Eating for Balance: Ayurvedic Tips for Good Digestion
In ayurveda, diet and digestion are accorded equal importance in maintaining good health. Just as choosing improper foods for your constitution can lead to imbalances, following improper routines and habits can wreak havoc on your digestion, turning even carefully chosen and prepared foods into ama or toxins in your system rather than ojas, the biochemical essence that supports all aspects of life, health, bliss and longevity.\n
Here are some universally applicable principles of eating that ayurvedic healers recommend to keep your digestion working efficiently:
1. Eat three meals a day.
Fasting and skipping meals are not recommended in ayurveda because they throw the digestion rhythm off. A light breakfast, a substantial lunch and a light dinner allow you to keep in tune with the ebb and flow of the digestive fire, which builds up during the morning, peaks around noon and then ebbs again in the evening.
As soon as you get up, drink a cup of hot water to which a tablespoon of lemon juice has been added. This will help elimination, get the digestive juices flowing, and cleanse out the digestive tract. Caffeinated beverages are not recommended in ayurveda.
A light breakfast is essential to kick-start the digestion and provide energy necessary to get through the activity of the day. If you wait until lunch to eat a proper meal, chances are you'll be tempted to wade into that packet of potato chips or get a doughnut some time during the morning. Have a stewed apple or pear, and then follow 30 minutes later with some warm cereal or a whole-wheat flatbread spread with a little honey or almond butter. Warm cooked foods are preferred as breakfast items over cold cereal, cold milk and cold juice, all of which are harder on the waking digestive fire.
For a mid-morning snack, choose fresh fruit