If you find yourself suffering from a turkey coma this morning, sweet relief might be found as nearby as your spice cabinet, according to Hema Jagada, founder of the Dallas-based Ayurvedic nutrition company, Restore Simply.
Ayurvedic philosophy centers around balancing the three energies, or doshas, that make up our being through nutrition and lifestyle changes. It views digestion as a solid indicator of overall health and posits that healthy metabolic function produces healthy skin, nails, hair, and energy levels. “It’s really the root we are trying to get to, and if we hit the root, then everything else falls into place,” says Jagada.
To regulate and cleanse the digestive tract, she suggests sipping on a tea containing a fennel, corriander, and cumin blend. Corriander can help cool excess heat in the digestive tract left by holiday cocktails, while cumin works to absorb undigested food particles and balances the effects of the creamy ingredients found in your grandma’s green bean casserole. “Fennel is just an amazing digestive spice,” says Jagada. “It works on the lower part of the small intestine, and is a carminative spice, which means it reduces all those gassy buildups or discomfort from indigestion.”
Jagada recommends drinking hot beverages that incorporate turmeric, ginger, and black pepper to encourage detoxification after a pie and stuffing binge. “Turmeric works like an adaptogen and targets where the toxic buildup is, and with the natural heat of that spice, it liquifies the toxicity,” says Jagada. Black pepper serves to increase the absorption of turmeric and fuel digestion even further. Finally, ginger is an anti-inflammatory spice that breaks through rich and heavy foods like that double portion of mashed potatoes you may have plopped on your plate. All three of these spices are present in the chai blend Jagada pours over her morning oatmeal, and in the golden milk blend she uses to promote digestion overnight.
“There’s so much going on, and we’re indulging, which is great, but if we are also building in some spices into the day, then we are metabolizing and eliminating some of that heaviness throughout the day to create that balance,” Jagada says.