Clean Insides → Clear Mind
Clarity of the mind depends on the clarity of your bowels. Plugged up intestines lead to a foggy sluggish thinking process and kill creativity. Plus, it can give you a headache, acne, fatigue, bad breath, and unpleasant body odor. Not pretty inside or out.
Your digestion is highly dependent on what and how you eat it. Some snacks that modern health and weight loss experts recommend can actually cause enormous digestive unease. I bet you will be surprised to see some items on this list.
Ayurveda says that like attract the like. It means that when you are suffering from gas (excessive air) or constipation (dryness) adding more light or dry item to your diet will exacerbate the problem. Instead, you should try to counterbalance current problem with the opposite qualities in your food: soft, easy to digest, nourishing foods. Since irregularity is such a big problem in the US, I will cover few items that potentially could worsen the condition. According to ayurveda gas and constipation can be attributed to Vata dosha imbalance. Vata dosha tends to be very light, dry, and airy by nature.
Please keep in mind that these are just general guidelines and since everyone’s body is different, they will not always to true for everyone. If you would like to get individual recommendations, you can make an appointment with a qualified Ayurvedic consultant
My goal here is not to add more items to your ‘must avoid’ bucket but to share my experience and some ayurvedic wisdom about modern day popular ‘healthy’ foods that can create bloating and irregularity. I will also share tips on how to make these foods more digestible and alternative options.
3 ‘Healthy’ Snacks That May Upset Your Tummy
Nuts - one of the favorite snacks in the North America but, unfortunately, it can be drying for the digestive system, hard to digest, and too heavy for most people. Americans eat more nuts than most other nations. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia, Brazilian nut – the varieties and quantities are endless. Nuts are too expensive in most other countries to have them on a daily basis but in the US and Canada they became a go-to healthy protein, fat, and fiber rich snack. While nuts are amazing in terms of nutrients, nutrients on their own is not what should determine whether you eat something or not. It is whether you can digest the product and absorb all those nutrients. If you can’t digest it than no matter what it is, you shouldn’t overload on it. Roasted nuts found at most stores are dry, heavy, oily, and hard to digest according to ayurveda. They can aggravate all 3 doshas if consumed in excess by someone with a weak digestive system. To make nuts more digestible, ayurveda advises to get fresh nuts (almonds is the best choice), and soak them for 8-36 hours. Soaking nuts re-hydrates them, reduces phytic acid that can irritate stomach, and increases life energy (prana). According to Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple, phytic acid binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the gastrointestinal tract, unless it’s reduced or nullified by soaking, sprouting, and/or fermentation. Bound minerals generally cannot be absorbed in the intestine, and too many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. Once soaked, peel of the skin and enjoy! Limit to 10-15 almonds per day.
Yogurt - Heavy, cold and mucus forming yogurt can be quite heavy for digestion. Good quality dairy is not that easy to come by and most yogurts available in stores are from unhappy and unhealthy cows. The word ‘Greek’ on a yogurt box doesn’t not make it much better. It can still be filled with hormones, antibiotics, and hard to digest additives. If you love yogurt, always get organic and as fresh as possible. Unpasteurized goat yogurt can be a better choice. Add some honey and cinnamon and serve at room temperature, not cold. Warming qualities of honey and cinnamon will help to counterbalance yogurt’s dampness.
Kale Chips – oh, how sorry I am to put Kale Chips in a no-no list. I love them so much! But remember this, the value of the item is not what measured just by what it says on the nutrition label, it is measured by what your body can assimilate from it and how much energy it will take to digest it. Kale being from the cabbage family has a tendency to give gas to weak bellies. Dry chips out of an already hard-on-the-stomach product will only make it worse. The toppings of nuts, spices, and protein powders turn kale chips into a gas-promising constipating crunch. Have kale in stews, soups, or well-massaged salads instead.
Some other ‘healthy foods’ that can aggravate Vata dosha and lead to bloating and irregularity are: crackers, granolas, dried fruits, protein bars, rice cakes, bottled juices, popcorn, chocolate (even the dark one), whole-wheat bread, trail mix, pretzels, non-dairy ice cream, bran muffins, jicama, and many more. I will included an expanded list of ‘Happy Belly’ healthy snacks as part of my upcoming online program that is in development right now! (so excited!)
You still have a chance to let me know what you would like to see offered in the upcoming program. The more you ask, the more I will be able to address your needs and deliver the best program based on your wants. Please, fill out this short Health and Wellness Questionnaire http://tinyurl.com/8s34mow to let me know what health problems you are working on right now. Once you fill out the survey, you will automatically be entered in the contest. The winner will get 6 months subscription to Conscious Box filled with sustainable, eco-friendly snacks, treats, organic samples, tons of coupons, and other cool stuff!