Food Hygiene - It's Not Just What You Eat, But Also How You Eat
Nov 30, 2018
It’s true that Food IS Medicine.
There are plenty of discussions about WHAT we should be eating to achieve the greatest health. I’d like to shift for a moment to HOW we should be eating.
Lifestyle factors, such as diet, have a direct EPIGENETIC effect on the genome. Similarly, the stress response, both physical and psychological, has similar genomic effects. What’s even more important to know is how this stress response can have a direct and immediate PHYSIOLOGIC effect on digestion and metabolism. These effects include altered stomach acid and digestive enzyme activity, which leads to diminished absorption of nutrients, ultimately having a huge impact on health.
If Food IS Medicine, then we want to do our best to ensure that the food that goes into our mouths can be broken down adequately to release the medicines that our body can readily absorb.
By changing our internal or external environment and addressing HOW we eat, just about any meal can be a therapeutic experience – I’m still not sure about donuts. In fact maybe they’d be best consumed when hyper-stressed out as to avoid digesting the deleterious ingredients (only kidding… I don’t think it works that way!)
Following are some tips for optimizing your metabolic experience to get the most out of each and every meal:
Before the Meal:
Remove yourself from any stimulation – TV, stressful thoughts or conversation, or physical activities
Take a moment to pause – Relax with a few round of breaths to bring your physiology into a parasympathetic, “rest and digest” state
*TIP* – Coming into a state of gratitude is a short-cut to the parasympathetic state
During the Meal:
Chew your food! – Digestion starts in the mouth with your teeth, and with enzymes in saliva
Slow down and enjoy – it’s not a race, and unless your a strict Buddhist, eating should be enjoyable
*TIP* – Putting down the fork or spoon between bites can be a great reminder to your body
After the Meal:
*TIP* – End your meal early and maybe you’ll have leftovers.