7 Ways To Avoid Indigestion In Winters

Keep Your Digestive System Happy Even In Winters

 
7 Ways To Avoid Indigestion In Winters
Image Credit: farmersalmanac.com

By Avni Kaul

Digestion is one of the most important processes of the human body that enables breaking down of food into specific nutrients that can be absorbed into the blood stream. This process, if it is not happening well in the body can lead to several symptoms and conditions – acidity, discomfort, bloating, abdominal distention and even constipation and diarrhoea. Indigestion is caused when the stomach is inflamed and irritated, causing the digestive acids to flow back to the oesophagus.

Ayurveda believes that the core of good health lies in digestion. An optimal digestive system is at the root of a healthy immune system, energy, constant blood sugar, balanced emotions and general vitality. Most of the illnesses today owe their origins to digestive distress. The healthiest and purest of foods can be detrimental to health if they are not digested properly.

The healthiest and purest of foods can be detrimental to health if they are not digested properly
The healthiest and purest of foods can be detrimental to health if they are not digested properly

Image Credit: Pexels

The winter season is a time when your digestive system becomes particularly slow. It could be because of lack of physical activity (since we are almost always bundled up in woolens), eating heavy and rich food and even the low temperature. This results in constant feeling of bloating and heaviness.

But there are some things you can do to prevent indigestion in winters. Here are my top 7 tips to keep your digestive system functioning properly even in the cold weather…

Break Down Your Meals

Have balanced meals and don’t skip meals at all. Breakfast should comprise healthy carbs and fats to give you energy at the start of the day. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day. Dinner should be light and eaten before 8pm. Do try and include a cup of fresh hot soup before you eat dinner.

Eat Fresh

Have simple and freshly cooked meals and avoid leftovers
Have simple and freshly cooked meals and avoid leftovers

Image Credit: Pexels

Freshly cooked foods are the most nourishing. The staleness causes a lot of gas and acidity and flatulence. Have simple and freshly cooked meals and avoid leftovers. Also mixing many different types of foods puts added pressure on the digestive system. If you must experiment with your meals, combine just two or three different foods. For instance, don’t have a chapati roll with dry fruits stuffed in it. Also, as Ayurveda says, food must be “burned” in the “fire” of digestion. Cold and raw foods must be avoided in winters as they ‘weaken’ the fire of digestion. Those who suffer from weak digestion should stay away from raw or cold food or drinks. Hot soups, casseroles, or grain and bean dishes in place of sandwiches or snack-type meals are better in winters.

Eat Slowly And At A Relaxed Pace

Each mouthful must be chewed at least 30 times, to break it down in the mouth as far as possible and also to allow the salivary enzymes to begin digestion in the mouth itself. This takes the load off the digestive system and the stomach. Eat at a moderate pace. Keep your spoon or fork down for a few seconds at least 4-5 times during a meal. Avoid watching television, reading, working, or talking too much when you eat. If you are excited, you tend to swallow food and not bite or chew it. And this puts strain on the digestive system.

Incorporate Digestives Into Your Meal

Carom and fennel help with the digestive process
Carom and fennel help with the digestive process

Image Credit: Pexels

An integral part of Indian eating habits is the practice of consuming digestives while eating. These include chutneys, pickles, churans, saunf, paan etc. Chewing a paan or betel leaf is an ancient post-meal tradition. This heart-shaped leaf goes beyond just freshening your breath after a meal. Betel leaf has carminative and anti-flatulent properties. It stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes that break down food. Not just that, it also contains good amounts of Vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, carotene and riboflavin. These nutrients help maintain a healthy pH level in the stomach and digestive organs. Betel leaf is also one of the richest sources of calcium. In fact, betel leaf also reduces liver toxicity. Similarly, carom, or ajwain, is the most common ingredient in any churan and it contains thymol – a carminative, anti-flatulent, antimicrobial and a digestive stimulant. It increases the production and secretion of gastric acids and digestive juices, enhances the activity of digestive enzymes and causes increased secretion of bile acids. Carom seeds are especially good for those who have a weak liver. Eat a fresh piece of ginger onto which half a pinch of salt and a few drops of fresh lemon juice have been squeezed.

Drink Hot Water And Hot Herbal Teas

Warm water and specially made digestive teas help detoxify the body and build digestive strength
Warm water and specially made digestive teas help detoxify the body and build digestive strength

Image Credit: Pexels

Warm water and specially made digestive teas help detoxify the body and build digestive strength. Simmering a few mint leaves or some ginger or a stick of cinnamon in boiling water to make digestive teas will help stimulates digestion. Other herbs that promote good digestion and make excellent herbal teas are chamomile, thyme, mint, and fennel.

Avoid Overeating

Excessive intake of food greatly burdens the entire digestive system. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine recommends consuming only as much food as will fit into two cupped hands at any meal. Avoid the tendency and temptation to overeat during winters.

Sit Still And Relax A Few Minutes After Eating

Resting a few minutes after eating is important for digestion
Resting a few minutes after eating is important for digestion

Image Credit: Pexels

Digestion is truly a magical process — it turns rajma chawal into blood and body cells. Resting a few minutes after eating gets this complicated process off to a good start by allowing your body’s engine and digestive organs to focus fully on the task at hand

Keep these in mind to stay fit in winters!

DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.

Avni Kaul
Avni, Founder of Nutri Activania believes in a holistic approach to optimal living and considers other wellness factors such as sleep, exercise, environmental exposures, and stress levels to create an individualized nutrition plan. She does not believe in gimmicks or starvation plans. Which is why she insists on being called a ‘wellness coach’ and not just a ‘dietitian’).