6 Tips to Avoid Ama over the Holidays!
Ama: a Sanskrit word for Undigested Food Toxins.
Ama is the toxic waste-product of inefficient digestion, which can accumulate and cause disease. During the holidays, we’re particularly susceptible to it as we tend to through our usual routine and diet out the window.
The festive season brings an abundance of sweets and temptations; we tend to overeat and eat at irregular times.
All these are causes for the build-up of ama. If left unchecked, ama accumulates throughout our body, clogging our systems, channels and ducts, and weakens our immune system.
If you experience fogginess of mind, lack of appetite, stiffness in the joints, sluggish digestion, allergies or intolerances and weight issues – ama is most likely the culprit.
The key to preventing the formation of ama build up is supporting Agni – our digestive fire/system. If we keep our Agni strong, we can digest food efficiently without forming the toxic by-product of ama.
Follow these simple tips this holiday season to keep Agni balanced and prevent ama formation
1. Kindle your digestive fire with herbal and nutritional support
- There are so many wonderful foods and herbs provided by nature that can support Agni. If we start to feel sluggish or want to ‘prime’ our digestion for more digestive capacity, we can take these to get those gastric juices flowing.
- Sip on warm water, ginger or cumin tea. Eat grated ginger, with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon before your main meals.
- If you are feeling bloated, nauseas and suffering flatulence, chew some fennel seeds after your meal, or sip on peppermint or chamomile tea to soothe digestion.
2. Eat your main meal at midday
- Look to the sun for your clue about when to eat the biggest meal of the day. When the sun is directly overhead, the digestive agni’s are strongest. So eat lunch between 11am – 2pm.
- Eating a big dinner places strain on your digestive system. This disrupts the body’s self-healing and cleansing mechanisms which help to naturally clear out ama. It also disrupts sleep.
- Eat a light dinner, preferably 2-3 hours before bed.
3. Minimise/Avoid Agni depleting foods
- There are certain foods which place a burden to digestion and contribute to the formation of ama. Leftovers, heavy, deep-fired and cold food and drinks all contribute to this process.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
- Mindful eating will prevent you from over eating. Even good quality food in excess can create ama. Not overeating may be quite hard with all those beautiful holiday foods around but it’s very important not to over eat. Always eat in accordance to hunger levels. Listen to your body. Eat slowly and in a settles atmosphere. Take smaller portions and don’t go for seconds if you’re not actually hungry!
5. Keep a Regular Routine
- Try to keep your regular eating pattern and meal times. Skipping a meal can disrupt and weaken Agni so eat 3 times a day, roughly around the same time. Eat a meal only when the previous meal has been completely digested. Snacking is fine if you’re hungry, but choose something fresh and light like a piece of fruit.
- Try to keep a routine around sleeping and waking. This will keep our nervous and immune system in balance.
6. Move Daily
- Moving daily, at least 20 minutes a day, will improve agni, kick start the lymphatic and natural detoxification system to reduce ama. Do a few yoga stretches on rising and take a short walk after meals. This will also help keep the extra kgs from creeping on.
Enjoy the festive season, but also try to maintain normalcy in daily habit. Your body and mind will thank you come the new year.
Author: Tegan Wallis
Holistic Health Practitioner