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According to the ancient healing practice of Ayurveda, wellness is dependent on digestion—of everything you eat, think, and do. There’s even a special term for it: the Sanskrit word agni. It refers to the “digestive fire,” the burning flame within you that’s responsible for breaking down all you take in on a daily basis, assimilating what’s useful and eliminating the rest. Just as digestion in Ayurveda refers to more than just food, the effects of a dull digestive fire have effects beyond your gastrointestinal tract or G.I. tract.
“Your metabolism is what keeps that digestive fire going,” explains Sakara founder Danielle Duboise, who notes that optimal digestion has cascading effects on how we feel overall. “The better it works, the more efficient our system is, so we feel less tired, less bloated, and satiated after meals instead of stuffed.”
In case high school biology is a distant memory, a refresher: Metabolism is the essential (and rather miraculous) multi-step biochemical process by which your body converts nourishment into usable energy. Your body uses that energy in three ways: maintaining life by doing things like breathing and circulating blood (basal metabolic rate refers to the calories used for this); thermogenesis, or the digesting, absorbing and processing of food; and physical activity, which includes both exercise and simply walking from the bedroom to the kitchen to make coffee in the morning.
Your metabolism is what keeps that digestive fire going
Your metabolism is what keeps that digestive fire going
While prevailing wisdom says genes predispose you to a metabolism of a particular speed—perhaps you’ve heard someone use theirs to explain away their slim physique despite their penchant for French fries?—research in the fascinating field of epigenetics suggests you’re not destined to your parents’ (or your parents’ parents’) metabolism. Lifestyle choices—think diet, physical activity, stress management, sleep—effectively turn different genes on and off and can help you keep your metabolism (and therefore your digestive fire) burning bright.
A lifestyle that supports a healthy metabolism starts with eating a balanced, wholesome diet rich in micronutrients that nurture the thyroid and liver, minimizing processed foods that disrupt hormones and send blood sugar soaring and crashing, and giving up calorie restriction and yo-yo dieting, which damages metabolism over time. Getting regular exercise, especially strength training, is also important since bodies with more muscle mass burn more calories at rest. Managing stress, getting sufficient sleep and limiting alcohol intake are similarly key. If any of the following symptoms are bringing you down, following these guidelines should help get them in check:
Signs of Metabolism Slowdown:
-Chronic fatigue: You’re sluggish despite getting those requisite eight hours
-Mysterious and stubborn weight gain: You’re eating as normal, but your clothes don’t feel right
-Digestive problems and bloat: Things are moving slowly; you’re puffy and out-of-sorts
-Mood issues: You’re down for no discernible reason
-Brain fog: You’re unfocused with a side of anxiety
-Intense and frequent sugar cravings: You’re constantly reaching for carbs and sweets
-Dryness and dullness of skin, hair, and nails: You’re less than your radiant self
Of course, everyone could use a secret weapon. On that note, meet Sakara Metabolism Super Powder, a convenient new way to light that spark inside you. It comprises functional ingredients that fire up digestion, regulate blood sugar, alleviate bloat, and balance hormones, effectively restoring your metabolism from a sizzle to a full-on blaze. When enjoyed (and we made it chocolate, so enjoyment is a given) in tandem with the aforementioned lifestyle adjustments, you can expect improved focus, increased energy, enviable radiance, and a body that feels blissfully like home.
Functional Ingredients to Light Your Inner Fire
L-Glutamine: This amino acid has been found to increase resting metabolic rate, or the rate at which your body burns energy while at rest (by doing things like breathing and circulating your blood). Think of taking l-glutamine as servicing your body’s engine so that it runs extra-efficiently.
Fucoxanthin + Fucoidan: Extracted from Atlantic brown seaweed, these compounds have been found to improve fat metabolism.
Gymnema Sylvestre: Its Hindi name, gurmar, translates to “destroyer of sweet.” Used in Ayurveda, this herb supports glucose control, with the effect of stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Horsetail Extract: For immediate bloat relief, this herb is a natural diuretic that bolsters kidney and immune health, flushing out excess water retention. (Never worry about getting your rings stuck again.)
Black Pepper Piperine: The active compound in black pepper reduces the time it takes food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, meaning more efficient digestion, less bloat none of that unpleasantly heavy, “stuffed” feeling.
By Kirby Stirland • May 20, 2019
Photographer: Hanna Hazel