HEALTHY DIGESTION & AYURVEDA

The Ayurvedic path of healing and reclaiming lost immunity begins with restoring normal digestion.

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  1. Discard one-size-fits-all diet recommendations and adapt customized diet solutions that complement your unique Ayurveda mind-body type which can be assessed by taking self-help quizzes in Ayurveda books or paying a visit to an Ayurvedic consultant.

  2. Incorporate six tastes into your meals – sweet, salty, sour, astringent, bitter and pungent that help keep the digestive process regulated. Of course, the proportion of intake of the different tastes depends on your unique body-mind type.

  3. Eat cooked foods especially if your digestive activity is lethargic and lifestyle sedentary. Cooked foods are easier to digest and transform into Ojas quicker than raw foods that are often more difficult for the body to break down.

  4. Meals should be eaten while still warm or even hot, as the heat in the food will ignite the digestive fire and indirectly promote digestion.

  5. Ayurveda recommends adding at least some fat to meals (such as ghee or clarified butter or natural oil). Fats promote secretion of digestive juices. Fats also invariably nourish all seven bodily tissues and increase the strength (Bala) and immunity (Ojas) of the body.

  6. Each meal should be consumed, only after the previous meal is completely digested. Give four to six hours between meals. Snacking confuses or over taxes the digestive process. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day. Evening meals should preferably be taken before sunset or soon thereafter.

  7. Skipping meals, erratic meal times and taking meals late at night and immediately going to bed produces indigestion, gaseous distention, hyperacidity and disturbed sleep. Give 2-3 hours after the evening meal before going to bed.

  8. Typically, one-fourth of the stomach should be filled with solid food, one-fourth with semi-solids, one-fourth by water, and one-fourth should be kept completely empty for air so that digestion can take place appropriately.

  9. Food should be chewed slowly, each bite of food slowly and mindfully masticated. This slowing down will prevent overeating that occurs when we eat too fast. Ayurveda cautions against eating when we are emotionally unsettled and recommends approaching food with respectful attention and positive expectation.

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