5 Dietary Habits That Are Wrecking Your Digestion - Manjiri Nadkarni Blog
5 Dietary Habits That Are Wrecking Your Digestion
By Manjiri Nadkarni. March 27, 2017
As an Ayurvedic doctor and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in digestive disorders this is one of the most common factors that I see that is wrecking your digestion and creative digestive issues like bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, food allergies etc.
It is not just about what you eat but how you eat too! Even though you are eating as clean as you can, there has to be a reason why you are still bloated, crampy, running to the ladies room, anxious and tired all the time. You may or may not realize, but your recent weight gain and constant fatigue are all related to your diet as well as digestion.
In consultations, I have often encountered people ask me questions about what foods they should be eating, how many times, whether organic is a must or not; but seldom do people talk about digestion. In fact a lot of people who seek me eat unprocessed, fairly healthy as well as clean foods, so then why do they still need to seek help?
If only the quality or quantity of food dictated how healthy you are, why would you still feel awful? Why are you still bloated, have the runs or feel the pain?
Have you wondered why you aren't any better? Have you ever wondered that probably it is not just what you are eating? We all know what you eat is important but there are some things that go beyond clean eating and these are simple habits you have formed over the years that are destroying your digestion.
You have focussed too much on what you eat, ignoring other questions like when, where, why and how you are eating? Answers to these questions lie, in the nasty habits you have created that are destroying your digestion. They are working against everything you trying so hard to achieve through clean eating. And its time you have to let these go.
Here is a list of the 5 common poor dietary habits I have seen people follow that totally wreck their digestion
#1 EATING WHEN NOT HUNGRY
Hunger is the biggest cue that your body needs nourishment. Hunger is also a sign that your Jatharagni or digestive fire is stroked and working well. Have you ever wondered whether you eat because you are hungry or just because the clock tells you that it’s the time to eat?
I have seen so many people focus on eating at fixed times that they totally forget to check in with their body whether it feels hunger or not.
Eating when not hungry is the no 1 cause indigestion. Eating when not hungry means that brain has not received any signals from your stomach to secrete any digestive juices to carry out digestion and hence your stomach is ill-prepared for the food that’s being stuffed into it. If your stomach is not going to secret sufficient digestive juice, how can you digest the food that you are eating? In Ayurvedic medicine, this semi-digested or undigested product of digestion is known as ‘Ama’ and is circulated through your body serving as undigested toxin, creating inflammation in your body further causing allergies, stiffness, joint pain, as well as weight gain.
#2 EATING TO NUMB YOUR EMOTIONS
Is there someone who doesn’t eat emotionally…the answer is probably a few in a million. Today’s fast track life where people barely have time for anything, how can they find time to feel their emotions. Sometimes emotions like sadness, worry, loneliness, anxiety are harder to understand and process, as people don’t even know they are going through it for the lack of mindfulness. So the quick solution is food.
Today people turn to food for entertainment, comfort, stress relief, or as a reward rather than to nourish their body and mind. Often people eat to numb their emotions, especially sugary sweets as sweet taste is instantly comforting. This is nothing but a distraction to suppress certain emotions which result in totally overloading your digestive system. Again when you eat out of sadness, anxiety or boredom, your body is caught up in the emotions and not focussing on digesting food, which leads to ‘Ama’ the digestive toxin.
But it is so much more than just that. 'Your body needs to process emotions just the way it needs to process food and that takes time'. Most emotional states cause you to secrete stress hormones activating your sympathetic system shifts your body in the fight- flight- freeze mode. This takes away from your 'rest-digest' parasympathetic system. So again you barely secrete digestive enzymes and the food you eat makes you feel bloated, gaseous, and really uncomfortable.
#3 DRINKING TOO MUCH WATER IMMEDIATELY BEFORE OR AFTER MEALS.
This is the biggest weight-loss myth I have seen in my practice as an Ayurvedic doctor. If you think it is a good idea to chug a few glasses of water just before your meals to fill up, eat less and effortlessly lose weight, you need to think again. I have encountered so many 'weight loss gurus', who advise their clients to drink at least 2 glasses of water before they eat anything, which is the ‘worst’ thing you could do to your digestion. Too much water can easily dilute your digestive juices....just like when in your grade 8 chemistry class where you learnt to dilute an acid by adding water.
#4 EATING WHILE MULTITASKING
Let me get something straight to you…Multi-tasking is a myth. It just means that you are taking the same amount of time to do many things at once, often inefficiently, than choosing to do one thing at a time with all the focus and efficiency, In today's world, this is a sad reality for many busy women, men and alike.
Older men and women who lead a hectic life, working, attending client calls, dropping kids to school, getting to the gym while grabbing a quick meal; whereas some kids just cannot simply sit and eat without being glued to the idiot box. Eating on the go is a terrible habit for anyone and everyone and is another reason that leaves your digestion compromised you’re your brain doesn’t is still focussed on reading emails, how the heck will it know that you are eating and need to secrete digestive enzymes??
#5 NOT EATING ACCORDING TO YOUR DOSHA TYPE
Last but not the least, eating against your dosha type
Dosha type? What the heck is that?
Well there are five main elements that make up the universe also your body- Akash or space, Vayu or air, Agni or fire, Ap or water and Prithvi or earth. These five elements combine to form 3 biological energies within your body known as the doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas govern our physical, mental, emotional states as well as behaviour. Your health, happiness and longevity depend on the balance of these doshas, which are affected by foods, dietary habits, lifestyle, as thoughts that you think. Since these impact you in each and every aspect of your life, considering them when you choose your diet and nutrition is of utmost importance. This is the reason why some people cannot handle cold foods at all, and some react to dairy. If you have a diet that is not compatible with the dominant doshas in your body or your dosha type, it sets you up for digestive imbalances as well as different health issues.
So take some time to see which of the above habits are the main reason your digestion is suffering and feel free to share with someone who needs this information.
The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Manjiri Nadkarni (Manjiri Nadkarni Consulting) and is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical/ psychological advice . Please note that Manjiri Nadkarni is not a dietitian, physician, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare professional in Canada. She is a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine - MD (Ayurveda) (licensed and registered in India) and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. The information on this website is NOT intended as medical or psychological nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice as well as before changing your health care regiment.