We are becoming increasingly aware that a big part of our health is defined in our gut (the bowels or intestines). Our immune system depends on our gut. When your gut is not ok your immune system will not work properly. So when your gut doesn’t function as it should, over time you will become more vulnerable to other diseases, not necessarily related to the gut directly.
In Ayurveda your digestion is the key to healthy and long living.
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The digestive process starts at the moment you are cooking and/or smelling the delicious smells that come from the kitchen. Mouthwatering dishes that appeal to the 5 senses… Good food does just that: the water in your mouth starts flowing and extra saliva is created in anticipation of having this lovely food in your mouth and in your stomach.
Now the #1 ayurvedic secret for your digestion is really no secret at all. We all know it but we don’t do it…
- How many times are you eating mindlessly in the car on the way home/to work?
- Chewing away snacks in front of the television?
- Eating lunch at your desk?
- Scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while eating?
- Have a book or magazine next to your plate?
(aye aye guilty here too! Especially the last one…)
The #1 ayurvedic secret for your digestion
The #1 ayurvedic secret for your digestion is to chew your food well. When we engage in other activities while eating, we forget to chew our food properly. We eat mindlessly. Swallow chunks of food that are too big. We make bad food choices. Overeat. Undereat. Eat foods together that don’t really match.
Food not chewed properly is harder to digest and creates ama, toxins, in your body. You can tell there is ama in your body when you look at the coating of your tongue in the morning (but that’s a topic for another post ;-)) Even when you think you are eating super healthily you may be creating ama and hurting your digestion by not chewing properly.
How many times should you chew your food?
About 30 times more than you do now… ;-) Of course some foods are harder to chew than others. A good rule of thumb is that the food should slide down your throat easily. It should so liquefied that the food will go down almost automatically.
When your food is properly mixed with saliva – which already contains digestive enzymes that start to break down the food in your mouth – it is much easier for your stomach to digest the rest of it. Your stomach needs to produce less acid to do its job. And when the food moves on from your stomach into your intestines, the smaller food pieces will be sitting in your gut a shorter time. The nutrients will be more easily absorbed. Your food doesn’t have so much time to ferment or putrefy (bye, bloating). And all that starts with just chewing properly…
Does this make sense to you? How challenging for you is chewing your food better?