10 tips to put you on a path of healthy digestion

While following a healthy diet is critical, everything is interlinked with healthy digestion, as per Ayurveda. Here are some helpful tips!
Steamed food is easy on digestion.
Steamed food is easy on digestion. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aarati Patil Published: 7 Mar 2022, 19:52 pm IST
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Most people today are chasing some diet or the other, with the primary goal of weight loss. However, amid all this, there is a lack of understanding about digestion until we face some kind of health issues. This is where Ayurveda sheds light on both diet and digestion, which are linked to each other. Healthy digestion is the most important aspect of Ayurveda.

What does Ayurveda say about healthy digestion?

An old Ayurveda quote says, ‘Roga sarvepi mandagnau‘, which means bad digestion, is the root cause of all lifestyle disorders. When a person’s digestion is disturbed, it is easy for them to contract any kind of lifestyle disorder. When digestion is optimum, it ensures that one stays away from illness. Good digestion can only be maintained by following a healthy diet. This does not mean one needs to formulate a diet plan. Rather, the focus should be on the kind of foods that can be included.

Tummy troubles happen when you don’t eat right! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Today, 6 out of 10 people have some lifestyle disorders: women have irregular periods and other menstrual issues, etc. Both men and women suffer from fatty liver, weight gain, diabetes, and other problems. The root cause of these problems is a faulty diet, which leads to poor digestion and therefore, bad metabolism.

A healthy diet has two important aspects which everyone must understand and follow – ‘What to eat?’ and ‘How to eat?’

What to eat for healthy digestion:

This is the first thing that one should be careful about. Here are 5 simple rules to follow:

1. Quit sugar and choose jaggery

Sugar is made with 90 percent chemical ingredients and our body needs to put in a lot of effort to digest it. On the other hand, jaggery is a natural source, which is nutrition-rich, easy to digest, and can be easily converted into energy.

2. Stop iodised salt and use rock salt

In India, the iodine that we get from fruits, vegetables, etc. is enough to fulfill the daily requirement. Consuming excessive iodised salt can affect digestion. Rock salt supports digestion and avoids an overdose of iodine.

3. Stop using refined oil and use virgin cold-pressed oil

Healthy fats play an important role in developing healthy hormones. Refined oils are made by filtering out all the healthy fats. Virgin cold-pressed oils are made with a natural process.

Fat is important for the body and healthy fats help in the development of hormones. However, bad fats should be avoided and refined oil is 99 percent chemicals. It is also a form of bad fat and is difficult to digest. Instead, one can consume sesame oil or other such oils, which do not have chemicals that are harmful to the body.

reduce sugar intake
Control your sugar intake. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Follow a plant-based diet and avoid dairy and meat

A plant-based diet is rich in fibre, and therefore, easy to digest. Dairy and animal products have excess protein and no fibre, which makes them difficult to digest. Moreover, the dairy products and meat available today are hormone injected, which is harmful to the body.

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5. Eat local, seasonal, and easily available food

Prefer eating fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are easily available near you. Local food will suit your body better and will provide you with all the nutrients required for different seasons.

How to eat for healthy digestion?

This is the second most important aspect to be aware of. Here are 5 simple rules to follow:

1. Chew well

The digestion process begins in your mouth. Hence, it’s important to chew your food 32 times. When improperly chewed food reaches the stomach, it hampers the digestion process.

water for digestion
Ensure you have enough water in the day. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Follow the 40:90 water rule

Don’t drink water 40 minutes before and 90 minutes after eating, as it dilutes the digestive juices that are responsible for proper digestion.

3. Never overeat

The size of our stomach bag is small and can get overloaded when we overeat. In such cases, there isn’t enough space for the digestion process to take place.

4. Have three meals at fixed times

Digestive juices in our body are secreted in a rhythm. If we eat at fixed times, these juices will help in better digestion. It’s advisable to avoid snacking between two meals when the food eaten earlier is not even digested well.

5. Follow 12 hours overnight fasting

At night, the digestive juices help in destroying toxins in our system. When we eat late, these digestive juices create additional pressure to digest the food. This can lead to improper digestion and many lifestyle disorders.

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About the Author

Aarati Patil, MD (Ayurveda) Gynaecology, Chief Doctor, Gynoveda ...Read More

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