There are several typical ailments that are quickly increasing, including stubborn fat, continuous weight gain, indigestion, bloating, and acidity. But should we only focus on intense exercise and crash diets to combat these?
According to Dr. Ritu Sethi, Senior Consultant and Head of Department, Ayurveda, Holy Family Hospital, Delhi, “All these are symptoms of disturbances in the gut, which are very common these days, and most of the time, this disturbance is linked to mental health.” She explains: “We observe illnesses like hyperacidity, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and liver problems when there is an imbalance between the stomach and the brain. These traditionally relate to emotional well-being.
Healthy mind, healthy gut
You may become unwell as a result of stress, worry, and dread, didn’t you know? Physical well-being is directly impacted by negative emotions that have an adverse influence on mental health. According to Dr. Sethi, when a person experiences emotional imbalance, their gut health is affected, which causes health issues. While ayurveda offers treatments for this through medications and panchakarma procedures, a more durable answer is to practise yoga, music meditation, and other stress-relieving practises, which are quickly gaining popularity among people of all ages and occupations.
Follow the sun
Long work hours, binge-watching television on mobile devices, and unpredictable schedules throw off the body’s natural clock. Dr. Sethi claims that eating fast food and junk food, as well as skipping meals, are associated with middle body heaviness, abdominal distention, and impaired digestion. The excessive use of social media and OTT material results in late-night munching and poor sleep.
Dr. Sethi advises eating and sleeping at regular times. Lunch should be finished by 2 pm if breakfast is eaten by 9 am. Around four hours should pass between meal and bedtime. If you must snack in between these meals, she advises eating fruits, nuts, or buttermilk.
During meals, resist the want to drink that glass of water. While eating, drinking water impairs the digestive process and slows down metabolism. “People who are overweight or obese should avoid drinking water when eating. Thirty minutes after finishing your meal, have a glass of water, advises Dr. Sethi. She advises eating more regularly and in smaller portions for people who have frequent dyspepsia.
No fad diets
While ayurveda extols the virtues of fasting, Dr. Sethi advises only fasting for up to 13 hours at a time. “Long hours of fasting over a prolonged period of time can weaken the digestive system,” she claims. Because every body’s constitution is unique, meal plans and diets must be tailored to meet each person’s demands.
The plate matters
Vegetables, fruits, and herbs found in nature provide curative and medicinal characteristics for a variety of diseases. Bael, giloy, pumpkin seeds, saunf, and jeera aid with digestion, yet a light and early meal should still be a part of the routine for individuals with a poor digestive system. “Curd and buttermilk with ajwain or mint are very good for the gut, but remedies vary according to the condition,” she claims.
Mix and match
Food combinations are important because they affect how our bodies respond and work. “Foods having contradicting qualities, or virudh ahar, should be avoided. Milkshakes are one of these examples since fruits and milk should never be drunk together because they constantly trigger indigestion, according to the expert. Fruits and curd are a safe mix for anyone trying to gain weight. Similarly, things like shellfish, sour foods, salt, and mustard should not be consumed with milk. If consumed together, ghee and honey shouldn’t be consumed in equal amounts.
“Food characteristics should be taken into account. Foods that have a cooling impact shouldn’t be combined with anything hot, according to Dr. Sethi. Milk should be swapped out for curd or buttermilk in those who have digestive issues since they promote the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. If you must have milk, boil it with fennel seeds and green cardamom, let it cool, and then drink throughout the day. If you have a weak tummy, stay away from milk at night, she advises.
Even though triphala and giloy are over-the-counter medications that advertise good health, Dr. Sethi advises speaking with ayurvedic doctors before using herbs continuously. “Anything that doesn’t work for your body might be harmful. You could feel better right away, but it won’t address the underlying problem, she claims.