In Ayurveda, the root of all disease begins in the gut. When one dosha is out of balance (vata (colon), pitta (small intestines), or kapha (stomach)), the first signs and symptoms of imbalance arise in the corresponding organ. From there, if not addressed, imbalances travel through the bloodstream to the most vulnerable organs in the body and take root, causing disease, or dis-ease — a state of being less than our highest and most optimal level.
Digestive fire, or ‘agni’ is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system, and preventing imbalances in the first place. Not only are we what we eat, but more accurately, we are what we digest and absorb. Without the proper nutrients, it is challenging for the body to repair, strengthen, and reenergize itself. The basis of our health and wellbeing truly lies in our gut.
How does the gut factor in here?
You may have heard that a healthy gut influences your mood. The two are actually quite intimately tied. Let’s break it down. There are over 100 trillion bacteria in the human body – that’s more bacterial cells than human, or self cells. In the gut alone, the body houses about 1-2 pounds of bacteria. It’s no surprise that these bacteria have a profound impact on our health. Studies have linked gut bacteria to how well we age, our emotional behaviors and wellbeing, and weight management.
Furthermore, over 90% of Serotonin, a hormone associated with feelings of well-being and happiness, is produced in the gut! Between the sheer volume of bacteria in the body, and the function it serves in influencing our mood and behaviors, one can begin to see the importance of nourishing a healthy gut. As we’ve learned, a healthy gut is made up of happy bacteria and balanced doshas in the digestive system. So how can you actually, practically, support a healthy gut?
Tips for bringing health and balance to the belly
- Eating nourishing, whole foods rich in fiber
- Adding healthy fats to your diet (think nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, ghee)
- Practicing meditation or mindfulness to keep stress levels low
- Getting plenty of good quality sleep and rest (naps and time in Nature are a wonderful way to incorporate some extra rest as the body needs)
- Consider taking supplements:
- YouVeda Ayurvedic Digestive Support Blend balances all the doshas with Triphala, and supports healthy inflammatory levels with curcumin from turmeric.
- Take a digestive enzyme with meals, to ensure proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Eating the bitter flavor, which can be found in herbs or foods (kale, fenugreek, turmeric) can also help support digestion. Bitter herbs are found in the YouVeda GI Enzyme.
- Supporting the growth of healthy bacteria by incorporating a probiotic into your supplement regime. YouVeda Probiotic 50B contains 15 strains!
- In addition to soluble fiber, being sure to consume pre-biotics (food for your gut bacteria), to support your micro-biome. Beta Glucan is a powerful source.
- Taking a multi-vitamin to support good nutrient intake. YouVeda Multi Vitamin contains Sea Buckthorn (a natural source of amino acids), vitamins, healthy fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and carotenoids, just to mention a few.
The most important thing to remember is to breath deeply, fully, and take it one step at a time. If this is new information, try incorporating change in just one area at a time. Fortunately YouVeda’s My Healthy Digestion relieves some of the mental work, and combines several tools together in one convenient (and cute!) package.
Shop the Story: My Healthy Digestion
Author – Alexandra Kazimir (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)