Ayurveda believes that digestive disorders occur due to inappropriate food and lifestyle. It offers a rational and scientific approach for determining correct diet which is based upon an individual’s constitution. Vata, Pitta and Kapha ( tri-dosha - energy) This energetic constitution is the basis of determining which foods are best for maintaining physiological balance for a given individual.
Nutritional imbalances which leads to digestive disorders are :
** Quantitative deficiency - under nutrition due to insufficient food, and even starvation.
** Quantitative excess - excessive amounts of both health foods and even water.
** Qualitative deficiency - wrong food combination which results in malnutrition, toxic condition and lack of essential nutrients.
** Qualitative excess - emotional overeating of high fat foods which can result in obesity.
** Ama-producing - certain food combinations lead to toxemia and to certain digestive disorders.
** Prakriti - foods not appropriate for one’s constitution may reduce immunity and cause disease.
According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipaka). When two or three different food substances of different taste, energy and post-digestive effect are combined together agni can become overloaded inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in production of toxins in the system. Combining foods improperly can result in digestive disorders like indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish agni, change the intestinal flora producing toxins and may cause digestive disorders.
Lack of proper and systematic lifestyle also leads to chain of reactions caused by digestive system’s inability to cope up with irregular food habits added by agonies and worries. Ayurveda manages these digestive problems through balancing the doshas with the help of food and lifestyle choices.