The Hygiene of our Food Habits.
Food is fuel for the brain and body. Most of us don’t see it as fuel or think of it as necessary hygiene for our wellbeing. We brush our teeth, bathe, put special interest in cleansing our face and grooming our hair. We lather lotion, and deodorant as part of our daily routine. Those are mostly external daily rituals that help us smell, feel and look good.
What, where and when we put food in our mouth is equally important. I’m not going to go all scientific about our hormones and immune system in this article. Let’s just summarize that by saying poor digestion is the root cause of most diseases. It sets us up on a path to inflammation.
When we eat food that has little or no nutrition, filled with additives and chemicals, or we have a sensitivity to, our brain and body react. Our immune system releases chemicals that cause inflammation. You might recognize some of the symptoms. skin conditions like psoriasis, arthritis, foggy brain, excess weight.
Who decided way back when that we should eat 3 meals a day and snack in between? I know for sure that marketing and big food giants promoted our addiction to sugar and processed food.
Here’s a bad digestion behavior. Go to work, rush through lunch at your desk, or mindlessly shovel food in your mouth either in the car or rushing to get back to work. That behavior guarantees your digestive system will not fully absorb the nutrients needed. According to experts at Ohio State University, you should chew soft foods 5-10 times and meats and vegetables up to 30 times before swallowing.
Our stomach does not have teeth. Digestion begins in the mouth. We chew to activate enzymes necessary to help the stomach absorb nutrients fueling us. Swallowing chunks of half-chewed up food produce symptoms of bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and leaky gut. This does not provide fuel for the body and brain.
When the brain is not supplied with nutrients necessary to fuel the body properly over time there will be a negative consequence. Have you experienced difficulty sleeping, feeling foggy-headed, memory or is your concentration off? How often are you anxious, irritable, depressed or angry? These are all signs the brain isn’t balanced. Poor hygiene.
What to do? First of all, relax and enjoy the meal. Take the time to actually pay attention to what you are eating. Consciously enjoy the experience. Taste your food, don’t just gobble it down. Create a pleasant environment. Be grateful you have food to eat. This promotes the digestive part of the brain, the para-sympathetic which calms you.
Avoid ice or any drink that is cold. It actually numbs and slows down the digestive enzymes.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. That means avoid glutton, dairy, sugar, and access to alcohol. Make your last meal of the day 2 – 3 hours before bedtime. Eat your biggest meal earlier in the day.
Go for a walk after you eat. If your dining out, park further away from the restaurant.
When we have trouble with digestion, our brain doesn’t work well, and vice versa. Just like your daily habits to smell, feel and look good externally it’s equally important to maintain a daily hygiene habit for our gut and brain.
Your Midlife & Beyond Certified Life Coach
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