Yes we are what we eat, but we are also what we don’t digest. What our body fails to process becomes toxic waste matter that resides in the body and contributes to many of our health issues today. From direct digestive issues such as Chrohn’s, IBS, Colitis, leaky gut, stomach ulcers, bloating and gas, constipation, hyperacidity to more chronic health issues of the skin, bone, respiratory and circulatory systems, all diseases starts in the gut.
All my consultations start with a focus on your gut, regardless of your ailments. Restoring a healthy gut is often enough to eradicate many other health complaints. Our immune system is stronger if our gut is in a happy place.
‘Agni is responsible for life span, complexion, strength, health, enthusiasm, corpulence, lustre, immunity, energy, heat processes and prana. Agni is the root cause of both health and disease’ Charaka Samhita
Agni refers to the functional fires in our body and is responsible for digesting, transforming and assimilating what we absorb through food and drink as well as the air we breath and stimulus through our five senses. A strong balanced agni is at the core of optimum health and your gut houses the main fire in your body. Take care of this and your body will take care of itself. Signs of a healthy agni includes lightness in the body, easy and regular elimination, genuine feeling of hunger and thirst, radiant skin, good levels of energy, strong immunity, ability to tolerate most foods in moderation. An imbalanced digestion is the cause of most disease in the body and there are three types and these are dictated by the dominance of the dosha in your body type an so you’re the plan to get your gut health back on track will be personalised specifically for your by your Ayurvedic practitioner.
But for now here are my 7 basic must-do’s to give you a nudge in the right direct. What we eat, how we eat and when we eat is all in our control and strongly influences the microbiome of our gut.
- Eat in a calm environment, do not eat when you’re upset. Keep a peaceful and pleasant mood while eating
- Always take time and sit down to eat (don’t eat in front of your computer or TV or while you’re driving or walking) and eat at a sensible pace.
- Only eat when you’re hungry and after your previous meal is digested with at least 3-4 hours between meals and avoid snacking between meals
- Opt for cooked warm foods rather than raw foods, as the are much easier to digest. Favour vegetables and whole grains. Kitchari is an ideal fuel for a strong agni
- Only fill 1/3 stomach with food. Stop before you feel full
- Avoid ama-producing foods such as dairy, heavy meats
- Supportive digestive spices would include ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, amalaki, fennel, ajwain, ghee, turmeric.
- Start your day with a cleansing tea of fresh lemon and ginger.
If you have any of the following signs and symptoms, you are likely to have digestive toxins in which case a consultation with your Ayurvedic Practitioner should put you back on track:
- Coated tongue (whitish or yellowish)
- Poor appetite
- Sensitive digestion/indigestion
- Bloating and wind with bad odour
- Irritable elimination/ sluggish, sticky bowel motions with foul-smelling stools
- Bad breath/sticky mouth
- Body aches/fatigue
- Headaches and migraines
- Low immunity and recurring infections