gut health and healthspan

Healthy Gut Improves Healthspan

You often hear the word, “longevity” listed as one of the top goals for men. Longevity refers to the number of years you live. However, there’s a more important concept that many men overlook: healthspan, which refers to the number of years you are living free of disease and disability. Healthspan is a much better measure of your overall health.  The goal isn’t to live a long, debilitated life. The goal is to live a long life that is filled with energy, vitality, mental clarity and joy.

A critical part of ensuring a long healthspan is a healthy digestion. Scientists are learning more about the impact of the gut microbiome on the entire body, but this is not new information. Ayurveda, which is the ancient medical science that originated in India thousands of years ago, has expounded the importance of healthy digestion as the foundation for a long healthspan, for millennia.

In Ayurveda, agni means fire and the strength of our agni determines our healthspan.  The digestive fire in our gut governs our ability to process foods and toxins, fuel the cells in our body as well as process our emotions. Agni supports so many facets of our physical and mental health, that when it is impaired or out of balance, it causes ama (a Sanskrit term meaning something undigested or a toxin) to be formed and accumulated in our mind and body. This accumulation of ama is what leads to mental and physical disease and shortens our healthspan.

To boost your agni and lengthen your healthspan, try these three ancient Ayurvedic remedies that I practice every day and have withstood the test of time:

  1. Take triphala each night. Triphala is one of my all-time favorite herbal formulas and something I have taken for decades. It’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine where it’s considered a rejuvenating formula that supports gut health. Triphala consists of a combination of three dried and ground up fruits: amalaki, haritaki and b The combination of the three berries taken together has a wonderfully synergistic and therapeutic effect that supports a healthy gut microbiome and mucosal lining.
  2. Incorporate Ashwagandha into your daily herbal routine. Adaptogens are herbs that improve the body’s ability to deal with stress. They strengthen the immune system and increase your overall vitality. Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen in Ayurveda and an excellent remedy for chronic stress, low energy and cravings, especially for sugar. It strengthens an exhausted nervous system and has the dual action of energizing and calming the mind and body. Stress impacts gut health and you cannot improve gut health without addressing your stress level.
  3. Drink The Prime Tea. This tea is a cornerstone of my gut-brain reset program outlined in my book, The Prime. It helps heal the gut mucosa, improves the absorption of nutrients and stimulates the lymphatic system to move out accumulated toxins. Here’s how to prepare this pleasant-tasting savory tea in your own kitchen:

Boil 4 to 5 cups of water in a pot.
As the water is heating, add the following to the pot:

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Let the water boil for 5-10 minutes with the seeds, depending on how strong you want your tea to be. Afterward, strain the seeds out of the tea, then pour the tea into an insulated vessel (like a thermos) to keep it hot all day. Then sip the tea throughout the day until it’s all gone. Finish it before 6 p.m., to avoid making trips to the bathroom overnight.

Add these three simple Ayurvedic remedies daily and you’ll soon notice a difference in your overall health.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, MD

View posts by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, MD
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, is a neurologist, neuroscientist and an internationally recognized expert in the ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine. She earned her medical degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine; completed her internship at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and neurology residency at University of California San Diego (UCSD). Chaudhary is the author of “The Prime” (Penguin Random House, 2016) and “Sound Medicine” (Harper Collins, 2020); is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and is a highly sought-after speaker, researcher and adviser for Healthy Directions. She is the former director of Wellspring Health in Scripps Memorial Hospital, where she successfully combined conventional treatments with Ayurvedic practices of detoxification, diet and lifestyle management to help patients effectively manage chronic neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and migraine headaches. Her program was so successful that it is now used for a wide range of health concerns, including weight issues and chronic disease. Through her integrative approach, Chaudhary teaches her patients about the connection between mind, body and spirit, which impacts every aspect of health both physically and mentally. Learn more at Twitter: @DrKChaudhary Facebook: drkulreetchaudhary

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