How To Improve Your Digestion: An Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda is an ancient medical practice that is one of the oldest and most influential systems in the world — it’s often considered the foundation of all medicine. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word, “ayur” meaning life and “veda” meaning science. The concept of both principles allows us to define its origin as, ‘science of life,’ a gateway to understanding the secrets to health; the practice focuses on the balance of mind, body and spirit.
Your digestion is called “agni,” and it’s the source of awareness and nutrition in our bodies. In addition to the importance of digesting food properly, we also must learn how to digest our emotions, senses and experiences in ways that benefit our constitution. As individuals we all have our own unique body type, which is known as Dosha. It’s important to have a strong understanding of what works best for your needs taking into consideration your dosha and agni.
Take this quiz to see what your body type is.
3 ways we each can improve our digestion with Ayurveda:
The foods you consume are meant to nourish you in the best way possible.
Take your time and relax. Make sure you take the time to relax and process your emotions before ingesting, this will create a calm environment for your agni to help digest your foods more efficiently.
Do not overeat. Eating more than your stomach can process results in undigested food, which is simply a waste of good food and money! Your body can only process so much information at once from meals, so take your time and pay attention to what you’re consuming. Less distractions allows mindful eating!
Enjoy with friends! One of my favorite ways to indulge a delicious meal is with the company of friends. Being around people who make you feel your best can make any meal taste incredible!
Stop Inhibiting Your Agni
Drinking or eating anything too cold can inhibit your digestive fire. Warm water first thing in the morning and throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated. It takes much less energy to digest warm/hot water than it is cold. Drinking cold water (like at a restaurant) before a meal can extinguish your agni and enzymes before your meal.
Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime, when your agni is at its strongest. This will help you create more energy in the body and mind so you don’t get that afternoon slump.
Eat According to the Season
Seasonal eating encompasses three main factors: weather, the environment you live in, and the food available to you (preferably at farmers’ markets); All of which contribute to your dosha. Paying attention to these will not help you improve your digestion, but it will make you feel better too!
Of course, Ayurveda is way more complicated than just understanding your dosha. For an in-depth review of your constitution, book a one-on-one session with an Ayurvedic practitioner or a nutritionist who is familiar with the practice.
Marielle Kehoe is a Holistic Health Coach. Her journey began when she was diagnosed with MS at age 23. Healing herself and helping women/men lead healthier lifestyles has become her passion. Her approach with MK Wellness is through mindfulness and education to empower women/men to make the best choices for themselves.