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Indian eating habits and digestive issues

Indian diet is known for its spicy, tangy, and pungent flavors. Each state of India has its own specialty. Be it the spicy samosas of the North or the tangy sambhar of the South, each dish is a treat for the taste buds. However, sometimes, this diet may serve as a perfect recipe for indigestion. We Indians are guilty of some habits that lead to indigestion. Let’s understand them further.

  • No control on portion size
    Indian culture encourages hospitality. We treat our guests like gods, drowning them with delicacies, and insisting that they have more. In following through with this, we aren’t doing their digestive systems any favors. Overeating and binge eating are surefire ways to cause indigestion. Moderation is the key to good digestion.
  • More spice is not nice
    Indian foods are laden with spices and herbs. While these enhance flavor, they may increase digestive woes too. Chilies, pepper, cloves, and garam masala, if eaten in excess, can increase your chances of gastric problems like acidity and ulcers.
  • Blind copying of the West
    The Indian diet of ancient times was a well-balanced source of wholegrains and vitamins, mineral, and fibers. Today, our blind emulation of the West has made us abandon our past gastro-dynamics and pushed us towards More, more fats, sugars and sale, more unhealthy weight gain, bigger portion sizes, and more digestive issues.
  • Festivals and feasting
    India is the land of festivals. Our festivals seem incomplete without food and feasting. Imagine Holi without fafda jalebis, or Gudi Padwa without puri shrikhand, or Eid without biryani. And these feasts with their combination of spicy, oily, and sweet foods can directly lead to indigestion.
  • Eating out
    In India, fast food choices are easily available and at a low cost. Gorging on treats like vadas and bhajia’s may be tempting, but if you have a weak digestive system, you may be tempting fate too. These foods are high in empty calories, and they slow down the digestive process, causing bloating.
    Nowadays, the lack of time and rising purchase power have fostered the trend of frequent eating out. Traditional home-cooked meals are slowly being replaced by take-away and instant meals. These are heavily laden with spices, sugars, and fats, and can lead to indigestion.
  • Sedentary eating
    What is the first thing you normally do after coming home from a tiring day braving traffic and work stress? After greeting your family members, you most probably slouch on your couch and watch TV. The idiot box is a curse to health as it increases sedentary habits and also fosters mindless eating. Do you remember eating a full bowl of munchies watching your favorite soap opera, or unconsciously piling your plate with food while enjoying an exciting match? It’s unlikely that you will even remember these instances, but mindless eating while watching television can lead to indigestion.
  • Fasting and subsequent binge eating
    Fasting is a religious ritual that is part of the Indian lifestyle. Though fasting can remove toxins from the body and help in detox; the foods that are allowed during fasting, such as sabudana (tapioca) vadas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, can cause bloating and other digestive symptoms. Furthermore, binge eating as soon as the fasting period ends can lead to indigestion.