To be quite honest, I never gave my digestion much thought throughout my life. But as I got older, I started to notice how much better (or worse) I’d feel based on what I was eating and how it was digesting within my body. And, it’s such a huge tentpole in Ayurvedic practices. “For optimal digestion,” Holecek explains, “warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, even pepper are are highly recommended (although pittas should be careful to avoid an excess of warming spices).” Plus, natural fruit juices, like lemon or lime juice, are helpful as well. I use these when I’m making food at home, and keep and eye out for when they’re included in dishes at restaurants. Coburn shares, “There’s an Ayurvedic pre-digestive mixture of fresh lime juice, pounded up ginger, and honey that you can drink before eating to stimulate digestion.” Aside from those remedies, I take Banyan Botanicals’ Organic Triphala Tablets ($19) daily, a polyherbal Ayurvedic medicine which helps promote efficient digestion, absorption, elimination, and rejuvenation in your body.
The other, perhaps more important, practice to remember is nothing is one size fits all for each dosha (and person). “One of our favorite terms in Ayurveda is ‘it depends,'” says Coburn. Most recommendations are dependent on what is happening in a particular meal, in a particular time, and with a particular person. As a general rule, I try to properly chew each bite (up to 30 chews per bite is key to good digestion), limit any overly rich, greasy, or liquid foods (which inhibit that digestive fire), and make certain not to feel guilt or shame post-meal, no matter what I eat (though Triphala, garlic, and yoga can help with indigestion after an indulgence).