BALANCE YOUR GUT HEALTH WITH AYURVEDA
Our digestive system is a complex part of the body. It extends from the mouth to the rectum. The digestive system helps the body absorb nutrients and eliminate waste. Our gut is central to our general health, and it is linked to the immune system, endocrine diseases, mood, mental health, skin conditions, and so on. The digestive system comprises of the gastrointestinal tract or the GI tract, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. The GI tract is like a twisted tube from the mouth to the rectum. The mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and anus are hollow organs that are part of the GI tract. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are said to be the solid organs of the digestive system.
It is likely that all living beings have had digestive problems on and off. The common symptoms of digestive issues are stomach ache, constipation or diarrhoea, heartburn, and indigestion. Food, lifestyle, and stress are considered major contributors to digestive problems. Certain medicines can also lead to an upset tummy and cause diarrhoea or constipation. While medicines used in arthritis can cause acidity and even peptic ulcer, iron tablet, cough medicines, and painkillers can cause constipation or diarrhoea in some people.
Ayurveda describes digestion as Agni or digestive fire, and it is considered a critical aspect of health. According to Ayurveda, when Agni is compromised, toxins or ama will start accumulating and block the nutrient’s flow and start giving an illness. Ayurveda mentions that all the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are characterized by a particular Agni type.
Irregular digestion: Vata-type people often have an easily compromised digestive fire. They often suffer from gas and constipation. Ayurveda prescribes to take soft, warm, and liquid food with good fat. It also suggests avoiding cold, rough, raw, and crunchy food items. Vata people should eat slowly and at a relaxed pace. Including spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, and ajwain will be helpful.
Quick digestion: Pitta dosha aggravates hunger. Such type people will often take large quantities of food and more frequently. It’s due to the excessive and hot digestive fire. The digestive fire burns up the nutrients in the food, and people may feel hungry all the time. They often suffer from acidity and diarrhoea. Those having Pitta dosha should avoid excess salt in food. They should stay away from oily, spicy, and sour food. Bitter and astringent tastes are good for them, and they should include a lot of cooked vegetables in the diet. While slow eating is important, they should relax after consuming food. Spices like coriander, fennel, cilantro, and cumin are good for Pitta dosha due to their cooling effect.
Sluggish digestion: People with Kapha dosha have a wet and cold digestive fire. They will not feel hungry in the morning but will prefer eating later in the day and at night. Kapha dosha gives rise to bloating and slow metabolism. Such people should take cooked vegetables and fresh foods. Ginger tea is good for them, and they should try to get fresh air and do exercise regularly. To balance the type, they can eat a sumptuous lunch and lite and early dinner. Kapha-type people can include spices like turmeric, cloves, fenugreek, and black pepper in their diet.
Though considered harmless, sometimes, the symptoms of digestive issues may be a sign of serious illness. A change in the pattern of your bowel movement, bleeding, unexpected weight loss, persistent indigestion, and difficulty in swallowing may need a consultation with a physician.