Intestines are the largest and the longest organ in our gut. It’s divided into two parts, namely large intestine and small intestine. Even though the small intestine is called ‘small’, it’s actually longer than the large intestine. The major functions of the small intestines are assimilation of food and absorption of the nutrients. Additionally, on the psycho-somatic level, they get affected by emotions like anger, depression, stress and worry. Have you ever noticed episodes of indigestion, burning in
the stomach and low appetite when the stress levels go very high? You might also notice increasing migraine attacks due to pent-up anger.
Ayurveda has clearly mentioned that the small intestine is a seat for the Pitta dosha i.e. the element that is responsible for the digestion and assimilation of food; it also provides us with intellect, strong grasping abilities as well as analytical and cognitive abilities. No wonder small intestine has its own intelligence!
Maintaining the health of our small intestine leads to our physical, emotional and intellectual well-being
and therefore, it is extremely important to maintain its health.
What are the symptoms of an unhealthy small intestine?
- Frequent episodes of acidity and discomfort in the umbilical area.
- Acne, lethargy and low appetite.
- Longer duration for digestion.
- Alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
- Anxiety, obsessive behaviour, misplaced irritation and unnecessary anger.
How to maintain the health of small intestine?
The health of the small intestine starts with maintaining a right lifestyle and following proper dietary habits. At times, we tend to ignore the lifestyle rules and focus only on the dietary habits. Following the right lifestyle is equally important as it allows our body and mind to maintain harmony, develops our immunity and gives us enough time to rejuvenate. There are some simple rules laid down in Ayurveda for the same.
- Dinner should be taken within 90 minutes of sunset (somewhere around 7.30pm). This gives our system enough time to assimilate the food in harmony.
- Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. This old saying is very much applicable today also.
- Stay away from electronic gadgets while having your food. Gadgets emit certain harmful energies which can disturb our bio rhythm and eventually disturb the energies responsible for maintaining cellular intelligence.
- Eat fresh and local. Have freshly cooked food (cooked within 3 hrs) so that the prana ( life energy ) in the food is still intact and it is ready to give us energy. Always eat locally available vegetables and fruits which are naturally compatible with our system.
- Avoid tinned foods (specially meat), left overs, overly-preserved food as they are tamasic in nature and negatively impact on our psycho-physical abilities.
- Don’t ignore bodily urges like hunger, thirst and elimination.
- Drink enough water as per your body constitution and environment.
- Practice yoga, pranayama and meditation to maintain a balanced mental environment.