This simple practice can make a big impact on the efficiency of your digestion resulting in increased energy and less digestive discomfort. Basically you just want to do as the practice says – eat from light to heavy throughout the day consuming your heaviest meal for dinner. Eating this way within each meal can also aid digestion helping your body process nutrients most efficiently.
Lightest foods are water dense raw fruit like melon and citrus which on an empty stomach pass through in about 20 minutes. The key here is “on an empty stomach.” For instance, eating raw fruit after other foods will not allow the fruit to pass through your system quickly. In fact the fruit will sit in your stomach awaiting digestion all the while “cooking” at the higher temperature of your gut and you’ll miss out on all the wonderful enzymes the raw fruit could have offered had your body been able to take the time to break it down right away. This can lead to feeling bloated from the sugars that are sitting in your gut until they are processed. I try to only eat fruit first thing in the morning or sometimes as a snack on an empty stomach during the day.
Second on the spectrum are water dense vegetables like cucumbers, or celery. Then come the starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots. In general raw fruits and vegetables are lighter than cooked fruits and vegetables, so eat them first. They take a bit more energy to break down than the cooked veggies and require more focus from your system, so it’s best not to eat raw veggies along with other foods if your digestive system is very sensitive. Some people even think raw veggies should only be eaten alone for maximum absorption of nutrients and enzymes.
Although cooked vegetables could be easier for some people to digest since cooking them breaks them down prior to ingestion, some of the nutrients and enzymes get lost in the heating process. Raw fruits and vegetables are most easily digested on an empty stomach so that those foods get full attention, and your digestive system gets to work breaking them down right away. Eat them first so your body can absorb all the healthy nutrients, and then move on to the cooked ones.
Legumes and nuts come next on the spectrum. The heaviest foods to break down are proteins and dairy. These are considered heavier because the body requires more energy to digest them. This means the Ph level of your stomach rises creating more acid to break down and process the food.
It is important to feed your body in a way that makes sense for you. Everyone’s system is naturally more or less acidic and our metabolism’s and other factors create different circumstances. Find the most effective way of nourishing your body that meets your needs. A final note is to make sure to eat your last meal a few hours before bedtime for optimal digestion. Try this practice and see if you notice any benefits in your mood, energy levels, or if it rids your body of some bloating or discomfort after your meals. Working with your body’s digestion by eating light to heavy can help unlock so much more energy and vibrance you didn’t even know your body was cable of.