You are What You Eat
You've heard the saying, "you are what you eat," but "you are what you digest" is more accurate. It's a more complete level of understanding, because digestion converts food into energy — producing nutrients that support and sustain your body and experiences. Poor digestion can lead to imbalances, low energy, gas, a heavy feeling and a buildup of digestive impurities and many other problems.
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, good digestion begins with a balanced appetite. Some people have no appetite, while others can't fully taste their food. And, again, others never feel satisfied. When a meal is really savored and enjoyed, it helps the body prepare for properly digesting and assimilating the nutrients in the food.
Balancing digestion and appetite is easy. Remember, in Maharishi Ayurveda, the core principle is gently and gradually restoring balance by moving the body and mind into harmony with Nature's laws and rhythms. Our culture in this age has forgotten many of these fundamental principles of health, and the consequences are devastating for public health.
Eat your biggest meal at mid-day, when the digestive fire (agni) is strongest. Favor fresh organic foods. Don't eat leftovers. Fresh foods deliver more intelligence and healing power, not to mention nutrition.
- Eat only when hungry, after the previous meal is digested.
- Maintain regular mealtimes. The body loves routine.
- Take your time, chew slowly, and sit quietly for five minutes after each meal.
- Don't divide your attention by reading, working or watching TV while you are eating. Savor your meals.
- Avoid cold or iced drinks — they decrease the digestive fire. Make this a priority.
- Eat only until you're about three-quarters full.
- If you drink milk, boil it first and add a dash of fresh minced or powered ginger or powdered cinnamon. Then, drink the milk warm or cool.
To balance stomach acid naturally:
- Cut down on dry, spicy and salty foods.
- Drink a little cool milk, but not with meals.
- Eat sweet, juicy fruits, such as plums and pears.
- Minimize or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Eat promptly when you're hungry. Don't skip meals.
- Get proper rest. Try to go to bed before 10 p.m.
Improving digestion at each step
Maharishi Ayurveda provides an approach to and support for digestion in The Digestion System™. This approach provides daily support for balanced digestion and a regular appetite. It also helps balance cravings and reduces digestive impurities. This raises the quality and quantity of nutrients for healthy tissues, healthy blood, proper elimination and overall vitality. There are traditional ayurvedic herbal compounds — very powerful formulas and herbs that help with this.
Digestion System Guidelines
- Supplement your diet with Herbal Di-Gest if you have a poor appetite or you experience bloating or heaviness after meals. It will help balance your cravings and appetite, improve assimilation and support elimination. These herbs will add a feeling of lightness and increased comfort after meals. And because you'll be digesting your food, not just ingesting it, these herbs support a renewed sense of vitality.
- The Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparation Aci-Balance is used for excess stomach acid/heartburn. This blend of 15 very powerful ayurvedic cooling herbs will help balance your digestion, regulate excess acid and soothe that burning feeling in the stomach.
- Both Herbal Di-Gest and Aci-Balance can be taken together.
- Add Spice Mix seasonings — these are called Churnas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) — to your food so that all six tastes are part of every meal. These tastes are an important secret for maintaining balance in the body and mind.
- Follow The Digestion System™ diet and lifestyle recommendations.
Remember, in Maharishi Ayurveda, digestion and diet are the first line of health protection and one of the primary tools for restoration of health. Used right, these tools and this knowledge can help gently and gradually restore balance by bringing the body and mind back into harmony with Nature's laws and rhythms.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.