A good digestion helps in proper absorption of nutrients and efficient supply of them to our body. Indigestion is opposite of this. The indigested food fails to supply the required nourishment to our body. Reduced nourishment reduces the work efficiency of body organs. Hence to keep the body and all organ system healthy proper digestion of food is very essential. Ayurveda acharyas recommend few guidelines to keep our digestion healthy.
- Never consume food when you do not have appetite. Watch for symptoms like coated tongue, nausea, heaviness of stomach, bad breath and unwillingness to have food. If you experience such symptoms fast for a day or skip your meals till the good appetite returns.
- Avoid consumption of food when you have mood swings. Do not eat when you are angry, depressed, grieved or raged.
- Eat only after evacuating bowel and urine, brushing teeth, cleaning tongue and bathing. Wash your hands and finger nails before touching food.
- Avoid eating junk foods. Eat freshly prepared home foods. Home foods are clean and rich in nutrients.
- Take care not to eat opposite foods. Opposite foods are combination of foods which contradict in their properties.
- Eat your food in good mood along with the company of nearest and dearest ones. This helps to strengthen the family bond and also helps in easy digestion of food due to normal flow of gastric juices.
- Drink warm water in between. This helps to normalize tridoshas and aids digestion.
- Eat a piece of ginger before starting the meal. This increases appetite and soothes stomach.
- Try to include all six tastes in your meal. (Six tastes – Madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), Katu (spicy), lavana (salty), amla (sour) )
- Eat seasonal and local foods which are fresh.
- Eat slowly and chew the food well. Give a gap of 4 hours between two meals.
- Never indulge in heavy work, sexual activities or sleep immediately after eating.
- Watching TV while eating food causes improper digestion.
Properly digested food nourishes seven vital tissues or dhatus. (dhatus – Rasa (lymph), Rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle),medha (adipose tissue), asthi(bone), majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (semen))