Digestion (The Hidden and Natural Secret of Our Health)
By Dr. Jagbandhu Nath
Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital
Ayurveda states that our daily activities as well as mental and physical states are greatly influenced by what we eat. Many of the Ayurvedic principles have been incorporated in our day to day diet took practices, religious advice or experience. The Ayurvedic science of nutrition has a wide scope and includes more than just the right amount and combination of dietary ingredients to provide the appropriate amount of calories and essential nutrients.
The effect of dietary components depends on factors such as seasons, quantity of food and digestive capacity of the consumer.
Constitution or Prakriti:
The inherent constitution or prakriti of an individual consists of one or more of the doshas – the Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This determines which type of food helps the person in promoting health and nutrition and which are not conducive for the same.
Digestive power or Agni:
The digestive power or Agni is also based on the balance of the doshas in the body. Any imbalance leads to disorder of digestion and metabolism of food.
Agni is of four types:
1. Vishama Agni: - Due to Vata Dosha the gastric fire becomes vitiated, causing irregular appetite, indigestion and gas. Emotionally this can result in anxiety, insecurity, fear and neurological or mental problem.
2. Teekhna Agni: Pitta Dosha is responsible for this type of disorder. It may cause hyper-metabolism, hyperacidity, heartburn and hypoglycemic leading to inflammatory disease.
3. Manda Agni: This is due to excess Kapha condition, leading to slow metabolism, obesity, allergies and congestive disease.
4. Sama Agni: This type of agni is the result of balanced Tri-Dosha. A person having this type of agni can eat almost any type of food without difficulty, digestion, absorption and elimination are very normal for such a person.
Now a day's people have become fond of fatty food, in other words fast food, oily and spicy food.
They harm our digestive system. On the other hand we want more and more luxurious life of which we require more money. It is the age of competition and we want to live in a stylish way, hence to earn more we give too much of strain to our body. We run here and there or we work for hours together which doing so we are not bothered about our meals. No doubt, that we have to earn for our livelihood but for this our health is the most important.
There is a common proverb that "Nothing is gone if wealth is gone. Something is gone if health is gone."
More than eighty percent of diseases occur due to disturbance in our digestive system which affects every system in our body. Cardiovascular system, uro-genital system, nervous system etc. are linked directly or indirectly to our digestive system.
Three meals a day is basic need of our body to keep us healthy and keep us fit to fight with several diseases but we are not following it. Our stomach gets emptied in every 4-5 hrs while we are awakened. Hence it becomes necessary to eat something on the other after every 4-5 hrs except for sleeping hours- night time.
Some tips to maintain our digestion:
1. Do not over eat
2. Avoid working late at night
3. Avoid oily and spicy food
4. Avoid taking non-veg food
5. Avoid taking liquor
6. Avoid taking more sweets
1. Wherever possible intake of whey or lassi should followed at lunch
2. Try to take seasonal fruits and vegetables
3. Take three meals a day
4. The food must be fresh, well cooked, tasty, pleasing and satisfying