Feeling a little heavy after too much indulgence in December? Perhaps you’re determined to make 2022 your happiest, and healthiest, after lots of celebration over Christmas and New Year. We hear you!
But don’t be too hard on yourself. That’s exactly what the festive season is for and we’ve got a way to get your digestive system back on track. It just comes down to Ayurveda, which has been helping people to start the year off with good digestion for over 5,000 years. And, according to Ayurveda, if we focus on our digestion and add a few Ayurvedic digestion tips into our daily routine, good health will follow. In fact, sooner rather than later, it’s not just your gut that will be thanking you…
Why should I care about digestion?
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that your overall health depends on how well you digest things. Cue the Ayurvedic saying: “you are what you digest.”
It’s no secret that a weak digestive system can lead to gas and bloating, as well as indigestion. But did you know that poor digestive health can also result in toxins and waste being stored in the body, which can eventually lead to other health concerns?
Suhas Kshirsagar, a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner, explained that “a healthy digestive system is a cornerstone of wellbeing, and every disease is believed to arise from inefficient digestion.”
In Ayurveda, there’s something called the digestive fire in your gut. This is not only responsible for your digestion, and how well your body responds to certain foods, but also cellular intelligence. In other words, when there’s an imbalance in your gut and digestive fire, toxins can block the natural flow of nutrients, opening up doors for disease and infection. That’s not the only reason you should pay close attention to your gut health though…
The benefits of a good digestive system
Your digestive system has an impact on your overall health and wellbeing. This is because when your body digests food, it breaks it into tiny molecules that are absorbed into your intestinal lining. Any build up or mucus within this lining can prevent the nutrients from being absorbed - which every organ, tissue and cell is relying on. A good digestive system can also lead to:
Better health - When our digestive system works properly, it’s helping our bodies to remove any build up of toxins and waste. This can not only have a positive and healthy impact on our weight but can prevent these toxins from causing illnesses like heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome. With 70% of our immune system living in our gut, it’s important that our bodies are able to target and eliminate anything bad that could be harbouring there.
Improved mental clarity - Studies show that your diet can have a direct impact on your brain. This is because the gastrointestinal tract produces 95% of serotonin in our bodies - the hormone that makes us feel happy. It’s no surprise that the GI tract is referred to as a second brain. For this reason, when our digestive system and digestive tract has plenty of good bacteria, brain health and mood can be boosted.
Increased energy - Feeling sluggish? Perhaps you don’t feel ready to face the day ahead? Either way, by cleansing and supporting your gut health, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest and take in all the food and nutrients that you eat. Instead, energy can be used to help you do other things and to live life.
- Quicker healing - Think about when you take any medicines or health supplements, the first interaction that these nutrients have in your body is within your gut. Therefore, by ensuring that your gut is working properly, any medicine or supplements are getting into your body - and taking effect - quicker.
Ways to strengthen your digestive system
Ayurvedic practices focus on strengthening the gut in a bid to improve digestion. To do this, there are three main techniques: remove the cause of the weakness, improve diet and use herbs and supplements. These can be broken down and added into your daily routine by:
Eating mindfullyAyurveda believes that the foods we eat can support our dosha and aid proper digestion. Depending on which dosha you’re more dominant in - Vata, Pitta, Kapha - there will be certain foods, herbs and ingredients that help to restore it and that you’re better suited to. Identify your concern, cook foods that combat it and work them into your daily routine.
Whatever your dosha, Ayurveda recommends that we all steer clear of processed foods and artificial sweeteners, and instead opt for plant based foods and seasonal, wholesome ingredients. Ayurveda also prefers cooked foods over raw ones because they are easier to digest. Of course, if your cravings are calling, you can’t deny yourself too much. A few squares of dark chocolate is the perfect sweet treat.
Ingredients like Turmeric and Ginger are also essential for their anti-inflammatory purposes as well as overall health and wellbeing. Ayurveda recommends that our biggest meal should be eaten at lunch time, and that hot water, lemon and ginger tea be used for regular cleansing.
MeditateMeditating every day can have hugely positive effects for your body. In fact, studies have shown that meditating can support the body to restore its homeostasis which helps the digestive system.
Why not get up 30 minutes earlier and enjoy a meditation session to prepare your body and mind for what’s ahead? It’s great for clearing away any roaming thoughts and can reduce stress levels too.
Use herbs and supplementsWhether in the form of supplement tablets, teas or raw spices and herbs, there are certain ingredients which are known for their health benefits. Ayurvedic herbs like Triphala, Ginger, Fennel and Long Pepper all work to support healthy digestion and maintain stomach health.
These can be found in our Rest & Digest capsules too. Not only does this help to reset your gut and digestive system but it also acts as a natural antioxidant, helping to remove bad bacteria in the gut and maintain stomach health.
Looking for more gut health tips? At Deja, we have a selection of natural supplements to help you to cleanse and detoxify where you need it the most. Combining years of research and a true dedication to an Ayurvedic way of life, our Rest and Digest capsules will leave you feeling happy from the inside-out. For more holistic inspo, head to our Instagram page - and if you have questions about digestion in Ayurveda, drop into our DMs.