Food: For the Stomach and the Soul
Food is not just about the satisfaction of a bodily hunger, it is also about a sense of satiety that comes from the brain getting the nourishment of an enjoyable repast. So whether it be a delicious, crisp carrot or a piece of roast chicken, food can nourish your spirit as much as your body!
The ancient text of Kama Sutra is about sex, yes, but is also about the satisfaction of the other senses: the word ‘Kama’ means sex but more specifically it means enjoyment using all of the senses including touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. There are mood enhancing colors, and although 80% of human stimulation comes from sight, the other senses are as important for enhancing our mood.
In fact sometimes, because of the fact that sight is our most important sense, we tend to experience other stimulus less keenly. Don’t we for instance shut our eyes when we smell or something wonderful? Don’t visually challenged people have a keener sense of hearing and smell than sighted people?
So when we talk about mood enhancing food, you could talk about comfort food or you could be talking about food to put you in the mood. Comfort food for me would have to be dal and rice while for someone else it could be chicken soup; it is the kind of food that you find enjoyable and satisfying, that has happy and positive connotations for you and which is good for you. Research has shown that eating favorite foods can stimulate the release of endorphins which are known to elevate the mood.
And what of aphrodisiacs which one wit termed as ‘the bridge between gluttony and lust’? So can oysters make you amorous? Strawberries make you sexy? Apparently, yes!Food can act as an aphrodisiac in many ways; thru its taste, smell or even its appearance.
For instance asparagus, because of its phallic shape as well as vitamin E content is thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. The humble banana is also an aphrodisiac what with its suggestive shape and because they contain potassium and B vitamins which are essential for sex hormone production. If you asked me what food would be my turn on, it would have to be chocolate covered almonds: Almonds help increase dopamine levels and chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin.
So does more than nourish our bodies, it nourishes our senses and enhances our sense of well being and can even put the spark back in a relationship! So Bon Apetit all!