8 Essential Ayurvedic Rules For Healthy Eating & Better Digestion
Ayurveda, an ancient medicine from India that dates back 5,000 years, still provides helpful guidance how to eat today. These eight Ayurvedic guidelines in particular can help promote healthy digestion and steady energy levels.
1. Eat only when you are hungry.
That is to say, eat when your previous meal has been completely digested. Sometime we might think that we are hungry, however, it could only be that we are dehydrated. Wait at least three hours between meals and tune into the signals your body is really giving you.
2. Eat in a calm and comfortable place.
Sit down when you eat, and eat with as little distraction as possible: no TV, no book, no phone, no laptop. Doing so will help you hone in your food and how it makes you feel, savor every bite, and eat slowly and mindfully.
3. Eat the right quantity.
We are all different, with different stomach sizes and metabolic speeds. In Ayurveda, we also have different dosha constitutions which dictate how our bodies digest food. Listen to your body and eat only to point when you feel satisfied.
4. Eat warm meals.
Ideally, your meals are freshly cooked and served warm, as raw foods can be difficult to digest. Ayurveda recommends avoiding anything that comes straight from the fridge to preserve your digestive power (Agni). This allows your digestive enzymes to work efficiently.
5. Eat quality food.
Avoid foods that are too dry or too oily. Prioritize cooked vegetables, grains, and meat and dairy in moderation.
6. Be present when you eat.
Use all your five senses: Take time to appreciate the smell of your meal, the look of your plate, the texture of your food, the different flavors, and the sounds that you make when you eat.
7. Don't eat too fast.
Don’t just swallow your food after one bite—take your time to chew! Chewing is an essential step of digestion, and it can't be rushed.
8. Eat at regular time.
Nature likes cycles and regularity, and our bodies do too. Even if you have a busy schedule, try to keep consistent time carved out every day for meals.
Linda Gobindoss, MSc is an Ayurvedic consultant and meditation instructor based in the UK. She has her Masters in Ayurvedic Medicine from Middlesex University in London and has completed a 2000 hour Ayurvedic internship in India.