Eating is life’s most vital activity, apart from breathing and sleeping (in the same order as well, I think 😉 ). We cannot sustain ourselves without eating. Eating is a must!
Most of the times, we eat so unconsciously, without being aware of how important food is to us. We have forgotten its role when it comes to – our survival, our health and also the way we look. It gives us energy to work, it allows us to think, move, create and thrive.
Our food preferences and choices are based on convenience as compared to our health and well-being. We have become so busy that even eating has just become another task on our ‘to-do’ list. We don’t really have the time to nourish body and soul.
Coming back to my point – Mindfulness Matters – Why?
Mindfulness makes us aware. When we begin to pay attention to how everything we eat, influences our body, we start making smarter choices about what foods to eat.
When we give our complete attention to the meal in front of us, we feel satisfied quickly, we eat less and are able to better digest what we eat.
We live in a fast-paced multi-taking world – we never really slow down. Even when we are eating, we are multi-tasking. We are either watching TV, or are talking to someone on the phone or reading something.
DID YOU KNOW – that multi-tasking registers as stress in the mind and therefore triggers a stress response in the body?
Now extend this to when you are eating. When you are eating under stress or when you are upset, it impacts not only what you eat, but how you digest it too.
Yes, Stress Impacts your Digestion
When your mind registers stress, a series of changes start taking place in the body instantly:
- Blood pressure rises
- Digestion is suppressed
- Immunity is suppressed
- Detoxification is suppressed
- Gradual demineralization of bone
- Fatty acid metabolism is impaired
- Glucose is released
- Cholesterol is released
- Hormones are imbalanced
- Muscle break down along with fluid retention
- Fat is deposited
- Decreased energy
- Mood fluctuations
So when the mind perceives stress – digesting your food is not really a priority. In fact your digestive system is put on hold, as there other important things for the body to deal with.
Now – because the digestive system is shut down – fewer digestive enzymes are released and obviously this leads to decreased breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Even the absorption of vitamins and minerals is impaired.
In fact, if you read the pointers above, during the stress response, the cells’ ability to metabolize fatty acids is also impaired. And, to top it off, the body tends to break down muscle and replace it with stored fat and excess fluid. Over time, this can cause weight gain. Still, wondering how you put on the weight!?
Also thanks to this – you experience digestive symptoms, such as acidity, heaviness, bloating, and sometimes unknown stomach discomfort. No matter how healthy or nutritionally balanced your food is, your body will not optimally absorb the nutrients from the meal, if the functioning of the digestive system is impaired
So, as you rush out the door in the morning, with a toast or a ‘snack bar’ in hand to catch your train, or eat lunch in front of a computer screen, or when you are super stressed about the day or are experiencing negative emotions tied to a certain someone or something, you are clearly telling your body “don’t digest.”
And so, Mindfulness Matters, being aware and paying attention while eating guarantees full digestion and maximum nutritional benefit. Try it Out – Results Guaranteed! 🙂