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Proper digestion is the core of most ayurvedic healing methods. Having regular bowel movements and good gut flora is an indicator that the body is functioning without any issues. A good appetite is also an indicator of overall health. For this reason, Ayurveda places ample focus on maintaining a strong digestive fire or agni.

Nowadays, junk food and takeout have become a major part of most urban households. This results in a growing problem of poor digestion. More and more people experiencing a variety of other symptoms simply as a result of digestive issues. Dietary supplements, digestive medicines are all becoming increasingly popular as people seek quick fixes to their issues with digestion. Ayurveda provides simple methods to fix your food habits, to ensure that the gastrointestinal system is always balanced and working effectively.

food combinationsOne major reason for indigestion is incompatible food combinations. The type of food we should be eating, according to Ayurveda, is defined predominantly by our body type. There are specific diets tailored for each dosha imbalance, and these will therefore help the body realign itself. One common misconception lies in the fact that people tend to assume that healthy foods are healthy no matter when they are consumed, how they are eaten and by whom they are taken. According to Ayurveda, every food has a taste (rasa), an energy (virya) and a digestive effect (vipaka). Therefore, unlike the western concept of a balanced meal, the ayurvedic concept strives to achieve balance by analyzing these aspects of food. There are many possible ways to choose improper food combinations. The most probable is by consuming foods which have completely different energies or virya. This causes the agni to overpower itself in trying to digest each of the foods in different ways. Another way is by overconsuming foods of the same rasa, this unsettles the natural digestive harmony. In addition to this, many food combinations which might be good when mixed in the right proportions become extremely unhealthy when eaten in excess.

Indigestion, purefaction, gas formation and toxin accumulation are all common side effects of eating the wrong foods together. There is also the possibility of upsetting the intestinal and gut flora, resulting in poor digestive activity. Ayurveda lists out a few tips to avoid incompatible food combos.

  • Use herbs and spices to balance the effect of foods. Eg: Cooling mint in spicy food.
  • Cardamom in coffee or ghee and pepper with potatoes can aid in alleviating any symptoms of bad food.
  • Eat a bit of ginger with salt before every meal to boost agni.
  • Consume ghee regularly in order to regulate digestion.
  • Sip warm water throughout the day, and particularly during a meal to help with digestion and absorption.
  • Drink a glass of lassi after every meal.
  • Try to ensure that your stomach is 1/3rd filled with food, 1/3rd with liquid and 1/3rd left empty to stimulate better agni.

Consult an ayurvedic doctor for the best diet for your dosha and experience better digestion and overall health.


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