Occasionally, we experience major digestive disorders. But for most of us, it is a low-grade issue. There might be certain foods that we cannot handle or certain situations where we noticed that our digestion is just not working very well and mostly we are out of touch with what’s happening in our body, that we don’t even notice how the food is affecting us. We’re just mindlessly eating things. And when I say that, I don’t mean that we are eating excessively, but we’re eating without paying attention to what our body is experiencing following eating.
Knowing What is Right For You Is Important
Experimenting with food is a personal experience. It’s something that you have to personally work through and get connected with, what is best for your body. Just because someone else, who was also a pitta dosha, had a good experience with a herb, may be fennel seeds help them with their acid reflex. It might not be as beneficial for you. You might need something different.
So it’s important that we experiment and take care of how our bodies individually are managing different herbs. The fun part about cooking, is when we take herbs and add into our recipes, we can immediately see reactions, if we’re paying attention.
Common Eating Mistake That Causes Bloating
We often complicate our meals. We try to add a whole lot of different things into one meal and then we don’t understand how our body’s responding because it could be due to any one of 10 different things. So you should deconstruct your meals while you’re trying to explore. We need to consider what is best for our digestion and eat simpler meals, not comprising of excess spices, sauces, without much mixing. Imagine the difference between going to a buffet restaurant while eating 20 to 30 different food items in one sitting, versus being at home and eating a nice legume, grain or a steamed vegetable. It is much easier to determine how your body handles that. Ultimately at the buffet, you will feel partially horrible, because you probably ate too much. But also because the combination of food is not able to digest very well and you might have a reaction.
You will notice that when you first start to introduce food to an infant, you do one food at a time. It’s not mixed with other things. You can see the body’s reaction.
Ayurvedic Perspective On Bloating
In very simple words, bloating is caused due to a weak digestive fire or agni. Vata imbalance is primarily responsible for bloating. The movement of vata dosha and food materials gets obstructed due to this doshic imbalance. It hampers the digestion process. Hence, the management of bloating includes the use of deepana and paachana kind of drugs, which boost up the digestion process.
|Type of Bloating||Vata Type||Pitta Type||Kapha Type|
|Main Reasons||Vata aggravating food. Imbalance of|
|Consumption of a heavy meal.|
|Symptoms||Stomach Pain, Diarrhea, Dryness||Trembling, shaking|
of body, irritation,
|Preferred Herbs||Black Pepper, Ginger|
Milk, Lemon juice
|Quick Remedies||Hydrate well||Belly Breathing||Yoga, Breathing exercises|
|Foods To Avoid||Cold food, Cold drinks, Beans,|
|Hot And Sharp,|
Junk Food Items
|Preferred Foods||Easy to digest- rice, chicken soup,|
|Hinga, Mint, Cardamom, Spearmint|
Bloating Related To Kapha Dosha Imbalance
This is the first and the most common one.
Bloating in the morning which is typically experienced the most after eating a heavy meal.
It causes more of a mucus-like, heavy digestion. Again, it’s usually after overeating or after eating foods that are really rich, heavy, and hard to digest. Example-dairy, pasta, bread, wheat, heavy meat. That’s going to cause problems.
Your body’s trying to digest it and it can’t, it causes a buildup of more mucus than you need. This is the repository of mucus in our body. Mucus acts like a smothering blanket to your digestive fire or the hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes that are coming into the stomach. So, it might look like you don’t have enough digestive enzymes. Bubbles and rises, and air increases.
Remedies For Kapha Type Bloating
- Asafetida or Hinga
Classic remedy for all of the excess mucus as it is heat provoking. You don’t need to use it very much.
- Aromatic Spices
Mint, spearmint, peppermint, cardamom. Lemon balm. The most important one of those or the most characteristic one for helping with this excess, heaviness and mucus is cardamom. It is really good at drying out mucus and it actually tastes really good.
Peppermint tea is really helpful. If you’re having that bloating and heaviness drinking peppermint tea, a little spearmint tea really useful. Herbs relax the intestinal walls.
They have really good peristaltic action. Peristalsis is the contraction of the GI tract and are good because they help push gas and fecal matter. A lot of times we can get stagnant because the muscularity is not functioning the way it should. So increasing that bitter taste can be helpful.
Orange peel is one of the best herb for stomach stagnation. That’s more of a Chinese herb, but it’s a great one for that as well.
Even having more salads, or celery, beans, insoluble fiber food items will help to move things through.
- Exercise or Yoga
If we can bring in more movement to the body, through exercise, yoga- little bit of twisting through the abdominals that will help to stimulate some of that digestive movement.
- Breathing Exercises
Good for kaphas specifically. Example – kapalabhati breathe. Vigorous press. It helps to clear mucus from the lungs and from the belly.
Bloating Related To Vata Dosha Imbalance
It is caused due lack of enzymes or digestive fire. So when we don’t have enough enzymes, it is the vata type and when they’re insufficient the food sits stagnant, but for a very different reason – because there’s not enough digestive enzyme, there’s not enough to actually break it down. So the food stagnated since they’re bacteria which ferment it that creates gas and bloating. So the end result feels very similar to the kapha type.
Remedies For Kapha Type Bloating
Hydrate more and specifically about a half, an hour before you eat. You want to hydrate and you will require a cup of warm water, a little bit of salt and then you want to savour in there. So you could use lemon or lime. This is really useful because when you bring in the sour taste, it creates juiciness within the body, it actually hydrates the body.
- Avoid cold food and drinks
Cold will really contract the digestive tract, which causes the air to want to escape usually through the mouth in a burp. If you have insufficient enzymes, you also want to stick with food through easier to digest.
- Easy to digest food
Like rice, carrot, brothy type foods, chicken noodle soup. There’s a reason people eat that when they’re sick. It’s very helpful for that and stay away from Foods that are hard to digest.
- Avoid beans, cabbage, broccoli
All three of those are more gas promoting. You can consume moong beans, like a very small bean and avoid heavy foods like wheat and dairy.
Bloating Related To Pitta Dosha Imbalance
This is caused due to intense thoughts, emotion and inflammation. If you’re experiencing shock or rage or anger or extreme criticism or judgment. That fiery heated emotion could cause a hot burning feeling in your stomach. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve got so angry that you feel visibly shaken? Where your body and voice is shaking, you feel heat in the skin. I think all of us have experienced it at least once. In our belly, it’s a very hot, burning feeling. It’s not very fun feeling to have and then we really want to turn to foods that are going to soothe the belly and calm down that information and it can help our emotions.
Remedies For Pitta Type Bloating
- Soothing Food
Like oatmeal as it is slimy and slippery. Okra or aloe juice or Coke help in such case. Enough water, even milk or bread are helpful.
- Belly Breathing
Is good because it’s going to release the tension that you’re holding within the belly muscles and that helps the GI tract to perform better.
Some other side reasons why you might have issues with the bloating that have nothing to do specifically with the doshas. These could be due to an infection. We can treat it through a lot of herbs that are like anti-microbial and food like organ, grapefruit or Goldenseal, the dunga or Neem, are authentic oils and then herbs. If you’re inflamed due to these infections, you can do a lot with raspberry leaf, shatavri and amalaki.. A lot of the same causes create acid reflux as well. Having really good posture can help with these issues.
When we look at the bottom line issue with this bloating, we should first diagnose the causes and doshas behind it. If it’s something you’re only experiencing on occasion, it’s going to be likely more food related. Hence, simplify the diet and analyze which food is causing it.
But the first thing we always want to look at is how can we get the food to move more efficiently through the digestive tract? We don’t want it stagnated because the stagnation is what is creating a lot of that excess gas, ultimately bloating. So we want the food to move through.
That’s where we want to get all of those nice herbs. Another option would be laxatives. Not over-the-counter drug store laxatives. I mean, herbal safe laxative. The highly recommended one is Triphala. So if you are having bloating within your GI tract, triphala would be a good addition to your daily regime, and you can take it at night – 1 tsp., mixed in a cup of water. You’ll notice an improvement pretty quick.
Yoga is a really good way to help the body to move the digestion and the excess air to work efficiently.
Digestion plays a really important in the maintenance of our health. It’s how you are processing your food in order to be healthy. To have a good experience with your meals, you need to start to be able to choose foods that are proper for you. Start having some pauses between your meals and your next activity, and see how the food is affecting you, eat with a little more intention.
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