05 Oct Good Eating Habits for Optimum Digestion
Mother Nature knows best. And Mother Nature is equilibrium personified! Follow her clues and humanity shall never, ever be in trouble with respect to eating habits, digestion and general health in life.
One system which has always emphasized on the health aspect of nature and related food habits has been Ayurveda which right from its origins has depended on nature to provide all foods. Ayurvedic recipes have been formed and formulated from time immemorial to minimize the destruction of nutrition of foods. This has been one of the main reasons for its massive following worldwide and kept it alive despite its antiquity.
Hi, Dr Madhura Bhide here from Pune’s famed Recova Life Ayurveda Clinic. And today I shall elaborate on correct aspects of food and its eating from Ayurveda’s perspective for optimum digestion leading to healthy living.
1. Hunger should guide you to eating
Factory-made aren’t made to satiate one’s hunger. They are meant to tempt hunger (despite the person not feeling hungry). What it ends up doing is making the eater feel bloated and very, very uncomfortable till the offending food isn’t digested and excreted from the system. And the best part, these foods are invariably consumed at all the wrong times since that is what the seller wants- increased sales and resulting profits! What conversely Ayurveda tells us about eating is that we ought to eat out of necessity instead of eating out of habit. When pangs of hunger hit us, it is then that the juices in the stomach i.e., the digestive enzymes become most potent to breakdown food. It takes anywhere between 3-4 hours to consume a proper meal. That being the case, plan your meals accordingly. Better still, wait till you get the gnawing feeling in the stomach. Eat only then.
2. Where you eat matters as much as what and where you eat
Ayurveda as a science evolved out of sheer concentration of its earliest proponents which included the most revered of Saints and Sages. They observed everything very minutely and entertained very little distractions in whatever they did- including eating. What came out of their observation was that eating slowly while chewing the right way leads to the digestive enzymes absorbing the food better leading to the feeling of fullness while helping extract the right quantities of nutrients. Sitting down and eating is very, very essential in Ayurveda as it aids in digestion, a chemical process which needs the surroundings to feel steady and slow.
3. Where-ever you eat should be chewed properly
Chewing is the first step in absorption. If you observe, our mouths are much wider than our gullets which naturally means we need to chew food to modest sized before it can go down our throats. It doesn’t end here. Most nutrients in food are released when they are chewed hard upon. In fact, digestion is half accomplished in the mouth itself where the food is chewed the right way. All these show how very essential the process of chewing is – something which our Sages advised unerringly. Remember if our mouths don’t do their intended job of chewing, our stomachs have to go on overdrive to absorb improperly broken down foods. All these add up to our feeling bloated!
4. Indulge your senses while eating
Over time our elders understood the correlation between senses and digestion, and understood that to digest food in the right manner to extract every nutrient to its fullest, one has to invoke all the other senses like that of smell, texture and feel besides the most obvious i.e., taste. In doing so, as mentioned earlier, one feels full, satiated and very satisfied leading to a lesser craving for food. On the subject of indulging one’s senses while eating, it is important to leave distractions aside while imbibing food. You can’t indulge all your senses while trying to reply on whatsapp. It’s just a sham. For those of us wanting to get all there is from every food, pay heed to what Ayurveda says. SWITCH OFF THE PHONE/ APP/ TAB etc., etc. AND INDULGE ON ALMIGHTY’S GIFT right in front of your eyes or right under your nose! And yes, before or while eating do admire the food the right way!
5. Eat fresh…ALWAYS!
Fresh foods have most nutrients. Fresh foods have life. Fresh foods have “prana” or the life-giving force! Ayurveda thus prescribes with unerring regularity the advantages and pros of eating fresh and healthy. Every time you heat and eat, you destroy so much more of nutrients. And when you eat processed, ready-to-eat, factory produced stuff, you eat ONLY junk. Junk, as we all know, occupies space and nothing else besides bringing its own share of troubles.
To the extent possible, EAT FRESHLY COOKED FOOD ONLY. These days fresh too may mean dated as every item of food spends time of shop shelves for days. That being the situation try and locate those places which get relatively fresh farm produce and consume it at the earliest- after cooking it the right way.
6. Meals over, it’s time to RELAX!
Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just accomplished the most important activity of the day: Eating! And it doesn’t get over with the last morsel going into your mouth! In fact, the action begins when you put a stop to your eating. Within a short while of your eating, blood drains out of other region including your brains (that’s the reason we feel drowsy sometime after we finish eating) and find their way to your stomach to aid in the process called digestion. And if you think you can do better at work, you could be seriously wrong. Instead, relax, take a casual walk of may be a 100 steps and then just lie low for a short while!
7. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day
The west says the biggest meal ought to be the breakfast as it is designed to do just that, break the 12 hour-long fast. Ayurveda heartily disagrees given that consumption as per the latter is a function of one’s digestive juices and not feeling of hunger after a long break. Digestive enzymes work at their optimum at a particular ambient temperature which is highest at noon when the sun is at its zenith. Mornings conversely are times when the digestive system is cold, slow and sluggish. Overloading it with too much food can lead to indigestion and feeling of bloating. Instead, one should take the heaviest meal during lunch. Doing so is beneficial as the enzymes, at their daily peak do a good job at breaking down food AND, the body gets time to relax later in the evening.
This brings us to the end of this section on good food habits. If you want to know more about the subject or want to otherwise know more about Ayurveda and its practices, do visit www.recovalife.com
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
Where the reader or any other person has chronic and/or dire health issues, it is advisable to consult a trained and certified medical practitioner for a complete and comprehensive diagnosis which can address the underlying issues effectively.
Recova Life and its constituents are also certified medical practitioners who can be consulted. Our numbers are +91 83800-16119 and Email ID firstname.lastname@example.org
With respect to the consumption of any herbs, fruits, vegetables and the likes mentioned here, it would be advisable where you consult a certified medical practitioner for his/her opinion before-hand.