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Ayurveda believes that the health of your digestive system is dependent on the strength of your jatharagni, also known as the digestive fire. It lays down several dietary guidelines that ensures that your digestive fire burns strong and is able to completely assimilate all the food into the body, in order to avoid excessive production of toxins (ama).
The quantity and quality of food you eat determine the power of jatharagni.
You should only eat when the digestive fire is ready.
As you age, jatharagni weakens and is called mandagni and in this stage, you need to take special precaution of your diet.
In Ayurveda, the proper functioning of your digestive system is determined by the strength of jatharagni, the digestive fire. And, the quantity and quality of food you eat determine the power of jatharagni.
The basic rule is all that you eat should be completely digested, in order to avoid excessive ama production. Heavy foods like oily, greasy, and fried food, sweets and dairy products are harder to digest, therefore, should be eaten less frequently than light foods like raw fruits and vegetables, boiled pulses.
Also, the power of jatharagni corresponds to the movement of the sun. It increases until noon when the sun is at its peak and then it gradually decrease. Therefore, jatharagni is strongest during the middle of the day. Lunch should be the main meal of the day when food can be easily digested and absorbed. Breakfast and dinner should be light.
In your regular eating habits, you should eat only when the digestive fire is ready. That’s when all the previously eaten food has been digested and you feel hungry. When you have more food before the previous meal has been digested, it is neither converted into ahara rasa (nutrients) or malas (urine, stool, sweat) but leads to ama (toxins) production.
As you process towards old age, jatharagni tends to weaken and it is then called mandagni. To support the digestive fire during this age, you should
Eat light food like soups and broths, steamed vegetables, fresh fruits and juices.
Practise pranayama and yoga
Go for morning and evening walks
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