By Bani Sharma | YEET MAGAZINE Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT) July 20, 2021
Over time, India has seen rapid changes in societal behaviour.
We have changed a lot as a society, whether it's in terms of lifestyle or cuisine, and this has affected our health. We consume mindlessly, and our bodies have become a breeding ground for a variety of ailments.
Our forefathers in India used to eat fresh foods, sit on the floor, and use all of their senses while eating, resulting in disease-free health.Here's why and how to revive using and cultivating those ancient habits.
- Eating fresh food :
Our forefathers ate fresh, chemical-free foods cultivated locally. Their diet and activity patterns were well-balanced, and they had fewer health problems. Keeping this in mind, we should purchase or cultivate food that is local and seasonal. They're fresh, and they're less expensive.
Purchasing food produced locally benefits our farmers and communities. Preservative-laden and heavily processed foods should be avoided. Rather than creating juice from fruits and vegetables, it is preferable to cut them. When food is transformed to juices, the nutrients are lost.
- Eating in a crossed-legged position:
Eating while seated on the floor in a crossed-legged position aids digestion and assimilation. This is also known as ‘Sukhasana,' and it is an age-old tradition followed by many Indian families. If sitting on the floor isn't an option, you can adopt this stance at your dining table.
- Eating with all of our senses:
Eating without distraction and using all of your senses while eating was also a sort of meditation practised by our forebears. Not only the taste buds but other senses were employed while having their meal.
Eyes: Allow your eyes to observe your meal. The brown chapatti, green veggies, yellow lentils, and vivid fruits offers us an initial picture of the dish. The colour, shape, size, and texture of the food we eat are all communicated to the brain through sight. While dining, avoid watching television, reading the newspaper, or using your laptop. It obstructs the digestive process.
Nose: Our tongue's taste buds can only detect sweet, tangy, bitter, and salty flavours; the rest is detected by smell. Before we eat, we should smell the meal to prepare our stomach for the necessary gastric juice release for digestion.
Hands: Though it is considered unhygienic to eat with one's hands in our day and age, our forefathers understood the importance of touch while eating.
The texture of the meal stimulates the digestive fluids by activating the nerve endings in our fingers. According to Ayurveda the five fingers represent the five elements of food.
- The element Fire is related with the thumb (Agni)
- The element Air is represented by the index finger (Vayu)
- The element Space is represented by the middle finger (Akash)
- The element Earth is related with the ring finger (Prithvi)
- The nerve endings in the fingertips are triggered to aid digestion when all of the elements come together while eating with hands.
The stomach receives signals from the brain that we are going to eat, and produce the digestive juices needed for digestion.
Ears: Eating in silence allows you to concentrate on the food. Silence also aids in the recognition of food texture. Eating with a relaxed mind allows you to absorb all of the nutrients.
Do not allow yourself to be distracted when eating. Turn off the television and don't talk on the phone while you're eating.
Loud noises interfere with your body's capacity to digest meals and may contribute to weight gain. You will overeat if you are distracted. Ears should listen to the silence you observe while eating.
Do not overeat:
Our forefathers ate only when they were hungry and ate in small portions throughout the day. Eating too much is the root of all ailments. Overeating encompasses not only eating too much but also eating the wrong stuff at the wrong time. Bloating, constipation, heartburn, and burping are all symptoms of overeating.
These are the messages that our stomach sends us. Instead of eating well, we grab for the antacids, hoping that they will alleviate the discomfort. Do we realise, however, that antacids kill the healthy bacteria in our guts, exacerbating our digestion issues?
Serve yourself half of what you normally consume. Eat slowly and chew well with small bites. Chewing thoroughly and slowly prevents overeating. Don't pick up the food from your plate while you still have food in your mouth. You eat quickly and more, and in turn you eat excessively. When you've finished the first portion, ask whether there's more to eat or stop. Eat with all your senses.
Eating warm foods:
Our forefathers ate freshly cooked meals. They stayed away from fast food and junk food. They didn't have the ability to refrigerate their food back then. They had to cook every meal because their food was primarily perishable. Warm food gives you more pleasure than cold food.
Hot food is easier to digest and provides more nutrients to the body. It also helps to speed up the metabolism. Getting hot food is preferable since it is less likely to be contaminated by microorganisms.
We can avoid problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, and others by adopting certain eating habits. Eating between 7 and 10 a.m. is ideal because this is when our digestive and assimilation abilities are at their peak. For total health, we must gradually acquire appropriate eating habits.
It's never too late to rediscover the art of eating as our forefathers did.
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