Last year, I spent a week at an Ayurvedic spa in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and learned immediately that in Ayurveda, the quality of your digestion is the biggest key to your overall health. If your digestive system is running smoothly, you’ve got the best shot at staving off disease and feeling great. It’s that simple.
But let’s get real: If you’re not cocooned in the lovely confines of an Ayurvedic retreat center or don’t have a degree in nutrition, there’s a good chance you take your digestive system for granted. You expect it to do its job of turning food into energy and neatly disposing of waste effortlessly—yet your eating habits (read: skipping meals, eating take-out too often, snacking constantly, and eating too much food overall) make it tough for it to get the job done. The result? Minor digestive woes—think things like bloating, gas, and constipation—that cumulatively impact our health in big ways.
The good news is that you can fix the imbalances that cause these issues with Ayurveda, says Kate O’ Donnell, author of The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook and a yoga teacher based in Boston. Here, she and other Ayurvedic experts offer five simple tips that you can start doing now to improve your digestion—and your health.