence to the Ayurvedic principles ensure enhanced digestion and relief from all digestive problems.