3 Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Digestion

According to Ayurveda, healthy digestion is a cornerstone of good health. Efficient digestion nourishes the body and provides energy, while a sluggish heavy feeling in your stomach will make you dread your own existence. Unfortunately, many of us city dwellers suffer from digestion problems. Probiotics, antacids, heartburn pills, detox packs? every pharmacy and health food store has shelves upon shelves of digestive supplements.

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.
2. Add Some Lemon Juice (from a real lemon, not a plastic container!)
- Lemon is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C on the planet and it also contains nutrients like Vitamin B, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Lemon juice with warm water can also help eliminate waste in your system and serve as a Liver tonic. Daily intake of lemon water has several health benefits: It keeps your stomach healthy; acts as cure for nausea, heartburn, indigestion, high blood pressure, stress, and depression. It gets better: you'll benefit from lemon?s anti-aging properties and heart friendly potassium. Use lemon in this yummy dressing or just add it to water or tea throughout the day.

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!

Bon Appétit!

image via crunchydomesticgoddess
 

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