Approximately 75 to 100 million Americans suffer from some sort of digestive troubles. According to The Consumer's Guide to Probiotics, Americans spend $725 million on laxatives each year and $200 million on probiotics. All this money could be spent on something a lot more enjoyable and fun if only our belly was healthy enough to do its job!
Ayurveda, an ancient science of health, offers some simple, time-proven tips on improving your digestive health and re-invigorating internal organs responsible for detoxification mechanisms.
1. Proper Food Combining - We all know that eating healthy foods will make us feel better, but proper foods in the wrong combination still form toxins, gases, and won?t digest well because different classes of food require their own specific digestive enzymes. When we consume different types of foods at a single meal we place a demand on our digestive glands to manufacture and secrete different digestive enzymes simultaneously. Many traditional American meals do this and it's not a good thing. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish digestive fire, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins, and cause sinus congestion. This causes confusion in our system and results in serious imbalances.
The good news is that you can still eat great food! Here are some basic food guidelines to follow:
- Avoid mixing milk or yogurt with sour or citrus fruits. And, yes, it means that yogurt with fruit would not be considered a healthy breakfast choice by an ayurvedic practitioner!
- Melons should be eaten alone or left alone.
- Try to eat fruits separately to get the most nutrients.
- Avoid eating cooked and raw foods together.
- Do not eat meat protein and milk protein together.
- Do not mix fresh milk with other milk products. The action of hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes the milk to curdle. For this reason Ayurveda advises against taking milk with sour fruits, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and fish.
3. Spice It Up with Ginger - Ginger is a must! Ginger is known as ?the universal medicine? for its versatility and healing properties. It increases agni (digestive fire), neutralizes toxins, and helps digestion, and absorption of food. Ginger brings a ton of spicy and sweet flavor to any dish, such as teas, soups, stews, and even appetizers. I can?t start my day without a cup of green tea with a handful of sliced fresh ginger and lemon -- it makes my belly very happy and keeps me full of energy the entire day!
image via crunchydomesticgoddess