Is your healthy plate of food turning into toxins in your gut? ⁠In Ayurveda, we know that you are what you digest. When food is not properly digested, it turns into toxins or ama and this is the root of disease.⁠ But don't stress, when ama is in the digestive tract, it is easy enough to clear.⁠ It's when we don't help it clear out that it becomes a problem.⁠ Today I'm sharing my 5 tips from Ayurveda for better digestion.

Ayurveda for Better Digestion

Tip #1 Eat your largest meal at lunchtime.

Your digestion follows the rhythm of the sun. So your agni or digestive fire is strongest when the sun is strongest. Make lunch or brunch your largest meal and enjoy an earlier, lighter dinner. This not only helps prevent afternoon snack attacks but it helps your sleep! That’s right, eating an earlier, lighter dinner allows digestion to complete before you hit the pillow.

Tip #2 Chew, chew, chew.

50% of digestion takes place in your mouth so it's important to chew your food well. Slow down and savor each bite. This helps to break down the food into smaller pieces (your stomach doesn’t have teeth). And allows the food to properly mix with your saliva. Aim for 20-30 chews per mouthful. You'll feel more satiated and avoid overeating. If you're drinking your calories as a smoothie, chew it too!

Tip #3 Enjoy your food and beverages at room temperature or warmer.

Even though we're approaching the summer months, try to limit any cold beverages, especially with meals. You wouldn't pour coconut oil down your drain because it clogs. Drinking iced beverages with a meal has the same effect! Cold food and drinks will coagulate fats and denature your digestive enzymes, halting your digestion. If you must have something cool (I'm looking at you, ice cream), enjoy it at mid-day when your digestion is strongest.

Tip #4 Space your meals.

We all like a little space to breathe. Your digestion is no different! Meals and snacks should be spaced at least 3 hours apart for proper digestion. When we constantly add new food to the system, the previously un-digested meal will sit for longer. It may even begin to rot or ferment, leading to gas, bloating and toxins. Spacing your meals also allows your body to burn fat for fuel rather than relying on blood sugar. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Tip #5 Eat fruit alone!

Fruit is best enjoyed on its own. Fruit requires a different digestive environment than other foods. When we combine fruit with other foods, like protein, the breaks down quickly and begins to rot and ferment in the gut. This leads to gas, bloating and toxins. For best digestion, enjoy fruit on its own at least 1 hour before and 2 hours after other foods. Read more about how to best combine foods for optimal digestion and learn about specific Ayurvedic formulations to help digestion. Your digestion is the key to good health. When we take good care of our digestion, we keep our body running optimally and prevent toxic buildup. Have you tried any of these tips? Which worked best for you? Rachel Spillane Ayurvedic Practitioner, RYT-200 @saraswati.ayurveda
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