How this expert uses diet to prevent disease

How often do you experience uncomfortable gut symptoms such as bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhoea, gas or unexplained tiredness and just put it to the side? Do you simply ignore it or blame it on stress or something you have eaten?

The human body is speaking to you all the time but how much are you mindfully listening?

Any pain in the gut or anywhere in the body in Ayurveda is known as “Ama” which is a Sanskrit word for “undigested food material”, which ultimately causes toxicity. The more Ama a body accumulates over a lifespan, the more likely you are setting yourself up for disease.

The ancient health science of Ayurveda is one of the few health and healing modalities that focuses on both prevention and treatment.

So how can you prevent disease according to Ayurveda? Diet and lifestyle is key.

#1 Eat foods from nature that are freshly cooked

Foods that are naturally warm and oily such as soups, roasted vegetables and dahls are more easily digested than raw, cold foods as your body does not have to strain and work as hard to cook it. Always favour fresh wholefoods, good quality fish and meats, grains, fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds and avoid anything processed or with preservatives.

#2 Sip hot water

If there’s one thing you can do to aid digestion and naturally flush toxins out of the body that is to sip plain hot water throughout the day. It’s not about quantity, but more about frequency and ideally every 15 minutes you should take a sip. The hotter the better according to Ayurveda. On the contrary, ice cold drinks (and foods) will put out the digestive fire and constrict the body’s channels.

#3 Turn your food into tasty medicine by adding herbs and spices to enhance digestion

Spices such as ginger, turmeric and pepper have many benefits which include helping your body breakdown the food and effectively distribute nutrients to the body. They can be added to hot water to make a tea, to a cup of hot milk or by cooking them with your food.

#4 Incorporate stress management techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation daily into your life

Certain techniques such as Vedic Meditation naturally and effortlessly remove accumulated stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety and fatigue, improves digestion function, improves sleep patterns, increases immunity and ability to control cravings.

#5 Reduce EMF

Electromagnetic fields are generated in closeness of wireless devices such as mobile phones, computers, Wi-Fi routers and smart TVs. Switch everything off when not in use, remove all wireless devices from your bedroom if possible and start using the aeroplane button on your phone more often!

#6 Boost immunity by living in harmony with nature

Understand how different times of the day and seasons are also aligned with our body-types. For example, when the weather is cold and dry during autumn and early winter we want to do the opposite to bring balance such as eating foods with warmth, oiliation and heaviness. In summer when it’s hot, it’s important to favour cooler and lighter foods. When the weather is dense and wet in later winter and spring, we want to create warmth and stimulation to counteract the winter sluggishness. Nature beautifully provides us with food that is balancing for the season so the more we favour this the more we will naturally find balance. Same principle is with the lifestyle activities you perform.

#7 Fasting

Fasting is often used in Ayurveda and is what the 2016 Nobel prize won for being one of the most powerful metabolic interventions.

There are many different types of fasting such as intermittent fasting. First step is to avoiding snacking in between meals. However, please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to guide you on this one.

While we’re on the topic, this is how to eat ayurvedically, according to an expert. Plus, 3 surprising things that improve your gut.

Narissa Moeller is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. Follow her @nmayurveda.

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If you are concerned about your health or diet, book an appointment with your GP who will be able to advise a correct treatment plan.

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