Did you know that over 90-95% of your body’s serotonin is made in your digestive tract? The food you put into your body has a bigger effect on your mood and general well-being than you may think. Not only the food itself, but the way you consume it. How you sit, when you eat, how hungry you are, it all comes into play – and it’s easily forgotten in the rush of everyday life.
Simply put, digestion separates things your body needs to the waste that it doesn’t. It’s imperative to always prioritise digestion, and ensure you’re paying attention to your body’s own responses to your intake. Not doing so can cause health issues galore, majorly affect your mood & productivity and so much more.
Ayurveda teaches us that placing this importance on your own digestion is the key factor behind ‘Ojas’, or strong immunity.
Within Ayurveda, this balance is called ‘Agni’, which refers to our Digestive Fire. Having an awareness of your Agni will heighten digestion, leaving your body able to maximise on this essential process. Your body is wise and intuitive, which is why it’s important to be working in harmony with it. In Sanskrit, immunity is called Ojas. Ayurveda teaches us that placing this importance on your own digestion is the key factor behind Ojas or strong immunity.
Here are 3 ways you can improve your gut’s health:
1) Don’t ‘fill up’ your stomach.
Leave some space for the digestion process to take place after each meal. Acharya Charaka, one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda, recommends leaving 1/3 space for food, 1/3 for liquids and leaving the remaining 1/3 empty every meal time. You should never leave the table feeling full to the brim or about to explode. Leave your body room. Drink water as you eat. Eat slowly.
2) Sprinkle warming spices on your meals.
Cinnamon, pickled Ginger or buttermilk with cumin and black pepper some of the most effective digestives in Indian food. They bring some additional flavour to every dish too! It’s a win-win for your tastebuds and your digestive system. This is an easy way to help your Agni or digestive fire.
3) Avoid eating food before you feel hungry. (Yes, we’re talking about snacking too)
Most of us eat even when we’re not hungry, just because of habit or boredom. How often do you open the fridge door, simply to have a little look around? Ayurveda teaches us to not eat before the previous meal is completely digested. Ideally, you should always feel light and hungry before serving up. If you don’t, it will lead to partial or incomplete digestion, resulting in production Ama (metabolic toxins) instead of Ojas (immunity).
Ready to prioritise your digestion? Ayurveda is all about personalising your own body’s wants & needs to create the balance that your body deserves. There are 3 body-types with differing personalities, food habits and needs, called Doshas. You’ll find Vata, Pitta or Kapha more relevant to you as an individual, and we’ve made it easy to find out which.
Start by taking our (literally) two minute Dosha test, which will tell you exactly what your body needs, right now.