Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Is Your Digestion As Good As It Could Be?

Published on September 23, 2009 by   ·   4 Comments Pin It

Dr. Sharada Hall thinks your digestion could probably use some work.. she’s probably right.   Not sure if she’s going to get us completely off our morning fruit breakie.. but it’s great to be reminded (yet again) how important carbs are!

Is your digestion as good as it could be?   According to Ayurveda, the physical root of all disease is improper digestion. Therefore, maintaining good digestion is the key to optimal health. The Sanskrit term for digestive fire is “agni”. There are many factors that decrease it’s capability, like stress and improper diet. Yet many good habits can improve agni. Chief among them is starting off the day with the perfect breakfast.

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Imagine you are living in a home that is heated solely by a woodstove. To get it started in the morning, it is necessary to begin with just the right size kindling to build the fire. Newspaper might be used beneath some twigs and thin strips of wood. Then as that catches, you begin to add larger and larger logs of wood until the fire is really roaring.   The fire will now stay strong for the whole day with the addition of more wood.

Agni is like the fire in the wood stove.   As the morning sun rises in the sky, our inner fire awakens as well. First thing in the morning, the agni needs just the right size kindling in order to be fueled. Eating only fruit for breakfast is like putting paper on the fire. The fire consumes it but is not made stronger.   And eating a heavy breakfast can smother the fire like placing a big log in the fire before the kindling.   The ideal kindling for our digestion in the morning is a hot, whole grain porridge. Whole grains nourish the Earth element that is our digestion.   When they are slowly cooked to unleash their inner vitality,   they benefit digestion, increase assimilation, and boost metabolism. Choose the appropriate grains and seasonings for your constitution.   You will find yourself quite hungry within a few hours. Don’t worry about an increased appetite;   true hunger is a very good sign that your digestive fire is alive and well. Because you have already burned through the kindling,   by mid to late morning you’re ready for more substantial fuel.

Most people are in the habit of having coffee or tea first thing in the morning, both of which extinguish our appetite and our agni. I wouldn’t dare forbid anyone from having their morning coffee, for fear of having my head cut off, but it is wise to accompany the caffeine with the porridge nonetheless.   It will still do it’s job of feeding our fire.

So it turns out, as usual, that our mothers were right all along. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

Dr. Sharada Hall is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and an Ayurvedic practitioner who offers a unique approach to preventing illness and achieving optimal health. She presents practical health tips from ancient traditions in a fresh, fun and friendly format that is easy to understand and integrate into modern life.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Ariela says:

    I’m always wondering what the best breakfast is to prepare me for the rest of my day, thank you!

  2. karmalily says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve been slacking off on eating breakfasts all together since this semester started, and I feel like my health has been suffering a little because of it. I think I’m going to make an effort to eat nutritiously in the mornings before school.

  3. Kate says:

    I’ve been eating breakfast everyday since I started my new job and I feel more alert than ever.

  4. EmEm says:

    Is it applicable to someone outside this army? (a male :D :P)

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