10 Healthy Tips on How to Eat

We know what to eat in order to live healthy. However, I have noticed a lot of people who do not know how to eat their food. It may sound like a trivial topic but when I am finished making my point, you may feel guilty for not paying attention to how you eat. Therefore, this is not an article about what to eat.

If we do not follow the proper habits for consuming our foods, it does not matter if the food is healthy because it won't be digested properly. Hence, we forfeit the awesome nutrients that we try to put into our bodies. There are ailments that can arise in our bodies if we do not facilitate proper digestion. We will discuss the proper principles that help the body’s digestive process.

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1. Eat slowly

This may be the most important concept on how to eat. If someone takes big bites and swallows quickly they won't digest most of the nutrients contained in the food. Instead, the food will just pass through the system in big undigested chunks causing gas, constipation or other more serious long term illnesses.

Biting small portions and chewing it slowly starts the digestion process in the mouth. Remember, the first step of digestion is mechanically breaking down the food with the grinding action of our teeth. Our saliva also starts the chemical digestive process and gets it ready for the stomach. Eating food slowly is also therapeutic to the body.

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2. Eat Socially

Eating is even more therapeutic if it is done alongside the people who you love. Human Beings have a natural instinct to eat with friends and families. Have you ever noticed that all ceremonies, rituals, special occasions or even business meetings incorporate some sort of food consumption?

Having a feast is great for people with common interest to reinforce their bond and commitment to the group. Eat more regularly with family and friends.

3. Eat On a Schedule

It is no secret that we use up the energy from a meal in a short period of time. It is only natural to eat according to a schedule to provide the body with ample energy throughout the day. The human body works according to a rhythmic cycle. Therefore skipping or eating between meals disrupts the body's natural cycle.

Food is moved through the body using a peristaltic ring of muscle that squeezes the food along. This is very similar to how an anaconda snake swallows its prey and moves it down the length of its body. Peristalsis happens in rhythmic intervals based on how we eat. Therefore, try to keep a schedule and not confuse the natural cycle.

green = cal (callaloo) greens; red = tomato; white = dumplings; purple = sweet potato
green = cal (callaloo) greens; red = tomato; white = dumplings; purple = sweet potato | Source

4. Have a Variety of Colors

Human Beings are very visual animals and are emotionally affected by a variety of colors. A wide spectrum of colors is known to invoke positive emotions in a person. If you were locked in a room for 24 hours and ate only white colored foods like mushrooms and bread. After the time is up, you are given a single purple grape. You will be emotionally moved with great gratitude by the grape.

A wide spectrum of colors also represents a wide variation of nutrients. Personally, I believe in at least three different colors on your plate for every meal but no more than seven.

5. Decorate your eating area

As I have said before, colors are great for your dining experience. Every restaurant that you have been has a color scheme that they use to decorate their tables. Exciting decorations equates to more fun. On the other hand, cafeteria’s at large institutions tend to be boring and invoke a solemn mood.

Whenever you eat at home, the dining table should be decorated with fruits and flowers or other artistic expressions. It doesn't hurt to have some paintings within your dining environment. Stay away from boring dining areas at all cost.

I decorate my table with food from my gardening exploits
I decorate my table with food from my gardening exploits | Source

6. Only concentrate on eating

Do not watch TV, check your email, dance, play video games, argue, talk on the phone or play footsie while you are eating. Eating should be a relaxing experience for each person. Your emotional state should not be aroused or distracted by a heated conversation for example.

Eating should be a mindful and singular event. Your body’s peristaltic rhythm can be affected by slight bouts of excitement like when you get scared by a horror movie or some bad news. Adrenaline is released in the body and blood is diverted from the digestive system to your muscles. This causes the process of digestion to be inefficient.

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7. There is nothing wrong with a prayer

In most cultures it is customary to pray before eating. There is nothing wrong with singing and rejoicing before eating either. The whole purpose is to create a calm and meditative environment before eating. It does not matter whether you pray to Jesus the Christ, Jehovah or Mother Nature for your food. Just as long as you are giving thanks for the food and have some gratitude in your heart.

"Food is the staff of life" - Rastafarian Proverb

If there is one thing you should be grateful for is food, air and water. You can survive without clothes, shelter and people.

8. Eat correct Portions

Imagine the digestive system as a food converter. It transforms your food into smaller components that can be diffused into the blood system. Like any other machinery or processor it will slow down if too much raw product is introduce into the system for processing.

The size of your stomach is limited and can only handle a certain amount per sitting. The stomach communicates to us when it is stretched to the limit. We all know that the stomach is the size of our fist and is comfortable stretching to three times its original size. Therefore, we have to use discretion at each sitting.

9. Drinking Fluids

The most important fluid is water and is great for drinking between meals. It is also possible to slow down the digestive system by drinking too much fluid after a meal. Liquid food is best consumed by itself. Weight lifters normally drink liquid foods right after exercising because it is easier to digest than solid foods.

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Do You Practice Five or More of the Eating Habits Listed

See results without voting

10. Be Mindful of Your Food

Do you think about the food that you are eating?

How does it make you feel inside?

What type of emotions does it invoke?

Does it smell good?

What are the different flavors that you can taste?

Is it visually appealing?

What is the texture like in your mouth?

Does it feel good chewing it?

What sounds does it make when you chew?

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© 2014 Marvin Parke

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Comments 44 comments

Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Marvin,

What a very useful thought-provoking, useful article! I practice some of these habits, but not all of them. I have to add the rest.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well, seven out of ten ain't bad, is it? :) I like the way you think. Great list.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Rasta1, this is great information. This is a perfect 10, 10 step tips.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Excellent article and very informative and interesting. #1 Eat slowly is the most difficult one for me to master. But, all of these I try to do and they are important to diet and health. Thanks for reminding us.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Daisy. Thanks for sharing and appreciating the article. I am very humbled.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Billy. 7 out of 10 is fantastic. Its great that you have been conscious of your food.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect word55. Thanks for the perfect score. This article took a while to finish.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Suzette. Eating slowly is the hardest one to master. However, it is the most important because it forces us to relax. As I get older, I have to make more a conscious effort to eat slowly.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I'm happy to report that I follow just about all of your 10 tips. #5 is not something I pay attention to regularly. I like #7 very much and will do that regularly.

I was looking at the links to your other hubs you've listed above and will visit each one. Can you tell me if Hemp seeds provide energy compared to Chia seeds?

Thanks so much and sharing everywhere! Audrey


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

Your method of eating is so much like that of my mother. She taught me to eat slowly and appreciate every bite. We always believed in having meals together, and I still think that is important. I was never allowed to drink anything until I had finished my meal, either.

I certainly agree with your #5.

Voted UP, etc.


mackyi profile image

mackyi 2 years ago from Philadelphia

Great tips Ras!


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

These are great tips on proper food consumption habits. I am glad that I follow most of them and I find myself repeating these very habits, to my children.

The toughest for the present generation is to eat slowly. Everyone is in hurry nowadays.

Thanks for sharing this useful hub, voted up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Rasta, this is a great and relevant presentation. Number 6 is the hardest for me. It is so easy to find something else to do while I eat. I have to pull up the slack there. Thank you.


SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

SANJAY LAKHANPAL 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

Thanks for sharing the information.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Good habits to eating the proper way. Colorful foods are certainly a great part of our diets and should be a daily treat.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Audrey. Giving thanks before eating is an aspect of eating that is disappearing in modern society. I sometimes forget also.

Hemp seeds is a great source of energy. You should give it a try. Chia seeds are a better fit for the digestive system because it expands in the stomach and absorbs fats and chemicals (toxins) and facilitates movement of food through the intestines.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Mary. My mother is like that too. It is funny how I am the one coaching her on diet now. Role reversal.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Mackyi. I know you like this article because you are a spiritual person.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Chitrangada Sharan. Teaching our children proper eating habits is priceless.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect MsDora. I tried to make the presentation as appealing as possible. Thank you.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Sanjay. I am really glad I shared this information. It seems to be well received.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect DDE. A variety of colorful foods is a must. It is very pleasant to the senses.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia

A lot has been written about what to eat, but it is good to also be mindful of how to eat in order to get the most benefit from our food. Great reminders.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Cyndi10. It had to be done


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 2 years ago

Thanks for the tips on eating healthy. I have heard that the slower you eat, the more nutrients that you absorb. Thanks again. Voted up.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

So useful!! Thank you!


janshares profile image

janshares 2 years ago from Washington, DC

Excellent and informative article, rasta1. You did a magnificent job with presenting a topic most people don't even think about as they gorge their food. It's so important to take our time and enjoy our food. I'm one of those eaters who savor the taste, make ooohs and aahs, and always the last to finish eating when I would go to lunch with coworkers. They would say, "why you eat so slow," and I would reply, "I enjoy my food." Thanks for this one, rasta1, voted up, useful, interesting, and shared. Very cool video, too.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Janshares. I am flattered by your words. People always ask me "how you eat so slow". I get that too all the while.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Audrey. Thanks for passing through.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Torri. You are absolutely correct. Your digestive system also works better all around.


Maggie.L profile image

Maggie.L 2 years ago from UK

A really informative article and useful article. I especially agree that it's important to eat socially. Thanks for a great read!


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Maggie. Humans Have an innate need to eat socially. It is one of the things that make us happy.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 2 years ago from London, UK

You are right. Colours do make a difference. Thanks for the tips.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect LadyE. Colors is a vibration of light just like how music is a vibration of sound. Very essential to life.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

I came to read this one--in the U.S. we all to often eat alone in front of the tv--sending this around again because you are so right!


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

These are all great tips, especially eating slowly. Nothing hurts the body like under-chewed food.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect DealforALiving. Chewing food thoroughly is very important.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Audrey. The worst place to have lunch is front of the TV. It causes to many emotional swings.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

rasta this is helpful.. I am a grab as you go type of eater and should follow the list you provide makes a great deal of sense my friend


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Frank. eat as you can be bad at times. Eating at a calm secluded environment can do the trick.


ThelmaC profile image

ThelmaC 2 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

Excellent, well written article full of useful information. Voted up, useful and interesting.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I like your ideas for proper eating consumption. I do follow most of your points. Color of food and table setting really do make a good difference at each meal. It is pleasing to see and contributes the meal enjoyment.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect ThelmaC. Thank you very much for endorsing this article. I am very grateful.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica Author

Respect Teaches12345. I love a variety of colors too. It also represents a variety of nutrients.

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