Natural, non-GMO foods, mindful eating and herbal alternatives – these seemingly ‘new’ approaches to health actually date back to 5,000 years ago! Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical practice that heals the body and mind by achieving an inner balance through food. Ayurveda practices have, for years, been known to alleviate indigestion through simple and cost-effective methods. Below you will find 7 Ayurveda Tips for Healthy Digestion!
Sip on Warm Drinks
Ayurveda promotes drinking warm water regularly. Sipping on warm water between meals aids in flushing out toxins and allows food to be absorbed more efficiently. Adding spices such as ginger, turmeric and fennel seeds to water/tea enhances its benefits by increasing saliva secretion, easing digestion. A lesser known spice – fennel seeds – helps kick start digestion by increasing the secretion of gastric enzymes. I get this Fennel Ginger Tea from Amazon, which is so soothing and works great on-the-go.
Eat Your Meals Mindfully
One of my favorite and most interesting take backs from Ayurveda is to focus on how to eat, not just what to eat. According to Ayurveda, we should fill half our stomach with food. A quarter should be for liquids and the rest for digestive action. It also emphasizes eating without distractions like television, noise and of course – phones! The main focus while eating should be on chewing thoroughly, which reduces bloating and heaviness post meals. I always advise my clients to try and chew each bite at least 20 times. I know it may seem like a lot, but give it a go – your food won’t run away! 🙂
The Right Time to Eat
Have you ever felt groggy waking up the morning after having a very late dinner? This is a result of improper digestion. According to Ayurveda, your ‘digestive fire’ i.e. digestive power is strongest when the sun is most powerful between 12 pm and 2 pm. Based on this, lunch should be the biggest meal of your day. A great lunch would be my high fiber lentil soup with a side of green salad. At dinner time, processed and oily foods should be completely avoided and food should be light. Dinner should consist of lean proteins and veggies. Try my Mediterranean cauliflower salad with grilled salmon.
Indulge in An Ayurvedic Massage
The next time you decide to treat yourself to a much-deserved spa, look out for an Ayurvedic Massage. The New York Ayurveda and Panchakarma Centre offers a lavender poultice treatment which promotes circulation, toxin elimination and eases the intestine walls. You can also reap these benefits from home by massaging hot fennel or lavender oil in circular motions over your lower belly and abdomen – instant relief from indigestion!
I can’t stress enough on the incredible benefits of this powerhouse of a seed. Fenugreek seeds have lubricating properties that help soothe your stomach and intestine, relieving indigestion and even gastritis. Packed with fiber and antioxidants, Fenugreek seeds usher harmful toxins out of the body, enhancing digestion. I buy these organic seeds from Amazon. They are most effective when soaked overnight and consumed in the morning on an empty stomach – 2 tbsp will do the trick.
Choose Your Dairy Wisely
Ayurveda isn’t strictly against dairy but places importance on dairy quality. Ghee, or clarified butter, is a healing food according to Ayurveda. It increases digestive ‘fire’ and improves the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. It also soothes the muscles of the stomach and gut linings by providing lubrication. I recommend this grass-fed Ghee. It is one of the only dairy products I still use that doesn’t have a negative impact on me because of how pure it is. Milk (especially from a cow) that is not grass-fed creates many digestive issues, causes gas and discomfort. I personally choose to avoid cow’s milk and always purchase plant-based milk. You can read more about them here.
This is the most famous herbal compound in Ayurveda medicine – and for a reason! Triphla translates to “three fruits,” which are Haritaki, Amalaki, and Bibhitaki. These work together to flush out toxins, provide nutrients and stimulates bile production. In turn, they improve liver detoxification and blood purification. As an added benefit, it is high in vitamin C and linoleic oil. These Triphla tablets from Organic India are super convenient.