Last week I touched on the importance of good digestion and gut health. As we may already know, eating poorly or eating food that is not suitable for one’s specific body constitution can lead to digestive issues. However, the manner in which we eat, when we eat and our habits around eating can also have an impact on our gut health.
Getting to the root cause of digestive issues requires some Ayurvedic detective work, but there are some simple steps one can take in efforts to improve their digestion. Some may be familiar or already a part of your routine - but I hope they serve as a reminder or a little nudge.
✨Ayurvedic habits for Healthy Digestion ✨
Hydrate first thing in the morning Have a glass of room temperature (or warm) water when you first wake up. By this I mean - before your morning coffee or tea. Your body has been in a fasting state for approximately 8 hours and at this point on the verge of dehydration. That first glass of water is replenishing and will aid in flushing out stagnant toxins. After this feel free to have that cup of joe. Stick with that warm water Sip on warm water, CCF tea or your choice of herbal tea throughout the day. This helps stimulate digestion, improve circulation and clear out toxins. Staying hydrated can be beneficial in supporting regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation. Chew chew chew! They say, ‘chew your food 32 times before swallowing.’ - I know! A bit excessive. Who’s got the time for that? The point here is to take the time to chew your food properly. The process of digestion begins the moment we start chewing - therefore, breaking down food thoroughly leads to proper digestion and better absorption of nutrients. Additionally, slowing your eating pace gives your gut enough time to communicate to your brain when you are full - therefore, avoiding overeating.
Practice mindful eating It has become quite common to eat while watching tv, working at your desk or even while scrolling on your phone. It’s a good practice to be present and focus on the meal that is nourishing you. This is also an opportunity to express gratitude for the food on your plate. You may find that you enjoy your meal even more when you have the chance to experience it with all your senses. Try doing this for at least one of your daily meals.
Don’t skip your meals Try to maintain regular meal times. This will ensure that you come to the table with an appetite and not when ravenous. Often, when we skip meals we become eager to pacify our hunger by eating anything - just to fill the void. This can lead to eating in a hurry and yes, you guessed right - stomach aches! Enjoy your largest meal at lunchtime According to Ayurveda, we are connected with nature and our environment. Therefore, our digestive system is strongest when the sun is at its highest point in the day. Based on this, aim to eat your largest meal between noon and 2pm. Set the fork down when you’re satisfied ‘Oh I’m stuffed!’ - said that before? As delicious as a meal may be, we should aim to eat till we are satisfied and not till we are full. Enjoying your meals in this manner allows your digestive system and enzymes to work efficiently which will thereby reduce any indigestion or post-meal heaviness. Get your steps in! Ayurveda advises Shatapavali - 100 steps after meals. This of course does not have to be exact but the idea here is to take a relaxing walk after eating to aid with digestion.
Eat no later than 7:30pm According to Ayurveda, our body enters its rest & repair state between 10pm and 2am. This period is incredibly important for our health and ideally we should be resting and asleep during this time. Eating our last meal after 7:30pm can interfere with this process by diverting the body’s energy to digestion.
I know all this may seem like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Pick one and focus on it for a month. Once you’ve got it down, add another. You may find that by making even slight adjustments, your digestion will improve. In general, these are healthy habits to cultivate and will only benefit you. Let me know if you try any of the above. And if you have questions - drop me a line.
🎯 Quote of the week
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear
🌿 Ayurvedic Recipe for Digestion
Cumin coriander fennel tea (CCF)
A combination of three classic culinary spices—cumin, coriander and fennel—this tea increases blood circulation in the digestive system, aids in the absorption of nutrients and stimulates the lymphatic system. When it comes to boosting your digestive system, this tea is a game changer!
½ teaspoon cumin seeds ½ teaspoon coriander seeds ½ teaspoon fennel seeds 4-5 cups of water
Heat the water in a pot. Add the seeds. Allow the tea to boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for about 3 minutes. Your CCF tea is ready to be strained, poured into a mug and sipped. Enjoy! 🍻
That’s all for this week — be happy and stay healthy!
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