16 Critical Tips to Strengthen Digestive Fire - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

16 Critical Tips to Strengthen Digestive Fire

By on August 8, 2016

We compare our Agni (digestive fire) to the sun. Both the sun and our digestive fire are critical to our existence. We need to tend to and take care of our Agni so that we can be strong, vivacious and radiant.

Follow these 16 tips to help strengthen digestive fire:

  1. In the morning, when it first comes up, it is not very hot as we have been sleeping and fasting all night. We need to stoke the fire, in the shape of a warm cup of freshly grated ginger tea with lemon and honey. Then we can follow it with a light breakfast.
  2. At midday the sun is at its hottest, and our Agni is at its strongest and burning well enough to take a good-sized meal.
  3. By evening, as the sun sets, our energy and digestion begin to slow down again and our Agni is lower. This is the time to eat another light meal and then rest and relax. We don’t need so much food for the evening activities. If we put heavy logs on the fire, they will not burn properly and could disturb our digestion or our sleep. Our bodies do not need the energy or fuel that they did earlier.
  4. Don’t eat more than you need: Smaller, lighter meals are better than large, heavy ones, which can overload the fire and put it out! According to Ayurveda, we should eat until our stomach feels three-quarters full and then leave one-quarter of the space to enable our digestive juices to mix properly with our food and optimize digestion.
  5. Taste and enjoy your food: Eating food you dislike will inhibit the flow of digestive enzymes. Eating with awareness will promote good digestion.
  6. Eat slowly and in relaxed fashion, sitting down: Digestive enzymes flow when the parasympathetic nervous system is in operation. When adrenaline flows, our digestive enzymes don’t. So it is important to be relaxed and not to eat on the run.
  7. When you eat, only eat: When you eat consciously, and taste your food, your body is more likely to secrete the appropriate digestive juices to digest the food being eaten. If your are watching TV, working at your computer or discussing something inflammatory such as religion, politics or your relationship, this is likely to disturb your digestion. Light, relaxed conversation with friends or family is fine.
  8. Sit quietly before eating, to let go of any stress: Saying grace is a good way to do this.
  9. Drink some hot water with fresh lemon or lime juice, or freshly grated ginger, to kindle your digestion before a meal
  10. Don’t drink too much with your meals.
  11. Go for a gentle walk after you eat: To promote digestion and settle your food.
  12. Add mild spices to your cooking: Such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and fennel. You can also drink them in teas.
  13. Eat when you feel hungry: And once your previous meals has been digested, preferably allowing at least four hours between meals. Grazing or snacking is not great for the digestion. If you have high Agni, you may need to eat more often than this to prevent low blood sugar.
  14. Don’t eat late: Allow two to three hours after your evening meal before going to bed. Going to sleep on full stomach is not advisable. You will feel much better in the morning if you eat a light meal around at around 6 or 7 p.m.
  15. Don’t fast or skip meals: Unless you are undergoing a detoxification program.
  16. Eat regularly and at the same time everyday: So that your Agni can prepare for the meal.

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About Marjorie Garces

Marjorie Garces is an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and Ayurvedic consultant. Since coming to Australia in 2012, Dr. Marjorie has practiced holistically by combining her medical skills with the practice of Ayurveda, allowing her to take the best of both worlds. She practices at the Back2Health Clinic in Brisbane. Visit her blog for more information: www.marjoriegarces.com

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