Enhance Your Agni( Metabolism)
Autumn is the season of shedding leaves, and detoxification. After the heat and dryness of the summer, nature naturally lets what that is not needed go. In the same way our body needs to let go of that body heat, and ignite the agni that was weak in the summer time, to sustain the warmth in the winter. During the fall season the air element is predominant, making vata dosha (energy of movement) predominant. Our appetite and digestion can become irregular with frequent episodes of constipation and bloating. Why not get ahead of these imbalances with these lifestyle changes?
Cumin is regularly used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Did you know cumin is anti-bloating spice, and works wonders with breaking down difficult to digest protein and fats. No wonder cumin is added regularly to fried foods, especially chickpea flour! It has a nutty, roasted taste that enhances chutneys and rice based dishes. Especially to balance vata dosha, cumin, which is a heating spice helps to regularize enzymes for digestion. Another benefit is the aid to female reproductive system: spotting, irregular cycles, and spasmodic pain can be relieved by roasted cumin powder due to its anti-inflammatory effects on the uterus. Add 1/2 tsp-1tsp of roasted cumin to your lentil soups, protein, rice dishes, green juices, savory dishes, or chutneys!
One of my favorites is ginger! Before I used to eat ginger with lime juice and salt growing up, little did I know that it was used to increase your metabolism and agni in Ayurveda! Ginger is a root, also known as Sunthi in Sanskrit, and comes in the fresh and dried form. It's a spice that works on all dhatu( tissue) layers of your body to enhance the agni, especially for your lymph and fat tissue. The benefits of ginger are countless and its an essential for those prone to constipation or vata imbalances, with weak digestion.
3. Eat at regular interval
Fall season, which is a period of transition can be full of irregularity. Vata dosha easily gets aggravated by unpredicted schedules and changes. If your lifestyle is naturally irregular and you eat and random times, this will make your digestion weaker. Eating your lunch at a set time between 12 and 2 pm allows the energy of movement to stay stable. Digestive juice and enzymes will start to flow when you eat at a set time. Otherwise eating at 2 pm and then snacking excessvely can lead to vishama agni, which is irregular digestion ( meaning sometimes you digest food well and other time's you don't leading to formation of toxins.)
Vata energy naturally rules the lower abdomen, pelvic cavity, and colon. Due to the dry and light quality of vata if its excessive within you, constipation could be one of your troubles. Constipation is one of the signs of a weak agni. With a strong agni your stools, can be easily processed and removed. Especially in autumn the dryness of the air increases that energy more within you. Before I was never fond of prunes, however soaking them overnight reduces the dry quality and allows for smooth bowel movement. Prunes have a sweet taste, with magnesium and fiber that is necessary for nourishing the bowl, and allow regular movements. Soak 2-3 dried prunes overnight in warm water, and eat first in the morning or during breakfast. Another method is to eat prunes 1-2 hours after a meal.
Try these tips this season to keep your digestion regular!