10 Aug Ayurveda for gut health
Every culture has its own healing practices, approaches, knowledge, and beliefs incorporating ceremony, plants, mineral-based, energetic and physical techniques used to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Wellness is universal ✌️
Earlier this year I was traveling through India and Nepal. This is the home of Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing.
Ayurveda is so much more than a treatment method, it is a science of life.
Ayur = life
Veda = science or knowledge
Ayurveda balances our environment, body, mind, and spirit with daily and seasonal guidelines for diet, behaviour and lifestyle choices. In Ayurveda, health isn’t the absence of symptoms – it’s the presence of happiness.
Ayurvedic philosophy puts a strong emphasis on supporting the body through diet. According to Ayurveda, diet, along with daily meditation, can balance the doshas. This ancient approach to health and wellness is a mind-body perspective. Each person has an affinity to one of the 3 doshas, this is the energies circulating the body governing your body’s physical activity and performance.
The 3 doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
In Ayurveda, health starts with Agni (digestive fire), in the gut. So in healing the gut from an Ayurvedic perspective, it is important to remember these 3 things:
- Support agni
- Reduce/eliminate ama (toxins) by alleviating imbalances in dosha
- Keep agni strong in order to produce ojas (“vigor”/byproduct of optimal digestion)
How to eliminate imbalances?
Vata: Goal = Combat dryness
- Regular eating schedule versus skipping meals
- Fats and oils (water element)
- Maybe crowd out gaseous foods.
- Cooked vegetables
- Dairy, grains, and naturally sweet foods – warm and grounding (earth element)
- Complement air element with spices (fire) For
Pitta: Goal = Cool down
- More alkaline diet
- Maybe crowd out peppers, tomatoes, onions, caffeine.
- Bitter or sweet foods
- Light spices (coriander, fennel, cardamom, etc.)
- Lighter, plant-based proteins, poultry, and fish
For Kapha: Goal = Lightness
- Light, low-carb, high-fiber diet
- Sharp, warming spices
- Crowd out heavy foods (dairy, refined grains, sweets).
General rules for all:
- Drink hot liquids or hot water throughout the day.
- Partake in intermittent fasting, if appropriate for you.
- Eat lunch as the biggest meal.
- Practice regular and seasonal cleansing to clear out toxins.
- Cook with spices for digestion, such as black pepper, ginger, and nutmeg.
As you’ll notice above some of the doshas thrive on consuming dairy, this is not a mistype, cultures that use Ayurveda are all about the benefits of dairy products. If you would like more information on dairy – click here