Health Tips

Simple ways to increase your digestion

ayurveda food digestion

Digestion tips

The process of eating is important for your physical health. After eating there must be process of digestion. The product of digestion is converted into Energy, Nutrition and waste products. So digestion is very important process compared to burning fire in Ayurveda. Our digestive fire should be balanced. You should avoid your problem of ingestion and balance your digestive fires. Here are some common tips for you to improve your digestion:

Tips 1: Chew well

  • Take smaller bites.
  • Put your fork down in between bites.
  • Try using chopsticks – it helps you to slow down.
  • Chew well each bite of food.
  • Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth – so chewing grains thoroughly allows amylase, the digestive enzyme present in saliva, to digest the grains.

Tips 2: Take Enough Water
Insufficient water intake is a primary cause of constipation. Constipation then causes an imbalance in bacteria, promotes inflammation of the intestinal lining, and can even lead to the absorption of larger molecules, a condition known as intestinal permeability. So drinking water is very necessary for you to improve your digestion.

Tips 3: Increase Dietary Fiber
Good sources of dietary fiber include:

  • Dried fruit, such as dates, figs, and prunes
  • Beans and legumes- if you don’t have time to cook dried beans, buy canned, but make sure you rinse them thoroughly before cooking. Lentils and split peas are less gas-forming than other legumes.
  • Bring an apple with you to work as a snack
  • Ground flaxseeds are a gentle laxative. They can be useful for chronic constipation, damage to the intestine wall from laxative use, irritable bowel, and to soothe inflammation. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on rice, grains, salads, or any other meal of your choice.

Tips 4: Practice Mindful Eating

  • Buy fresh flowers to put on the dining table.
  • Use smaller cutlery so that you eat less with each bite.
  • Create a beautiful atmosphere – dim the lights, play music and light candles.

Tips 5: Address Food Sensitivities and Allergies
A trained practitioner can supervise an elimination diet. Many foods are removed from the diet for a brief period of time, then re-introduced sequentially to isolate the body’s reaction to the offending foods.

Tips 6: Supplement to Restore Digestive Health

  • Enteric-Coated Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil can reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Digestive Enzymes – Enzyme supplements are believed to support the body’s own digestive enzymes to aid digestion and help with other disorders stemming from poor digestion.
  • Don’t drink with meals : Drinking water dilutes your digestive juices, so drink no closer than 30 minutes before your meal and don’t drink for at least an hour afterwards. This includes soup, so if serving soup as a starter allow 30 minutes between finishing soup and the main course. Drink pure water regularly between meals.
  • Don’t eat just before bed : Let your stomach rest with the rest of your body. Finish eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
  • Avoid very hot or very cold foods :Very cold or hot foods and fluids delay digestion and weaken the digestive organs. Avoid hot drinks for at least an hour after you’ve finished eating.
  • Don’t over-eat : Over–eating is a major cause of disease in the developed world. Don’t overfill your stomach and give yourself a chance to feel hungry again before you re-fill your stomach. Overeating is more likely when you eat in a hurry or eat excessively seasoned food. Keep meals simple as too much variety can also encourage over-eating.
  • Don’t exercise heavily after eating : Rest after a heavy meal, don’t be overactive. Being heavily active will divert energy from the digestive process. A gentle stroll after a short rest can aid digestion.
  • Try ginger : Ginger is reputed to aid the digestive process by stimulating the gastric juices. Eat ginger with or following meals, or try ginger tea.
  • Reduce alcohol, tea and coffee : Drink herbal teas rather than stimulants. Toxins from tea and coffee accumulate and weaken your digestive strength. Drinking large amounts of hot drinks is a common source of digestion problems as it dilutes gastric juices and weakens your digestive power.
  • Don’t eat in a hurry : When you rush your meals you don’t have time to chew your food properly. Hurrying through your food also leads to overeating.
  • Eat when you’re relaxed : Try not to eat when you’re stressed or very tired. Your body needs to have some energy to put into the digestive process. Eat in a relaxed and peaceful environment.
  • Give your stomach a rest : Wait for your stomach to digest the contents from your previous meal before you eat again (about 4-5 hours). This allows your stomach to rest and to replenish its digestive juices and enzymes.
  • Trust your taste buds : Wholefoods have a delicious natural flavour. Develop your taste buds sensitivity to flavours instead of over-riding them with unnecessary seasonings such as salt, mustard and spices. Consider salt substitutes such as dulse flakes or organic vegetable salt.
  • Food combining : Consider investigating how to improve digestion through food combining. Food combining is an eating system based on the idea that different foods require different lengths of time to digest, and involve differ
  • Improve your posture : Poor posture can restrict blood flow and cramp your digestive process. Maintain good posture and don’t lie down after eating. Yoga can help you improve your posture and there are even specific poses used in yoga that can balance your digestive system.
  • Give your stomach time to digest meat : Meat is slow to digest so space your stomach after consuming meat. A vegetarian diet is generally more easily digested, so consider eating more vegetarian meals.
  • Cut out sugar : Sugar interferes with the pre-digestive action of saliva, which makes the digestion of starchy foods in particular more difficult. Starchy foods are then more likely to ferment in the stomach as they’ve not been pre-digested by saliva.
  • Cut down on pepper : Pepper can be an irritant to the digestive system.
  • Begin each day with a warm oil massage, during which you apply gentle pressure over your abdomen in a clockwise motion. Ayurveda improves digestion through daily massage.
  • Drink a warm glass of water every morning. Put some lemon and honey in the water. Follow with a warm breakfast consisting of warmed fruit.
  • Eat regular meals, planning your largest meal for the middle of the day between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Your last meal should be light and should be at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Drink a warm glass of milk before bedtime. Spice the milk according to your dosha: Pittas should spice with nutmeg, while cardamom is best for Vatas. Kaphas should spice with ginger.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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