Gut has gained much importance in traditional ways of treatment like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ancient people thought that the gut is the basis of all health issues and any disease start from the imbalance of digestion and absorption in the gut. Most of them also considered gut as a second brain that regulates metabolism and body reactions. Recent scientific advancement, clinical trials and studies related to anatomy and physiology also reveal that there is a similar network of neurons present in the gut called the “enteric nervous system or ENS”. Just like your central nervous system, ENS also comprises of millions of neurons that keep your colon moving and regulate its smooth muscle contraction. It produces electrical charges in the gut that helps to contract smooth muscles in pushing food forward and pass waste products out of your body.
Besides the gut-brain (ENS), the stomach also produces acid and digestive enzymes that help digest and absorb nutrients in the food. Ayurvedic philosophy considers this acid as stomach fire and views the health of the body as optimal functioning of stomach fire-governing metabolism. The stomach fire is further divided into three types.
The middle or average stomach fire means that your stomach is producing an optimal amount of acid that is fair enough for proper digestion of food. It also ensures that you are enjoying good health.
If your digestive fire is low, it means that there is not enough production of acid in the stomach. Low digestion fire is unhealthy and causes several health issues like fatigue syndrome, high cholesterol, skin conditions, blood disorders, cysts, allergies, and cancers.
A high stomach fire means excess production of acid that also leads to many digestive problems such as irregular appetite, signs of variable hunger, indigestion, bloating, intestinal cramps, and constipation.
The nature of stomach fire imbalance and how it interacts with the body determines the presentation of symptoms. The digestion fire causes the breakdown of food into smaller pieces. When you have normal fire, i.e., you are utilizing healthy food according to your body type, you are capable of proper nutrient assimilation. When your stomach fire gets weak (low stomach fire) the digestion of food is compromised and may lead to malabsorption of the nutrients. When it’s high, you may feel burning sensations.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may indicate that you have some sort of negative eating habits. An example of eating inappropriate food combinations includes drinking lemon water or apple cider by people with high stomach fire. To bring your digestive fire back on the track, you have to adopt certain habits that support healthy digestion. These include;
- Eat food in a quiet environment without distractions such as using a smartphone, watching TV or excessive conversation.
- Chew your food properly, so it will easy for your stomach to digest it.
- Make sure to eat warm food.
- Walk at least 40 steps right after eating a meal.
- Don’t skip dinner and take it 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- Avoid foods that are damaging to your body type.
- Avoid overeating.
Complete a quick quiz to know what type of body you have. Knowing your body type will help you choose the right types of food groups and better regulate your digestion fire.