In this competitive era, almost everyone suffer from digestion problems such as flatulence, pain in stomach, constipation, heartburn etc. Ayurveda offers simple recommendations to these common complaints by consideration of what we eat & how we eat.
To ensure proper digestion, assimilation and metabolism of food by the body, one should follow these simple guidelines:
• Eat largest meal of the day in afternoon, it being the peak time for enzymatic production to ensure proper digestion & utilisation of the nutritional value of food. This reduces quantity & craving of food between meals. On the contrary, evening meal should be lighter & eat at least three hours before sleeping.
• Eat in peaceful & pleasant environment as irritation, anger or stress hinders the digestive process leading to bloating, gas and the build- up of toxins in the gut.
• One should not consume liquid half an hour before or one hour after meals so as to avoid dilution of digestive enzymes. Instead, have small amounts of water with a meal which will help in digestion.
• Water, the most basic elixir of life, helps in rehydration and flushing out of toxins from the body. So, one should drink as much water as per capacity. Water that has been cooled after boiling is more beneficial as it has additional healing element of fire.
• One should eat a small piece of fresh ginger with little lemon juice and salt before meal to stimulate the digestive fire.
• One should try to have a meal that provide the six tastes of sweet, pungent, bitter, sour, astringent and salty to ensure the nutritional requirements of the body.
• One should not eat in absence of hunger/appetite.
• One should eat slowly to ensure proper chewing of food which will add few digestive enzymes from the salivary glands.
• One should wait for few minutes before leaving the table and should take a short walk thereafter to aid the digestive process.
• One should eat raw food at the beginning of the meal in small quantities as they contain such vitamins and enzymes that are harder to breakdown leading to severe digestive problems.
• One should have sweet or fruit desert at the start of a meal as it satisfy hunger thereby reducing the need for large amounts of food.
• One should not fill more than a third full of stomach for proper digestion. As per Ayurveda, divide stomach into three parts one each for food, liquid and air or space so as to allow the proper break down of the meal.
• One should eat fruits and vegetables not only for nutrition, but also for internal cleansing.
• One should go for internal cleansing during seasonal change for optimal health by eating light nourishing foods which are easy to digest.
• One should exercise each day at fifty percent capacity of individual to have better digestion, sleep as well as immunity.
• Meditation, chanting and pranayama also help in balancing the mind, toning the body, reducing stress thereby improving digestion.
• One should go to bed early and wake early for maintaining hormone balance in the mind and body which creates happiness and a stress-free mind for proper digestion.
• One should have a better relationships in society to lead a life free from stress thereby aiding in digestion.
So, good digestion positively effects all aspects of our health viz-physical, mental, emotional health & spiritual as well.
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