Written by John Immel,
Is Snacking Healthy?Your ancestors survived long periods without foods. While regular mealtimes are essential in Ayurveda, snacks are not. Fasting between meals encourages your body to digest fats, and rests your GI tract. It may take awhile before you are comfortable with a feeling of emptiness in your stomach.
If you graze all day, your body will actually forget how to survive fasting between meals. Your blood sugar , and your energy levels will become very unstable. Anytime your snacks are missing or unavailable, blood sugar levels will crash, leaving you hypoglycemic, depressed, and very vulnerable to food cravings. When your energy levels start to crash like this, waiting until dinner might seem like an eternity. Emergency trips to the vending machine and binging are the inevitable result. Snacking makes you dependent on more snacks.
Fasting between meals gives your digestive organs a chance to rest, and improves your body's willingness to digest fats, a more stable source of energy than a late afternoon 'pick me up'.
Why do I get the munchies?
What are the Best Snacks for My Body Type?If you must snack, snack strategically. Eat light foods for your Dosha that are easy to digest. Wheat crackers, cheese, granola and nuts are generally too heavy for snacking.
Vata SnacksMany Vata people cannot digest large meals and may need to supplement their diet by snacking once a day at a regular time. Vata should avoid snacking on drying foods like popcorn, crackers, chips, granola, dried fruits, and nuts. Avoid heavy foods like bread as well. Ideal Vata snacks are liquid and easy to digest.
Pitta SnacksPitta people have strong agni (digestive strength) and fewer restrictions on snacking. Ideal Pitta snacks are cooling, sweet, and heavy.
Kapha SnacksKapha can snack on drying, light, unsalted foods, as well as appetite suppressants like raw apples.
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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. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. 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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