gut health

From bloating and constipation to IBS and diarrhoea, poor digestive health has become a sign of modern times. A sedentary lifestyle, improper meal times, unhealthy food choices and mental stress are some of the modern-day contributors to an unhealthy gut.

It is alarming to note that nearly 40% of adults suffer from gut issues, ranging from heartburn and bloating to acid reflux and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). According to Ayurveda, poor gut health is the root cause of all diseases. So, neglecting these problems could lead to severe conditions like colon cancer. 


The Reasons Your Gut Is Not Happy


Fatigue, IBS, constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, unintentional weight changes, etc. are all signs of poor gut health. If you see it from the Ayurvedic perspective, Then, it’s time for you to hurry up and consult a doctor.

One of the main reasons for your gut health issues is lack of sleep. The role of good sleep in digestive health is often overlooked. Serotonin is produced in the gut and any imbalance can affect its production.

A weakened immune system can also lead to poor gut health. Your body is not capable of fighting diseases as it has not absorbed nutrients from the food.

Another reason for digestive issues is excessive consumption of incompatible and processed foods.


The Gut-Mind Connection


The gut-mind connection has been scientifically proven. Unlike the popular adage ‘You are what you eat,’ Ayurveda believes that ‘you are what you digest’. Healthy digestion is vital to wellness. 

In Ayurveda, gut health is derived from ‘Agni’ – the digestive fire. It not only has a bearing on your digestion process, but it also influences your emotions and thoughts. Most digestive problems arise due to an imbalance in Agni. This imbalance in turn affects the Doshas and accumulates Ama or toxins. The GI system and the central nervous system are deployed and connected. Food can trigger mood changes.

Ayurveda says, “Rogah sarve api mande agnou,” meaning, a low Agni or poor gut health is the root cause of all diseases – be it physical or emotional. It means your gut and mind are connected.

Following a regular daily routine or Dinacharya is intrinsic to wellness as per Ayurveda. This regularity also goes a long way in maintaining a healthy nervous and digestive system. 

Ayurveda recommends mindful eating, which, in a way, means the mind and the gut are connected. Mindful eating is about involving all your senses as you eat. It makes you aware of the quality and taste of the food and portion control. This nourishes the inner Agni, thereby ensuring balanced digestion. 


Ayurvedic Ways to Keep Your Agni Balanced


Here are different ways to keep your Agni on balance:

  • Follow a diet with foods that are simple, light and easy to digest.
  • Be consistent with your mealtimes. 
  • Avoid overeating.
  • Avoid incompatible food combinations.
  • Eat your dinner early. Have three meals every day. Maintain a gap of about 2 to 3 hours between your dinner and bedtime.
  • Follow Dinacharya.
  • Keep your body well hydrated.
  • Avoid cold drinks and ice water as it dampens your Agni.
  • Avoid processed and frozen foods. Have warm, freshly cooked foods instead.


Ayurvedic Remedies To Soothe Your Gut


Here are some Ayurvedic remedies that work best for your gut health:

  • Consume black raisins to support digestive health. They relieve constipation and provide much-needed minerals and nutrients.
  • Guduchi is an Ayurvedic herb that helps soothe gut inflammation. Consume it if you suffer constipation or poor appetite.
  • Add licorice or Yashtimadhu to tea to soothe an acidic gut.
  • Add cinnamon to tea or milk to promote better digestion. It acts as an antioxidant to eliminate oxidative compression in the gut.
  • Use cardamom to reduce inflammation and symptoms of indigestion, gas, and bloating. 
  • Cloves have been used for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Triphala – a combination of Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki can be consumed for better nutrient absorption and relief from constipation.
  • Relieve nausea by drinking ginger tea. Add ginger while cooking to promote digestive health.
  • Consume fennel to boost digestion. You can either chew fennel seeds after your meals. Alternatively, brew a fennel tea and have it.
  • Carom seeds or ajwain is a wonderful carminative. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce bloating, gas, and digestive tract inflammation. 
  • Use black pepper and long pepper in food or tea to enhance digestive power.


Practices For Better Digestive Health


Incorporate these practices into your daily life to improve your digestive health:

  • Try meditation to reduce the stress and anxiety that is part of modern-day life. Not only will you have better gut health, but you will also experience a healthier mental and emotional state.
  • Eat foods that align with your Prakriti (body type). This helps prevent Dosha imbalances.
  • Eat seasonal food. This practice maintains energy balance.
  • Local produce is best as it is fresh and has not travelled thousands of miles to get to your plate.
  • Enjoy your food but keep your gut happy too. Have foods that are easy to digest and follow mindful eating.
  • Keep yourself active. Follow an exercise regimen that suits your age, fitness levels, and overall condition. Daily walks can kindle the Agni and build your digestive capacity.

Though the principles of Ayurveda date back several thousand years, they hold relevance even today. Ayurveda gives utmost importance to gut health as it has an impact on your overall health. So, have foods that are digestible, follow a daily routine and keep away from stress. If you need any help with your diet, reach out to us anytime!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony