Asked for male, 26 years old from Vijayawada
Ayurveda recommends a variety of practical techniques for keeping our digestive fire strong. Incorporating these practices into your daily life can strengthen agni and, in turn, facilitate weight loss, improve the metabolism of food, and minimize uncomfortable GI symptoms.
Here are six powerful ways to strengthen your agni:
1.) Meditate on a regular basis—Studies are increasingly confirming the genetic changes that occur with regular meditation, which can help restore the body’s homeostasis, including the processes controlling digestion. To achieve maximum benefit, meditate for 20 to 30 minutes, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
2.) Do some form of daily movement, whether it is a little yoga every morning, or a daily walk—A recent study published in Diabetes Careshowed that a short 15-minute walk after each meal helped to control sugar spikes after eating. These short post-meal walks were more effective than taking a longer, 45-minute walk once daily. 3.) Don’t overeat—When we eat more food than our stomach can accommodate, we cannot properly break it down. We also tend to produce more acid, thus causing reflux and indigestion. In addition, the amount of digestive enzymes produced may not be able to completely break down the volume of food ingested, which leads to more gas formation, discomfort, or bloating. Ayurveda recommends that we leave one-third to one-quarter of our stomach empty to allow space for our body to easily digest our meal. Here is a simple way to gauge an ideal portion of food for a meal based on your body size: Cup your hands together with your fingertips touching, forming the shape of a bowl. The recommended amount of food for a meal is the equivalent of two of these handfuls of food. Of course, you can eat less than two handfuls if your appetite is smaller.
4.) Sip on ginger tea throughout the day, and with meals. Ginger is known in Ayurveda as the “universal remedy” due to its many benefits for the body, and it has been used for more than 2, 000 years to treat digestive issues. Ginger can relax the smooth muscle of the intestines, thereby relieving symptoms of gas and cramping. A recent study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that ginger stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine, and helps eliminates digestive discomfort after eating. In addition, ginger can stimulate saliva, bile, and gastric enzymes to aid in digestion of the food that has been ingested. The researchers concluded that these beneficial effects are a result of phenolic compounds, primarily gingerol and shogaol, and various other volatile oils that are present in ginger.
Ginger Tea Recipe: Ginger tea is refreshing and easy to make. Just add one teaspoon of grated or sliced fresh ginger root to a cup of hot water. You can prepare a larger batch and keep it with you in a thermos bottle to sip throughout the day.
5.) Eat your largest meal at lunchtime—Our bodies are most able to digest food at midday, when we are active. As studies have found, our digestive system secretes the highest concentration of “digestive juices” around noon, making this the best time to eat our largest meal. In the evening, our bodies are slowing down and preparing for sleep. If we eat our biggest meal at dinner, when our digestive fire is weaker, we will feel heavy and bloated and will be more likely to have difficulty falling asleep.
6.) Focus on releasing negative emotions—You’ve no doubt noticed that your emotions influence your digestion. You may get heartburn when you’re under stress, lose your appetite when you feel sad, or become nauseated or even throw up before a big exam or presentation.