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7 Ayurvedic Secrets For Healthy Digestion

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Ginger and a pinch of rock salt can help treat constipation. Consume warm food and water, cold food requires more energy to burn. Eat in a quite space, keep away from electronics. Practice Vajrasana after a meal. Use cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and ajwain seeds in food. Don't eat when anxious or angry and give enough time for digestion.

Are you sick of feeling tired, sluggish and bloated after eating? I was once in the same boat. Having struggled with digestive difficulties for most of my life, I felt so grateful to discover Ayurveda, ancient India’s medical science of life that is re-emerging as a sustainable health solution globally.

While studying Ayurveda, I learned that having healthy digestion is the key to having great overall health. I watched my own health dramatically improve by following Ayurveda’s digestion secrets. Now, as an Ayurveda practitioner and teacher, I love watching my clients and students improve their digestion and health with Ayurveda’s wisdom.

Ayurvedic Secrets For Digestion

Start Your Meal With A Small Piece Of Fresh Ginger And A Pinch Of Salt

Ginger is an Ayurvedic herb with many wonderful digestion-promoting properties. It’s especially helpful for those of us who experience tastelessness or constipation, as well as recurring coughs and colds. Those who may also be experiencing bleeding and/or burning sensations, however, are warned against consuming fresh ginger.

Salt is another digestion stimulant — Ayurveda recommends rock salt, as it has the added benefits of supporting the eyes and heart, without producing burning sensations.

Eat Warm Food And Drink Warm Water

So many of my clients and students have observed how their digestion starts to immediately improve when they make the switch from cold to warm water and from raw food to warm meals. Why is this? The digestive system is thought of as being similar to a fire in Ayurveda. Like any fire, the digestive system also gets “extinguished” when we toss cold substances into it. The digestive system is ignited by warm foods and beverages.

View Eating As A Sacred Experience Each Time

We learn from Ayurveda’s vast wisdom the importance of viewing eating more reverently. This means making the time to sit quietly before meals and feel a sense of connection with and gratitude for our food. Sitting quietly to eat versus eating on the go, in front of the screen (television, computer, or phone), or while doing other things makes a world of a difference in terms of digestive health.

Having struggled with eating disorders as a teenager, I experienced a great transformation in my physical and psychological health when I began to view my body as my temple, and saw eating as a way to make offerings to this sacred inner abode. Making eating a sacred experience each time also means slowing down to eat, really chewing the food, and feeling the subtle nuances of every flavor and texture.

Sit On Your Knees After Eating

Sacred eating also means not immediately running around after eating. Yoga is the sister science of Ayurveda, so it’s highly beneficial to sit in Vajrasana (a yogic pose that involves sitting on your knees with your hips resting on your heels and toes ideally touching). Even if you can’t sit in Vajrasana, it helps tremendously to simply sit up straight and close your eyes after eating for a few minutes. Visualize your food getting beautifully digested into nourishment that will give you strength, energy and vitality.

Cook With Ayurvedic Digestive Spices

There’s a plethora of digestive spices in the Ayurveda tradition that can be added to a variety of foods to make them more digestible. Cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, ajwain seeds, and a pinch of asafetida are wonderful spices to add to your meals. Each of these helps stimulate digestive fire and prevents gas and bloating after eating.

Wait To Eat Until Your Previous Food Is Digested

Snacking is compelling, especially with so many people living constantly on the go. Being busy can make snacking an unconscious habit. The danger is that the digestive system doesn’t receive adequate time to process we’ve just eaten, which becomes a liability to our body and leads to a number of digestive disturbances.

You will experience physical lightness, enthusiasm, hunger and general comfort in the body when your previous food has been digested. Only once you receive all of these signals should you proceed to eat more.

Avoid Eating When Feeling Emotionally Charged

Emotions are like food in the sense that if they aren’t properly digested, they can become harmful to us. Calm down from intense feelings, such as anger, grief and anxiety, before eating. In other words, don’t eat while you’re in the heat of a loaded moment.

Following Ayurveda’s secrets has drastically improved my digestion. Try them yourself and you, too, may feel the difference in your body.

References:

Dash, Bhagawan. Materia Medica of Ayurveda. New Delhi: Health & Harmony, 1991.
Hegde, Prakash. A Text Book of Dravyaguna Vijnana. New Delhi: Chaukhamba Publications, 2014.
Paranjpe, Prakash. Ayurvedic Home Remedies. New Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, 2000.

Read More on Ayurveda in Ananta's Bestselling Book

Ananta Ajmera
Star Expert

Ananta Ripa Ajmera is author of the Amazon bestselling book "The Ayurveda Way: 108 Practices from the World's Oldest Healing System for Better Sleep, Less Stress, Optimal Digestion, and More" (Storey Publishing). She is Director of Branding and Yoga Studies at Vedika Global, a foundation her teacher Acharya Shunya created to awaken health and consciousness with Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta. She has taught Ayurveda at Stanford University, California Department of Public Health, UNICEF, Mother Earth News Fair, NY Insight Meditation Society, NYU, ABC News, and CA Probation Departments. Her work has been featured on Fox 5 News, Good Day New York, Reader's Digest, MindBodyGreen, and Elephant Journal. She graduated from NYU Stern Business School where she received an honors degree in marketing.

Ananta Ajmera
Star Expert

Ananta Ripa Ajmera is author of the Amazon bestselling book "The Ayurveda Way: 108 Practices from the World's Oldest Healing System for Better Sleep, Less Stress, Optimal Digestion, and More" (Storey Publishing). She is Director of Branding and Yoga Studies at Vedika Global, a foundation her teacher Acharya Shunya created to awaken health and consciousness with Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta. She has taught Ayurveda at Stanford University, California Department of Public Health, UNICEF, Mother Earth News Fair, NY Insight Meditation Society, NYU, ABC News, and CA Probation Departments. Her work has been featured on Fox 5 News, Good Day New York, Reader's Digest, MindBodyGreen, and Elephant Journal. She graduated from NYU Stern Business School where she received an honors degree in marketing.