Vibrant immunity requires a robust digestive fire, or agni. Here’s how to support it:
1. Align: Follow the sun
Eat with the cycles. As nature changes with each season, so does your body’s needs. Locally grown, seasonal foods offer the balancing nourishment the digestive fire seeks. Try to eat your meals at the same time each day, with warm, cooked, gently spiced foods at breakfast and dinner, and your biggest meal at lunchtime. Have your last meal of the day as the sun goes down, or at least three hours before you sleep for the night.
2. Ignite: Spice it up
Adding small amounts of sour and pungent tastes to each meal is like adding kindling to a fire. Sour tasting foods are acidic and include citrus, ferments, vinegars, yogurt, and kombucha. Pungent foods tend to be spices and herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cumin cardamom, clove, coriander, fennel, mint and black pepper.
3. Hydrate: Heat it up
Sip warm or hot water throughout the day. Accompany meals with a spice tea—cinnamon, mint or ginger. Add a dash of black pepper for more fire power and lemon for better hydration.
4. Respect: Give it a break
As one of my Ayurvedic teachers says, “Eat three meals a day and then zip it.” Some people call that intermittent fasting. Ayurveda calls it, Ayurveda.
5. Rest: Give yourself a break
Stress will put out the fire like a bully kicking the campfire. Prayer, meditation, mindfulness, nature walks, art, and journaling are just a few of the practices that help quiet the mind, soothe the heart, calm the nervous system, and encourage your body to rest and digest. Sleep, too, is essential medicine
6. Circulate: Power up
Walking, hatha yoga with pranayama, and aerobic exercise support the inner fires.
7. Trust: You are you and there is nobody like you
Each one of us is uniquely designed. There is no one superfood or super diet that is perfect for all. Adjust your diet to your own individual needs. Let your intuition guide you. You have an incredible wisdom within.
Written by Laura Plumb, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Author