Why Is Healthy Eating Important
When walking, walk. When eating, eat. ~ Zen Proverb (Tweet this)
You are what you eat! When it comes to health how you eat is as important as what you eat. Healthy eating is more than the food on your plate. In today’s fast pace technological world eating has become an unconscious act ritualized by checking our phones, watching television or running from one event to another. This Zen proverb reminds us of the importance of being in the moment and fully in touch with what we are doing, eating and being.
Healthy eating is more than a list of healthy foods. It requires us to inspect and appreciate what and how we eat. There are hundreds of articles on the internet telling you what to eat to lose weight and to stay healthy. But what about the way you eat? Does it matter? You bet it does.
There is a branch of yoga that deals specifically with the way we eat. It is called Anna Yoga. Its basic fundamental premise is that we should inspect what and how we eat. The conscious choice of how we feed our body-mind is as important as what we feed it.
One should eat to live, not live to eat. ~ Moliere (Tweet this)
What we eat
What we eat does affect us both physically and mentally. A good example would be the vitamin B complex. This group of vitamins gives us the energy that is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A deficiency of B vitamins has been shown to be present in such disorders as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety.
So we know that what we eat or what we don’t eat affects our energy and our moods.But what about how we eat?
Energy of Food
However, as well as eating nutritious foods, eating healthy has to do with how we prepare our foods and then how we eat them. Food is a living organism. It supplies us with the fuel necessary to function.Our body can not directly get minerals from the earth so plants and animals draw minerals from the ground and supply them to us.
Because food is a living organism it emits an energy or vibration and this vibration is effected by our energy. Physics tells us that everything in the universe has its’ own vibration and is affected by the vibrations of everything else. Really, we are just one big connected cosmic vibration of energy. Our energy when preparing or eating a meal directly effects how we eat.
Moods and Emotions
Ever prepare or eaten a meal when angry, frustrated and depressed? Chances are you over ate, shoveled the food in your mouth without tasting it and stabbed it with your fork as if pitching a bale of hay.
How about frantically rushing from one task to another stopping only for a moment to stuff food in your mouth? You probably ate more than you needed and chose foods that were quick to grab and nutritiously void.
Chew, Chew, Chew
Eating too fast, not chewing your food and eating on the run are bad for digestion leading to a number of problems from indigestion to constipation.
The preparing, chewing, tasting and swallowing process is very important when it comes to proper digestion and proper digestion is essential to health. Let’s look at preparing, tasting, chewing and swallowing and how these things affect our health.
Prepare with Love
Most spiritual disciplines warn us about eating food that has been prepared by someone who is angry, depressed or anxious. Whether we want to admit it or not food that is prepared in haste with anger and frustration lacks the two most important supporting nutrients of life – love and caring.
Food is meant to be shared and savored. And further with cell phones blurting messages, we retreat into a solitary place where eating becomes a mindless act of tasteless bits and bytes.
Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness. ~ Edward Stanley (Tweet this)
Chewing and swallowing have profound effects on our health. When your mother told you to chew your food she might have been concerned about you choking, but actually chewing your food is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Teeth tear apart food and unlock the enzymes and nutrients that are locked inside the whole foods we eat. This assists the digestive process.
Most people today eat too quickly, gulping air and swallowing large chunks of food. As well as making it difficult on the digestive system this can lead to indigestion and other digestive disorders such as bloating and constipation.
Chewing aids in digestion by making the food particles smaller and easier to pass through the entire system. It also generates saliva which sends a message to the brain telling the stomach to make acid, the pancreas to secrete pancreatic juice which contains digestive enzymes and prepares the body for absorption and breakdown of the nutrients.
If large chunks of food are swallowed a strain is put on the valve between the stomach and the small intestine. Because the food particles are so big they do not breakdown and instead begin to decompose.
This results in a build up of bacteria and fungi into the blood stream. This can result in heartburn and indigestion.
Along with being good for your digestive system chewing your food longer is also good for maintaining a healthy weight. The longer you chew, the longer it will take you to finish a meal and research shows that eating slower results in eating less. Eating less food results in good weight management.
Being mindful of how you eat is a good habit to form. It begins with conscious awareness and then extends to the actions you take. Before preparing food try to remove any toxic energy. Simply sit quiet, close your eyes, take three deep long breathes and then sit quietly for a moment.
Your energy will shift as you prepare the meal with love. Foods always taste better when sprinkled with love and care. Put phones, television, newspapers and any other distraction aside. Trade the bytes for bites!
The most important thing you can do for the health of your body-mind is feed it. So involve yourself in the entire process. Smell and taste your food. Chew it completely savoring the flavors and textures. Swallow small bites at a time and take a moment between bites to breathe.
Set your fork down and chew slowly. Then pick up your fork and take another bite. Smile and share the joy of your food with those you love. When you eat, eat, and when you chew, chew,because healthy eating truly is more about how you eat than what you eat!
Healthy eating is important. So, it is never too late to change your diet. Improve your eating habits and stay healthy.