Any system, be it digestive or reproductive, is not looked at in isolation in Ayurveda. Any health problem should be analyzed for underlying causes in the body and then treated accordingly. The balance between three elements or doshas results in good health, while imbalance causes bad health, these three doshas are pitta, vaata, and kapha. Indigestion is a result of this imbalance and restoring this balance can help in curing indigestion.
The following are some simple steps to follow, which can help prevent indigestion.
- Practice eating several small meals spread throughout the day instead of binging on big meals at lunch or dinner. This will not put stress on the digestive system and gives you a constant flow of energy during the day.
- Practice eating slowly and with thorough chewing. This will allow the saliva to mix thoroughly with the food and it is said about 50% of the digestion happens in the mouth. Do not eat with your mouth open, as a lot of air can get into the stomach, causing bloating and indigestion.
- Avoid or reduce greasy or oily food items, as they make digestion difficult and also cause sluggish movement of food within the digestive system.
- Avoid or completely reduce spicy and junk food items like caffeine, aerated drinks, refined floor items like pizzas, and chocolate. These produce a high sugar level, but are of no nutritional value. Pizzas also lead to constipation. Aerated drinks cause acid accumulation and a bloated feeling.
- Alcohol causes irritation of the stomach lining. Ensure sufficient water intake to reduce this irritation and also to prevent dehydration from alcohol.
- Avoid drinking water with meals, keep them for an hour after meals. They dilute the digestive juices and reduce the efficiency of digestion.
- Avoid snacking in between meals, especially at late night. The snacks which are usually eaten between meals are fried stuff, which adds to calorie intake. Try snacking on fruits, sprouts, dry fruits, or eggs if really required.
- If you are a smoker and have indigestion, consider quitting it. The benefits of improved digestion will be visible within a week.
- Adding spices like mint, ginger, cumin seeds, and asafetida increases digestive capacity.
- Do not exercise on a full stomach, as it hampers digestion. The best time to exercise is at least an hour before eating.
- Yoghurt, curd, and other fermented products are a good source of gut bacteria and should be consumed regularly.
- When eating heavy, ensure the clothing is not very tight, which can constrict blood flow to the digestive organs.
- Give a gap of at least two to three hours between the last meal of the day and the sleeping time. Use a pillow so that the head is elevated above the feet.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!