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Ayurvedic Supplements for Better Digestive Health:
Your digestive fire simply refers to your body’s metabolism — the process of turning nutrients from food into energy for cells to sustain life. Agni or the digestive fire is responsible for the way mood, digestion, and immunity work together, and it plays a vital role in regulating our health. Consequently, when we empower our immunity, our digestive powers automatically increase and vice-versa. That is why strengthening the Agni in your body is of utmost importance. For this, you have to focus on your diet and relax your body and mind to form a proper internal alignment. Depending on our
- Food choices,
- The herbs we consume,
- Our state of mind and spirit,
- The function of the digestive system,
We either create health or disease.
One man’s meat is another man’s poison:
No individual food is considered intrinsically good or bad in Ayurveda. However, it is said that ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison. This is why it’s important to understand the link between food, digestion, and gut health as a way to find overall wellness. Our bodies are an integral part of the beautiful intelligence of nature, but when we eat substances that are unnatural (processed foods, refined sugars, altered fats, junk food, and so on), then the digestive system is compromised in various ways. What we really pay attention to in Ayurvedic nutrition is how
- Foods are processed,
- How and when foods are eaten,
- How foods get digested, and
- If hunger for the food is there in the first place.
When we soak, cook, cure, ferment, blanch, freeze or preserve we change the properties of foods in the processing of it. For example, the processing of butter to ghee, and soaking nuts, lentils and grains, etc. make these foods much easier to digest. This is the art of eating healthy that is aligned to nature and our body.
- The gut is the key to digestive health because it is where food is processed by the body, from the time it is swallowed and becomes absorbed by the body for multiple uses and biochemical processes.
- Gut health relies on good bacteria that not only helps to digest food but may also prevent many digestive disorders and treat many common diseases.
- About 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, live inside the digestive system.
- Collectively, they are called the gut microbiota most important to the health of the digestive tract and may have even more far-reaching effects on overall well-being.
Eating foods that promote healthy gut bacteria may help you to avoid symptoms associated with
- Irritable bowel syndrome,
- Indigestion, and
- Other digestive disorders.
Anything that can feed good bacteria and keep them plentiful is good for overall health. When the gut is happy, you are happy,”
Doshas, Digestion and Gut Health:
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, not only should we eat foods that are natural and health-promoting, but we should also eat foods that support our dosha.
- Ayurveda suggests an approach for a correct diet based on the individual’s doshic constitution (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) rather than focusing on a breakdown of foods into groups such as carbs, proteins, and fats and eating based on recommended daily allowances.
- One of the three doshas predominates and determines each person’s constitution that incorporates mind, body, emotions, and spirit.
- Every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya), and post-digestive effect (vipaka), and based on this every food can either balance us or imbalance us if we have too much for our mind-body type.
An Ayurvedic practitioner is able to determine when one’s dosha is out of balance and can thereby suggest certain foods, herbs, and practices that work to restore it.
Eating for health is a mindset:
Eating for mind, body, and spirit is one of many ways to improve digestion and gut health while avoiding symptoms of bloating or inflammation.
- Start by consuming a high-fiber diet that consists of healthy fats and nutrients.
- Try to eliminate foods from your diet that may cause acid reflux or constipation.
- It is a way of seeing food as the essence of the body and as part of the great picture of consciousness in which all expressions — people, animals, plants, and even objects — consume foods and become food for others.
When the foods you eat become sacred to you, then the body, mind, and spirit may come into balance. The focus of healthy digestion is to minimize ama (toxins) and keep our Agni (digestive fire) nice and strong. Some food combinations are incompatible and subsequently disturb our digestive fire and cause toxins to accumulate because they require conflicting digestive processing.
Not only can incompatible foods remain in the stomach for several hours, combining foods improperly can cause
- Putrefaction and
- Gas formation.
If prolonged it can lead to toxemia and lead to various other diseases. When foods are eaten correctly or separately, they can aid digestion.
- Bananas with milk;
- Egg with fish;
- Radishes with milk;
- Bananas or raisins;
- Lemon with yoghurt;
- Melons with any other foods;
- Raw foods with cooked foods;
- Fruits and grains are some examples of incompatible foods.
- Some common western food combinations that get the thumbs down in Ayurveda include, berry cheesecake, salmon and cream cheese bagel, fish pie and many more.
Medicinal herbs that have been used to support gastrointestinal health across the globe:
Herbs and spices can support digestion and nutrient absorption, while helping the gut effectively break down food. Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger, Fennel, Licorice, Rosemary,Muña, also called Andean mint, Peppermint, Cumin, Coriander, Carom, Celery, Dill, Mustard and tried and true formulas like Psyllium, Trikatu and Triphala that are known to robustly support gastrointestinal health and regularity. These powerful plants can help you along your path to sustained wellness and conscious living.
When your digestive system is functioning at its best, you can experience
- Supported energy levels,
- Toxin elimination,
- Mental clarity,
- Mood and more.
That’s why it’s important to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, lead an active lifestyle, and utilize herbal allies as part of your daily wellness routine.