The ayurvedic approach is considered the world’s oldest healing science and offers some simple solutions to avoid common digestive problems like gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, and fatigue after eating.
The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommends:
1. Eat sitting down, in a settled environment, without the TV on.
“Our bodies need an uplifting and settled environment in order to process and absorb the nutrients from our meals. If that is not available then we should at least be sitting down to eat — not standing, walking, or driving our way through a meal. The act of eating is life-giving. The process of eating, according to ayurveda, is something reverent and important for the development of consciousness as well as our physical health. When we sit down to eat our stomach is in a relaxed posture and our awareness is on the taste, texture, and smell of the food. This will greatly improve the digestion.”
2. Eat a fresh piece of ginger and lemon before a full meal.
“This starts to activate the salivary glands, producing the necessary enzymes so that the nutrients in the food are easily absorbed by the body. If, however you suffer from too much internal heat and acid, then pomegranate chutney may be more suitable for you.”
3. Avoid ice cold drinks and food.
“Ayurveda recommends avoiding cold drinks at meals and ice cold foods in general. This is like putting cold water on the burning logs. Iced water, normally served at restaurants, extinguishes the digestive fire. Even juice or milk right out of the refrigerator is too cold for the digestion. Juice should be taken at room temperature and water without ice. Once you get into this habit of drinking beverages at room temperature you will notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion and the way your body feels while eating and after the meal. Cold drinks and foods mixed with warm cooked foods can cause stomach cramps, bloating and general discomfort in the stomach area.”
4. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day. Dinner should be lighter and eaten before 8: 00 p.m.
“When the sun is strongest between 12 and 2 p.m. is when the digestive fire is also strongest. Agni is associated with the Sun. This is one of the ways ayurveda seeks to connect our mind and body with the environment. Ayurveda recommends that lunch be the largest meal of the day since that is the time the digestive agni is working at its maximum potency. As the sun goes down so does our agni.” “Dinner should be lighter than lunch and should ideally be eaten before 8: 00 p.m. Late night meals interfere with sleep and after 10: 00 p.m. the body is working to burn off toxins and continue to digest food from the day. If you eat after 10: 00 p.m., the food may cause toxins to accumulate in the system, and as a result the next day you wake up tired. If you are not able to wake up fresh and clear, then it is important to analyze the quantity of food and the time of night you are eating dinner.”