It is increasingly clear that good health starts with good digestion. We are what we eat, but only if we can digest it. The word ‘Agni’ literally means digestive fire in Ayurveda. It refers to the process by which the foods we eat are broken down into the nutrients that sustain us. In short, it’s the way food becomes us. At Agni, all of our products are made to support your digestive fire, and we are committed to sharing accessible ways for you to #fuelyouragni any time, any place.
We narrowed down a few tips about how to improve your digestion from our Medical Advisory Board which includes experts across Western Medicine, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, and Herbalism. Just adding three of the below modifications into your daily routine can have a dramatic, positive impact on how you feel. Consistency is key, so do your best to choose the ones that you like the most and fit best with your routine.
1) Find the highest quality, whole, fresh foods you can afford and cook them yourself as often as possible. All of the below tips will work best when starting from this place. This may mean buying organic produce or better quality dairy, meat or fish, and also taking inventory of all of your grocery staples, such as cooking fats and oils, vinegars and spices. The bulk section of a health food store can be a great way to get high-quality whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts for lower cost.
2) Drink 32 oz of 105°F water every morning with either salt or lemon juice. Try taking your morning water with either 1/4 tsp of pink Himalayan salt or juice from half a lemon (or better yet both!) within 10 minutes of waking up. This will wake up your digestive system, hydrate you, and create undulations in your gastrointestinal tract that trigger that coveted first thing in the morning poop (which is an AMAZING indicator of health!) We believe having a solid, firm, easy to pass poop every morning should be coined the 5th vital sign!
3) Do your best to eat meals at the same times every day and avoid habitual snacking. For many, a great meal schedule involves breakfast within 2 hours of waking up, lunch 4-5 hours after breakfast, and dinner 5-6 hours after lunch (and at least 3 hours before bed). This is because of how important circadian rhythms are to pretty much everything. Beyond sleep, eating regular meals can impact digestion, neurotransmitters (mental health), hormones (mood and emotions), and muscle recovery. Incorporating regular meal times can be nearly as effective for positively regulating our circadian rhythms as a regular sleep schedule. Our Medical Advisor and world-renowned Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, B.A.M.S., M.D. (Ayurveda), has a lot to say on circadian rhythms in his book, Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life, if you want to dive in.
4) Eat according to the season. In fall and winter, eat primarily warm foods and cooked vegetables and fruits. In spring and summer, increase the amount of raw foods that you consume. Try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Why? About a fourth to a third of our entire genomic expression changes with the seasons, which means our digestion and other physiological processes also change with the seasons.
5) If you have irregular bowel movements, try taking triphala. Triphala has been used in Ayurveda throughout the ages for its many benefits, such as promoting efficient digestion, absorption, elimination, and rejuvenation. Triphala is best taken in the evening before bed or in the morning with water. Alternatively, you can try taking 1 TBS psyllium husk in 8oz of water either before bed or in the morning. To read more on why poop is important, check out our post Don’t flush that data.
6) Get direct sunlight on your skin every day. Soaking up natural Vitamin D supports everything from our digestion to our natural circadian rhythm. Bonus that it is also a natural mood booster. Aim for 30 minutes of sunlight if possible.
7) Learn about your dosha and incorporate 1-2 dosha-specific recommendations into your daily routine. A core tenet of Ayurveda involves the three doshas: kapha, pitta, and vata. According to Ayurveda, disease and illness can originate from an imbalance in these three energies in the body and mind. If you’re interested in learning more about what Ayurveda can teach you about your body composition, metabolism, digestion, and to learn dosha-specific lifestyle recommendations, we recommend this Dosha Quiz from our friends at Banyan Botanicals.
If you try any of the above tips, we would love to hear from you! Were there any amazing breakthroughs you experienced during your transition? Did any of the recommendations not work for you? Did any of the tips feel easier or more difficult to incorporate than you thought they would?
Share your story by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.