- Nutritional Advice & Tips
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.
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.
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.
References and Research
- Cornell University - Food and Brand Lab - Beating Your Mindless Eating Habits
- Nutrition Journal | Full text | Social and psychological factors affecting eating habits among unive
The aim of this study was to assess the pattern of eating habits and its associated social and psychological factors among medical students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do You Practice Five or More of the Eating Habits Listed
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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