There are some great research links with strong evidence to suggest that psychological stress has marked impact on gastrointestinal health and digestion. You may have read about this in mainstream media lately (Dr John Douillard).
Stress is processed through the intestinal tract where 95 percent of the body’s serotonin and other neurotransmitters are manufactured and stored –leaving only 5 percent of the body’s serotonin in the brain at any given time.
I am currently working with clients who eat very clean but have poor gut digestion due to stress and the constant churning in their tummies leading to over-stimulation of the intestinal epithelium (skin).
Here’s some helpful tips pertaining to your dosha (body type).
Vata – poor gut health for vata types are often represented by sluggish, slow, dry, hard elimination which is sometimes loose on occasion, and mood-related and sleep concerns.
The “bottom” 😊line is to lubricate the intestine.
You can use a combination of slippery elm, marshmallow root and licorice to be sipped throughout the day as a concentrated tea.
Favour sweet, salty and sour foods.
Some sweet grains to favour include basmati rice, brown rice, and sushi rice. Kitchari is a beautiful food to settle a churning tum.
Include ghee and other healthful oils such as almond, sesame, or sunflower for internal in your cooking and salads, kindling agni, and increasing absorption.
When preparing food, use warming spices such as black pepper, dry ginger, cinnamon, and asafoetida ( also known as Hing- in stock @ Fusion Ayurveda)
Pitta types usually go the other way with stress causing elimination to be loose. Often pitta types have heartburn and acid reflux from pushing themselves too hard.
Amalaki is superb to cool pitta and strengthen digestion ( I have the drops in stock, they are my biggest seller in clinic and also having nourishing vitamin C.)
Eat raw and cooking foods leading up to and through Summer. Avoid hot, fiery spicy foods.
Pitta’s liquid nature and tendency toward excess oil make drying or astringent foods like beans, potatoes, oats, pasta, popcorn, and most vegetables very appropriate. Also favourable are adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans as they are classically astringent in taste. Also astringent are apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, popcorn, rice cakes, crackers, basil, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley. You can have turmeric as it helps reduce inflammation.
Kapha can have a slow, boggy digestive system. If this body type becomes stressed, it is also processed through the intestinal skin where there is a natural predisposition to produce excessive reactive mucus. This can result in seeing mucus in a looser stool with digestive congestion. This can begin to prevent the intestines and microbes from assimilating the needed nutrients and detoxifying effectively through the intestinal wall.
To support a kapha-based intestinal tract we have to pull the mucus off the wall of the intestines and de-congest the intestinal tract.
Turmeric is my number one go-to to help with this as it is traditionally used to dry and reduce unwanted intestinal mucoid material. For best absorption, use turmeric in combination with black pepper at a ratio of 16:1.
Because kapha can and does retain water easily, it is best not to overhydrate. Drink only the amount of fluid that your body requires, according to your climate and activity level
Any sort of meditation or yoga therapy will help settle all the doshes if out of balance as will the use of a good quality probiotic to replenish good gut bacteria.
*This blog gives general advice – for personalised advice please contact me and/or your health professional.