Fire Up Digestion!

buddha-525883_1280Our agni (digestive fire) is the gateway for overall health in our bodies. If we are not digesting our foods properly, this can lead to ama (toxin build-up in the body) and thus various ailments. I used to suffer from poor digestion, my stomach would feel bubbly after eating and generally unsettled and bloated most of the time. Once my digestion improved, my skin cleared up and my bloated tummy vanished. Below is some Ayurvedic insight for improving digestion, these principles have helped strengthen my agni making me feel lighter and healthier:

  • Less snacking. Food (except fruits) can take 3 to 4 hours to digest. Adding more food into our system when our body is trying to digest the previous meal can lead to improperly digested food. It’s better to eat only when we are (truly) hungry and when our previous meal has been fully digested.
  • Largest meal is lunch. The digestive fire is highest during noon due to Pitta, so smaller meals for breakfast and dinner means easing into digestion first thing in the morning and ensuring enough digestive time before bed. Having our last meal by 7pm is ideal.
  • More cooked foods. Cooking food makes it easier to digest and thus helps better nutrient absorption.
  • Eating fruit alone. Fruit only takes 30 minutes to digest, whereas other foods can take much longer. It’s better to eat fruit alone 30 minutes before a meal, or 3 to 4 hours after. When fruits are eaten with other food, it slows down their digestion time and can lead to fermentation, gas and potentially ama in the body.
  • Less liquids at meal times. Drinking during meals dilutes the digestive juices and weakens agni. If some moisture is needed having a few sips of warm water will help preserve digestive fire.

If you struggle with poor digestion, like I did, then these tips can help towards strengthening your digestive fire. Slow steady changes should not be undervalued as going from one extreme to the other can get quite stressful which is also not good for our well-being!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s