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Digestion in Ayurveda

By the magic of digestion, when you eat an apple it becomes a part of your body. And whether the apple is hot or cold, acidic or basic, sugary or bitter, the body still has to transform the apple into the building blocks of living human flesh. The most profound way you interact with the environment is by eating it. That's why your food choices play a central role in maintaining your health. These basic concepts of digestion will help you get started on your healing journey. Watch this video about The Importance of Good Digestion.

Digestive Concept #1: Agni - How to Improve the Strength of Your Digestion

Digestion isn't easy. In fact, digestion of food consumes up to 60% of your daily metabolism. That means digestion takes work. Since digestion is such an energy hog, Ayurveda pays close attention to it. In fact, Ayurveda has a special word for the strength of your digestion called agni. There are many ways to improve your agni, such as including digestive spices in your cooking, eating easy to digest foods, avoiding difficult to digest foods, and finding the diet that is right for your body type.

Digestive Concept #2: Ama - Toxins Created by Indigestion

Weak digestion causes lots of problems, include a buildup of toxins which Ayurveda calls ama. Ama is anything that remains undigested or stuck in the body. Ama accumulates whenever agni is low or deficient. Signs of weak digestion in the stomach include burping, acid reflux, small appetite, and feeling tired after eating. Signs of weak digestion in the small intestine include gas & bloating. Signs of weak digestion in the colon include smelly poops, constipation or diarrhea. There are many other signs of indigestion which you can read about on this site.

Digestive Concept #3: Find the Diet that is Right for Your Type

Advertisers may try to sell you miracle foods, often from far-away places. Ayurveda says everyone has a unique body and there are no one-size-fits-all miracle foods. Finding the right diet that works for you may take some time, but for every person there are special foods that help you feel great. You can find your miracle foods by removing any foods from your diet that make you feel tired, emotional, or otherwise exacerbate your symptoms. Once your diet is clean, you'll soon be able to notice which foods make you feel good. As your diet improves you'll also find your tongue craving healthy foods more reliably, making the process quicker. Your miracle foods change with the season, so you'll have to repeat this process several times the first year.

Ayurvedic Facts About Digestion

  • Digestion is healing.
  • Digestion takes work.
  • Gas is a sign of weak digestion.
  • You are what you eat and don't poop.
Take the Digestion Quiz Discover your digestive strengths and weakness online.

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.

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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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