How should we eat?

Good nutrition is one of the keys to a healthy life. You can improve your health by keeping a balanced diet. You should eat foods that contain vitamins and minerals. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and a source of protein. Apart from this, there are certain habits that we should practice while eating that will help us to maintain good health. Ayurved suggests 9 rules that we should follow when we eat our food. They are as follows:

1. Eat only when you are really hungry-

The last meal that you had is supposed to be broken down to release energy which helps us to get along with our daily activities. When the energy level is almost depleted our body responds with the feeling of hunger to provide itself with more energy. It is only then that you should take your next meal. Eating when you are not hungry can cause weight gain and other health issues like blood sugar problems. The size of your post consumption sugar surge matters to your health and if that surge remains in high for too long due to intake of more calories than necessary, a lot of health problems can crop up.

2. Eat only fresh and warm food-

In almost every field of medicine, there are suggestions that we should only eat food which is freshly cooked and has not been left in the open for more than 30 minutes after cooking. That definitely means that we should only eat food that is warma and fresh. Our gut is extremely heat-sensitive and consuming stale and cold food sends a shock throughout the body which could lead to other complications like digestive sensitivity, fatigue and sinus infection. They also lead to weight gain, cysts and tumors, the development of unhealthy bacterial infections, excessive bloating and gas, brain fog and problems with elimination of waste from your body.

3. Eat only in a comfortable position and a peaceful environment-

Taking care of our surroundings while eating is really important. It should be clean, beautiful and peaceful. If it is possible eat alone, peacefully. Eating while standing is a really bad habit and Ayurveda has mentioned the different reasons why the best position to eat is while sitting on the floor. This is because poor posture can compress the abdominal organs involved in digestion which affect your digestive system and your gastrointestinal system may not function as effectively which can lead to gas, constipation and acid reflux.

4. Ayurved suggests we should not eat with our shoes are sandals on-

Wearing shoes while eating causes heat to be produced in the body which can make us feel uncomfortable. According to Ayurveda, we should always wash our feet and sit on the floor while eating.

5. Try to eat without any interruptions-  While eating, concentrate only on the food and do not give in to any distractions. Talking, being on the phone, watching TV or any other electronic appliances or gadgets must not be used when you are eating. Experts say that eating while watching TV, disturbance or any sort of distraction and digestion are linked as you mind while working on two differrent things is unable to process how much and what you are eating. This in turn leads to problems with digestion as your body is unable to properly digest the right amount of or the kind of food being eaten. Letting children eat or have snacks in front of the TV is equally harmful because it interferes with the natural cues childrens’ body sends them about whether they are full or not.

6. Do not eat while in a hurry-

Ayurved suggests that we should always chew our food very well before gulping. Doing this helps in extracting the important juices that the food has to offer for our body. Chewing is considered as the first step to proper digestion and chewing well helps us to understand how much food exactly our body needs.

7. Take small bites at a time –

When you eat slowly it helps in better digestion, better hydration, easier weight loss or maintenance, and greater satisfaction with our meals. Meanwhile, eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight gain, and lower satisfaction. Limiting the amount of food you eat to a maximum of 10–12 bites each day will naturally cause you to eat fewer calories than your body requires.

8.  Use all your five sense organs during a meal –

The color, smell, taste , touch and sound help to increase our want for food. Thiis has a psychological connection as science suggests that it takes all five senses to experience food in its entirety. The color and size of a plate of food, the smell of newly baked cake, the touch of a batch of freshly fried potatoes that your mother has made, the crunch when you bite into a fresh Apple and the first taste of a spoon of gajar-ka-halwa; all of them help us in determining how much people want to eat and eventually how much we will end up eating. Hence deploying all your five senses while eating makes it easier for your entire system to judge how much food you’re actually wanting to take.

9. Select and maintain a specific time for taking meals for breakfast lunch and dinner and stick to the time –

By setting specific times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and sitting down to eat them at the same time each day, your body knows exactly when it’s time to eat, which will help prevent overeating and improve digestive health. This is also because your metabolic process — including appetite, digestion, and the rate your body processes fat, sugar, and cholesterol — follows a pattern that repeats every 24 hours. Once you disrupt that process by eating at random times every day, you’re at risk for weight gain and other health risks.

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