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10 Healthy Eating Habits to Improve Your Digestion from Ayurveda

Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
Here are ten habits to improve digestion.
  • Wait for the signs of true hunger.
  • Eat the same time every day. The stomach likes to be on a good routine.
  • A simple glass of warm water twenty minutes before a meal can improve digestive function by as much as 24%.
  • Relax while eating and for fifteen minutes afterwards.
  • Eat simple food combinations.
  • Avoid cold drinks or food.
  • Baby the digestion after a tough day with time-tested soups.
  • Completely chew and mix food with saliva.
  • Fill stomach 1/3 full with food, 1/3 with water, and 1/3 empty.
  • Eat a simple breakfast, a hearty lunch, and a gentle dinner.
Warm 101 degree soups prevent Dry Stomach Syndrome. It likes tea, steamed veggies, soups. The stomach struggles more with raw, cold foods and excessively irritating foods like chilis.

Improper Eating Habits

Improper eating habits lead to poor digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. In ancient times, Indian monks worshipped agni, the god of fire. In the body, agni is the digestive fire. The monks were careful to protect their digestive fire, which is the sacred fire that fuels and nourishes the blood and all other metabolic activity. Poor digestion leads to formation of ama and altered blood chemistry. In addition to following the principles above, here are some other habits to avoid:
  • Snacking between meals
  • Excess fats, proteins, sweets, sour, and salty foods
  • Eating heavy foods late at night / sleeping after eating.
  • Eating too much or too soon after a meal
  • Eating while constipated, gassy, burping, or any other digestive distress.

Good eating habits are a struggle for everyone. Read about how to lose weight and a 7 Step Plan to Manage Food Cravings.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC
 
Digestion in Ayurveda
 
Why Ayurveda is the Best Way to Improve Your Digestion
 
How to Improve Your Digestion through Building Good Agni
 
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You have an informative site. I learnt a lot about myself today along with your site. Thank you.

- padma, The colony, TX, 10-03-11 (Reply)
Im a MBBS doctor and to my surprise your site is very informative and it helped me in solving my stomach problem which I thought was due to hyperacidity and I was taking omeprazole but now i got to know that it is due to hypoacidity. thank you very much. Im very much impressed..
- hemanth, 08-18-13 (Reply)
I didn't see anything about the Ayurvedic view of smoothies, which are cold and raw. Please comment, Jon.
- Denise, Holland, OH, 06-12-14 (Reply)
How can you eat a scheduled meal when you don't get hungry because you are constipated?
- Maureen, 01-04-15 (Reply)
Yes, I've often wondered about the Ayurvedic view on smoothies since they combine fruit, veggies, proteins(nut butters and milk) and they are additionally cold and raw. It seems like this is against the principles of Ayurveda. Comments, John?
- Lauren Bohart, Dallas, TX, 01-12-15 (Reply)
Smoothies are good because they are easy to digest, but can be difficult if they are too cold (i.e. not room temperature) or if they have poor food combinations (i.e. cow's milk and banana). Best to keep smoothies simple; we have several good recipes on the website.
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC, 01-12-15 (Reply)
Hi, i have Autoimmune thyroiditis, and do not digest proteins very well. but I do feel hungry and eat meals on time. How to get food to digest naturally? how do I find out if my digestive issues are related to pitta and kapha or pitta and vada?
- Priya, 03-31-15 (Reply)
Priya - because of your personalized situation, it is best to have a consultation. You can sign up for one here: http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/consultation
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC, 03-31-15 (Reply)

What is Joyful Belly?

Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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