The relationship between your body type and your digestion is so strong that Ayurveda believes the "home" of your body type is in the digestive tract. Kapha makes its home in the stomach. Pitta in the small intestine. And Vata in the colon.
Furthermore, Ayurveda believes that imbalances disturb digestion first. Then, as the imbalance grows it spreads beyond the digestive tract to the blood, and finally to organs. This fact is not hard to believe considering that your gut hosts the largest biome of bacteria in your body. Imbalances in this gut world of microbes affects your nervous system, stress levels and practically every part of your body.
Hippocrates - considered by many to be the father of Western medicine - is quoted as saying "All disease begins in the gut." Modern research is confirming this. Understanding the nature of your digestion and how to best support it is Ayurveda's primary approach to health and vitality. Ayurvedic treatment of imbalances starts by repairing digestion, then blood, and finally organs.
Recent studies in the gut microbiome have confirmed there are three 'gut types.' Each type has its own food preferences and digestive pattern. There are the Bacteroides which are skilled at getting nutrients from any and all food - though they and their hosts tend to prefer meats and fats. Those in this type tend to be heavier and their digestion tends to be medium paced similar to Kapha. Then there are the Prevotella which usually hang out in the guts of vegetarians. Prevotella have the fastest digestion and most watery stools as does Pitta dosha. Ruminococcus dominant types have the slowest transit and hardest stool - similar to Vata dosha. They too tend to favor munching on vegetables.3
In Ayurveda, digestive health starts with addressing the unique effects your body type (dosha) has on your digestion. If you don't know your body type yet, take the quizzes on Joyful Belly to find out. If you do know your body type, start catering to its digestive needs by click one of the links below!
 Vandeputte, Doris, Falony, Gwen, Vieira-Silva, Sara, Tito, Raul Y, Joossens, Marie and Raes, Jeroen. "Stool consistency is strongly associated with gut microbiota richness and composition, enterotypes and bacterial growth rates" Gut: An international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in gastroenterology & hepatology, 2016.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as 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. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
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