Manda Agni= Affected by Kapha, Tikshna Agni= Affected by Pitta, Vishma Agni= Affected by Vata
Sama Agni= Balanced Agni
Manda Agni or over-consumption of foods of a kaphic nature (more-so in Winter and early Spring):
Eating late at night (after 8pm)
Eating large potions or eating too frequently
Eating when the previous meal has not been digested
Foods that are sweet, sticky, dense, heavy, oily
Sleeping immediately after meals
*Specific examples: Cakes, muffins, breads, sweets, red meat, pastries, refined/artificial sugar, fried food, cold milk, eating dairy at night-time
Tikshna Agni or over-consumption of Pitta type foods and emotions (more-so in late Spring and Summer):
Spicy, sour, salty, intense and hot foods
Foods eaten previously are not digested
Stress and frustration/not processing emotions
*Specific examples: Fermented foods, coffee, fried food, red meat, pastries, seafood, soy sauce, tomato sauce, chilli, vinegar, hard cheese, sour cream, processed, ready-made/packaged, refined foods and artificial sweeteners, tinned and frozen food
Vishma Agni or over-consumption of Vata increasing foods or habits of a Vata type nature (more-so in Autumn):
Foods that are light, dry, airy and rough
Raw and cold food
Eating too quickly or eating “on the go”
Irregular eating habits/skipping meals/fasting
Anxiety and fear
*Specific examples: Raw and cold vegetables, cold salads, raw apples and pears, popcorn, carbonated drinks, corn chips, biscuits,
processed, ready-made/packaged, refined foods and artificial sweeteners
Signs and symptoms
Heaviness in the gut/sluggish digestion.
Heaviness and sleepiness after eating
Nausea around mealtime
Can lead to:
Heart and circulatory concerns, high cholesterol, oedema, mood imbalances, obesity, diabetes.
Excessive heat that can compromise the lining of the stomach.
Loose bowel motions
Excessive and constant hunger
Reflux, burning or heartburn
Irritability when hungry
Can lead to:
Anger and frustration, high blood pressure, liver and gallbladder issues, skin complaints.
Digestion is erratic. A tendency towards food intolerance and sensitivities.
Bloating and/or gas
Distention and/or pain in the abdomen
Can lead to:
Anxiety and fear, insomnia, dry skin, aches and pains, fatigue.
*Note: The specific foods mentioned above relate to when they are eaten in excess (are contained in or eaten for more than 9 of your 21 meals in a week) and when symptoms identify there is an underlying imbalance. Compatibility to food items may differ based on where you descend from.
Tips to promote healthy Agni and Microbiome
Eat seasonal organic foods, as the microbes attached to our foods become part of our microbiome
Ensure a large proportion of our 21 meals a week are warm and cooked to support healthy Agni
Sip on warm fluids such as water or herbal tea throughout the day to balance Agni and keep hydrated. Avoid drinking large amounts of cold water after eating
Make lunch the biggest meal and make dinner light and early (before 8pm)
Only eat once the previous meal has been digested
Sit down to enjoy your meals and give your food your full attention
Avoid exercise or sex within one hour of eating and sleeping within 2 hours of eating to allow proper digestion to take place
Avoid taking antibiotics unless necessary (determined by a trusted Health Professional)
Avoid eating processed, ready-made/packaged, refined foods and artificial sweeteners
Become familiar with recipes that use kitchen spices such as black pepper, fennel, cumin, hing, garlic, fenugreek, cardamom, onion and ginger and start making food your medicine
Spend more time among nature
Manage emotions such as stress, anger, anxiety and depression through Meditation/Yoga
Ensure you are moving your bowels daily and address concerns relating to difficult elimination
Eat a good variety of both soluble and insoluble fiber: Fruit and vegetables, wheat, oats, nuts/seeds, beans, lentils etc
Drinking lassi is a good way of taking pro-biotics without taking too much fermented food (which can cause digestive issues for some people). For a simple recipe that you can make at home yourself with yoghurt and water click here for Dylan from Vital Vedas recipe
Use a good form of oil to cook with that supports gut health such as ghee. Check out ongoing research into the benefits of ghee through Dr John Doulliards Lifespa here
*Some of the quotes mentioned are from my teacher Dr Ajit from the AIAS. Click the button below for my other list of references.