Ayurveda is an ancient, traditional healing system from India, widely used all over Asia and more recently in the West as well. Ayurvedic practitioners work with their clients to focus on bringing the body, mind and spirit back into balance, using food, sleep, meditation, massage, exercise, breathing techniques and cleanses.1https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments
A few ayurvedic principles for your everyday diet and lifestyle:
- Eat fresh, whole foods that are easy to digest
- Eat three meals a day at regular times and avoid snacking
- Include the six tastes in your daily diet (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent)
- Make lunch your largest meal of the day (medium-sized breakfast and a light dinner)
- If you can, take a walk after a meal, particularly after lunch – even just 10-15 minutes
- Stop eating three hours before bedtime
Many of these ayurvedic principles fit well with our approach to improving gut health here at Chuckling Goat.
- Regular mealtimes ensure a steady supply of fuel for hungry gut bacteria who like routine as much as we do.
- Including the six tastes in each meal provides a diversity of plant foods to feed a wide range of gut bacteria.
- Having gaps in between meals and a pause before bedtime allows for the digestive system to rest. This also helps with appetite regulation.
Kitchari – an ayurvedic dish that will nourish your soul and feed a diverse gut microbiome:
Kitchari is a wonderful, balancing meal – it gives the digestive system a well-earned break whilst offering a complete protein package, due to the combination of rice and beans. It’s often eaten as a part of a cleanse to help remove toxins from the body.
A mixture of spices is used in making Kitchari: turmeric, cumin, coriander, asafoetida, chilli powder, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and garam masala. Spices provide cleansing properties, loads of flavour and additional fuel for your friendly gut bacteria.
Mung beans are a great all-rounder – a good source of protein plus numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their high content of phytonutrients, fibre and resistant starch provide your good gut bugs with a buffet of digestible treats.
If you worry about the potential digestive effects of adding beans to your diet, then you’ll be glad to hear that mung beans are the easiest of all pulses for most people to digest. However it’s always a good idea to introduce new fibre-rich foods slowly. Adding Asafoetida powder when cooking beans and lentils can also help to increase their digestibility.
- 250g white basmati rice
- 200g yellow mung beans/green or red lentils
- 1/2 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tbsp of spices: a mix of ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, mustard powder, asafoetida, ground fennel.
- 1.5 litres of water or vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper
- Soak the rice and beans/lentils, discard the water and drain.
- Heat the ghee in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and gentle fry the spice mix until they become really fragrant.
- Add the rice/bean mix, salt and black pepper to the spices plus the water.
- Cover with a lid, bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans have softened.
Ayurveda is a complementary approach when working on improving your gut microbiome. Have a look at the Ayurvedic herbs used in our Organic Premium Tinctures: Aswagandha, Shatavari and Siberian Ginseng.
Ayurvedic medicine is grounded in the connection between the mind and body – this is something on which we strongly focus at Chuckling Goat! There is an ever-growing body of evidence demonstrating the link between the gut microbiome and brain health (including mental wellness). Keep an eye on our Gut Health Express blog for more articles on health, nutrition, gut science, lifestyle and wellness 🙂