Gut Health According to Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, it’s not what we eat that matters most but what we digest is key! How do you improve digestion? In this blog post, I share some Ayurvedic tips to regulate gut health.
The understanding of agni or Ayurvedic digestion comes in handy here as well as the concept of ama or toxins. Burn ama = lit agni. Think of agni and ama as the foundation of digestive health in Ayurveda. Why do we need strong digestion? With better digestion, you’ll enjoy a stronger immune system, glowing skin, a focused mind, better moods, and more energy. Basically, better digestion means optimal health and longevity.
In Ayurveda, agni is the source of awareness, nutrition, and intelligence. It drives all types of transformation, digests thoughts and emotions, and coordinates countless physiological processes—including the digestion, absorption, and assimilation of foods, sensations, and experiences into energy. There are four varieties of agni.
Ayurvedic Tips to Regulate Gut Health
Drink warm water:
First thing in the morning, before you drink your coffee or tea, drink a mug of warm water. It can help stimulate digestion, flush out toxins, and support gut health. Warm water also helps cleanse the intestines and boost metabolism.
The Ayurvedic ritual of gandusha or oil pulling or swishing oil around the mouth for 10 minutes supports a healthy biome in the mouth—helps fight unhealthy bacteria. And we know that our gut biome and mouth biome don’t work in silos.
Scrape your tongue:
There are bacteria and toxins on the tongue. When you scrape it, you remove the gunk, empower your oral health, and improve your gut health.
Cook and eat freshly prepared, warm meals:
Ahara or diet is one of the three pillars of health, according to Ayurveda. Leftovers, frozen foods, and foods with high shelf life don’t have any prana or qi or energy. Bacteria can easily grow on foods in the refrigerator. You want to eat what’s in season and foods that don’t have too many miles. Meaning, sitting in the United States, if you are eating mangoes from India in the month of December, it might not be good for your gut. We live in a world where raw salads are praised as elixir. Ayurveda tells you that raw and uncooked foods are hard to digest. Foods with cold quality like salads blow out our agni eventually if consumed in excess.
How you eat matters:
Peaceful, nourishing, no-tech, and calm environment are key to your meals and digestion. Respect your food, eat with awareness, appreciate every morsel, say gratitude, and pay attention to how the food feels. How you eat can be a meditative practice in Ayurveda.
Spice it up:
Ayurveda recommends different spices for each dosha. Use them liberally. Turmeric and fresh ginger are anti-inflammatory, help the body get rid of toxins, and may help with digestion. Cumin seeds aids in digestion and helps boost appetite. Your spice cabinet can become your apothecary. Add seasonal spices to your cooking!
Ayurveda recommends eating your biggest meal at lunch when your agni is the strongest so between noon and 1pm. No more than three meals in a day, including a light breakfast and dinner. Try and keep a gap of 3-4 hours between dinner and sleep.
Space between meals:
Keep a gap of at least four hours between each meal. This allows the body to properly digest and break down the food, efficiently eliminate the waste, keep the gut bacteria under control and as a result, help maintain a healthy gut.
Chew on your food and eat slowly. This will allow the digestive enzymes to act on the food and break them down. Eat only when hungry. Unless you have a health condition and your doctor recommends that you eat at certain intervals, fasting is a good option (What kind depends on your dosa and other factors) to give the digestive system a break. Junk and processed foods are no one’s friends if you are trying to restore your gut health and improve nutrient absorption.
Become friends with fiber:
You want to favor foods that have water-soluble fibers as they aid in the process of elimination. Think some whole grains, seeds, legumes, fruits, and various vegetables. According to Mayo Clinic, soluble fibers mix with water and slow digestion. They are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, decreased cholesterol levels, and better blood sugar control.
Exercise and its connection to gut health is underrated. Daily, intentional movements can improve both your digestion and metabolism. For example, if you take a yoga class and do twists,
These are a few suggestions. But Ayurveda is about customized healing, so always talk to your doctor and Ayurvedic practitioner before you implement any changes.
Like what you read? Also read: Cause of Disease According to Ayurveda| Agni and Ama: The foundation of Ayurvedic Digestive Health | What is Ama? | What is Agni According to Ayurveda?
Still got questions about gut health according to Ayurveda? Schedule a FREE discovery call here.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic doctor, contact me here.