You may have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” According to ayurveda, “You are what you digest.” Here are some tips to help you optimize your digestion.
- Eat three meals a day at regular times. Create a consistent schedule to prepare the digestive tract for when food is taken. Limit snacks to a piece of fresh fruit if necessary.
- Avoid overindulgences. Undigested food becomes toxic sludge called ama that can be absorbed into the body.
- Have breakfast every day. Heavy evening meals often remain undigested, which creates toxicity and disease.
- Eat only when hungry to prevent digestive system overload. Take a moment before munching to mindfully assess feelings of hunger.
- Make your largest meal in the middle of the day when the sun is highest and the heat of the day promotes digestion.
- Take a 15- to 20-minute walk after dinner. This promotes utilization, instead of storage, of the energy from the day’s last meal.
- Eat your last meal of the day at least two hours prior to bedtime and do not nap after large meals. Sleeping after food stops utilization of nutrients and can lead to fat accumulation.
- Pay attention to your food when you eat. Do not eat in front of the television or computer, and avoid heated conversations during mealtime.
- Food contains prana, the life force or energy that nourishes our body and spirit. Do not rely on frying or microwaving food, as these cooking methods reduce prana.
- Avoid excessive junk food and frozen food. Junk foods lack nutrition and provide excessive energy that the body struggles to use. Frozen foods have lost vitality.
- The first stage of digestion happens in the mouth. Savor each mouthful by chewing each bite at least 20 times before swallowing.
Virender Sodhi, N.D., is an ayurvedic medical doctor, naturopathic physician and co-founder of R-U-VED , a manufacturer of Ayurvedic herbs based in Redmond, Washington. In 1988, he graduated from Bastyr University with a degree in naturopathic medicine. He lectures throughout the U.S. and other countries, including New Zealand and Australia, as well as conducts classes and seminars in ayurvedic medicine.For more details on doshas and Ayurveda, click here. For information on balancing herbal formulas, visit www.ruved.net.