The act of eating is life-giving. The process of eating is something that is reverent and important for the development of consciousness as well as our physical health. When we sit down to eat our stomach is in a relaxed posture and our awareness is on the taste, texture, and smell of the food. This will greatly improve the digestion. Another way to improve the digestion is to stimulate digestive ‘fire’ before we begin eating. Weak digestion may result in fatigue after eating so the wise sages commend eating a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice and a few pinches of salt on it before a full meal. This starts to activate the salivary glands, producing the necessary enzymes so that the nutrients in the food are easily absorbed by the body.
Balancing your digestive system is a key. The digestive system can be compared to a burning fire. If the flame is very low then it will take a long time to cook the food. In the same way if the fire is too big it can burn the food; if we put a huge log on a low fire it will extinguish it. Our digestive fires should be balanced so that we can digest our meals efficiently and smoothly.
The ginger and lemon juice recommendation helps to increase the digestive power. If, however you suffer from an over-active digestive system, when there is too much internal heat and acid, then pomegranate chutney may soothe the system.
The next recommendation also affects the digestive system. It is recommended that one avoids cold drinks at meals and ice cold foods in general. This is like putting cold water on the burning logs. Iced water, normally served at restaurants, extinguishes the digestive fire. Even juice or milk right out of the refrigerator is too cold for the digestion. Juice should be taken at room temperature and water without ice.
Be well and eat well.