"The food we eat are like puzzles to the stomach. "
To live, one must eat.
And in this world, there are endless things we can choose to put into our stomachs.
But realize, different kinds of foods will have different effects on one's body and mind. If one is constantly making the wrong choices, then one can end up in ill health!
In this article, we will explore how one can make wiser choices in their life. But before we begin, this is not written from the perspective of a certified doctor, but rather, from someone who is simply sharing his own experiences.
So, use this article as an additional perspective to help you make wiser choices in life!
Food In Depth
The Importance of Absorbability
It can be easy to think that by eating nutritious food, one can become healthy.
This can be true, that is if one's stomach can absorb the food! If one cannot digest the food, then its nutrition will simply go to waste, which can create more problems for the stomach. It's much like trying to eat a piece of wood. It may be nutritious to a white ant whose stomach can digest it; but to us, it won't be!
Another example is drinking milk. Although it is nutritious in itself, it won't be nutritious to people who are lactose-intolerant—a good part of the world population! That is why it's common for people who eat an excess of dairy products to run into health problems.
Also, a piece of bread could be nutritious for one person, but someone with celiac disease would not be able to digest the bread well.
So, realize that we are all individual bodies with our own unique constitution. Some are more suited to eat some things more than others. And this can be heavily dependent on one's lineage, on what one is raised to eat, on one's gut flora, on one's general health condition, and so forth.
For instance, it can be easier for Asians to digest rice than Westerners; and likewise, easier for Westerners to eat densely packed bread than Asians. Again, this is just a broad generalization and it really depends on the individual's constitution.
Whatever the case, when it comes to choosing what types of food to eat for nutrition, it's important to factor in their digestibility.
For one to know whether a food is suitable, one can ask the following questions—
"Do I feel pain after eating this food?"
"Do I feel more energy after eating this food?"
"Is this food native to my diet?"
"Do I feel fatigued and drowsy after consuming this food?"
One can simply begin their journey of learning more about foods by trying out one type of food at a time to see how well one digests it.
Through trial and error, one will be able to learn how their stomach works.
Although reading about health can be very helpful, it's important to develop this awareness through actual life experiences.
And with time, one will know what kinds of food to eat and what to avoid!
To the body, digesting a piece of food is like solving a puzzle. The less processed the food is, the less complicated puzzle will be to the stomach.
That is why if one desires greater health, one an focus on eating less processed foods. Because the more processed it is, the more difficult it will be for the stomach to understand what you are putting into it. The energy spent on deciphering and absorbing processed foods can end up being more than the energy the body gains from it, which can lead one to experience experience mental and physical fatigue.
Naturally, the body can easily solve the puzzle if the food is from a natural source, i.e. born from the earth. Thus to the body, digesting raw fruits and vegetables will be a much more straightforward process than the process of digesting processed food, for instance, food that has been cooked, mixed with other ingredients and chemicals, and so forth.
If you want to know how processed the food you are eating is, you can simply look for its ingredients.
For instance, here is a copy-paste of ingredients of a fruit cake I just searched online.
Ingredients: Sultanas (26%), Sugar, Marzipan (11%)[Sugar, Almonds, Glucose Syrup, Water, Invert Sugar Syrup, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate)], Glacé Cherries (8%)[Cherry, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Sugar, Colour (Anthocyanins), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Wheat Flour, Raisins (6%), Glucose Syrup, Pasteurised Egg, Butter (Milk), Humectant (Glycerol), Glace Mixed Citrus Peel (2%)[Orange Peel, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Lemon Peel, Sugar, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Palm Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Rapeseed Oil, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Orange Oil, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Emulsifiers (Acacia Gum, Mono-and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Sunflower Lecithins, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose), Colours (Beetroot Red, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Riboflavin), Thickener (Maize Starch), Spirulina Concentrate.
I think one can pretty much tell how processed food can be by simply looking at the ingredients of the food they are eating. Also, the more one eats food that do not exist in nature, the more harm it will do to one's health.
Although the body is strong and intelligent enough to handle foods that have been processed, problems will come when it's overly processed and when one consumes them daily. Thus eating processed foods like chips, snacks, cheese, fried things every day will eventually lead one on a path towards a myriad of health problems.
So if one wants to be healthy, either minimize the intake of processed foods or completely eliminate them from one's system.
The Factor Of Age
The younger one is, the easier it will be for the youthful stomach to tackle processed foods. However, the older one becomes, the less capable the body will be, which means the stomach will run less efficiently, becoming more easily overworked.
It can thus pay to start developing some healthy habits early on when one is still young. Although one may not be experiencing any illness or health problems from their current diet, there may be underlying issues that have not surfaced yet, until one has hit a certain age!
The Factor Of Quantity
Another thing one can do for one's health is to not eat too much in one sitting. Doing so will overwork the stomach. Sometimes when the stomach is overworked, it will try to flush the food out by making you run to the toilet!
When the stomach is overworked, the immune system will also become jeopardized. There's a saying that all diseases originate in the gut, and to an extent this is true. Because the worse the condition of your stomach is, the more volatile it be, reacting to foods rather than absorbing them, which over time can lead to persisting health issues such as allergies and sinus problems.
Eat food for energy rather than to lose it!
Although the stomach is intelligent and can unravel even the most intricate puzzles, it will always be at the cost of one's energy, at the detriment of one's health.
Remember, eating food is supposed to give you energy rather than make you tired.
So, if you are tired after a meal, perhaps you are eating the wrong kinds of foods or that you are eating too much.
Or if you are tired throughout the day, it may mean that you are not eating enough nutritious foods.
Thus it's important to become aware of what you are eating and whether the food you are putting in your system is working for or against your health.
Do you usually become more tired after your meals?
Or do you feel more energetic after your meals?
Naturally, we want to be in a state of feeling happier and feeling more energetic after a meal.
But now, it has become common to experience great short-term happiness from gorging down a delicious meal followed by a food-coma.
Thus help the stomach by eating better foods!
So, it can be a good idea to try new and simpler foods, even different diets. Also, when one has been living in a low-energy state, one can normalize the state of fatigue and think that is the normal operating state of a healthy body.
By trying different foods, one can perhaps discover new states of body and mind, and realize that all this time they've been living with low energy!
So, the bigger puzzle is for you to figure out what foods is better for your body and mind!
Importance Of Addressing Food
It is important to know whether what we are eating is helping our body or not.
We want to be feeding energy to our body rather than to an illness!
Do you often feel tired after eating a meal?
Having an unsuitable diet can fatigue the body and slow down the body's natural healing processes.
Eating bad food can also affect one's mood in a negative way.
Realize that more than a quarter of your unhappiness / anger / depression can be addressed by simply putting the right foods into your system!
Do you often feel agitated after a meal?
When one has a lack of energy, one can find the activities in life less exciting. Thus, if one wishes to develop the motivation and energy to complete their tasks and enjoy it, one can start feeding themselves well so that they can be full of energy to tackle the day.
Do you often feel tired thinking about the things you have to do throughout the day?
Path Of Creator
Food In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of Self-Transformation is a journey towards greater happiness. And the more we learn to feed ourselves well, the more energy we will have to move through all the challenges we face in life, helping us to create progress on on our journey.
Connecting with your stomach.
As we turn our attention to Nature, we will find is that all the animals, even the insects, instinctively know what foods will benefit them and what foods to avoid. For instance, the cows and sheep know to eat the grass, the tigers know how to hunt their meals, even the birds know what berries not to eat to avoid poisoning themselves.
Thus it is strange to wonder why, being the most advanced species on this planet, we can lack the intelligence to choose better things to put in our stomachs?
How have we become a society that is full of health problems?
Naturally, our body is always communicating to The Self what it needs. One can be aware of such communications when one is living in tune with Nature. But when the mind is bombarded and enticed with the many "delicious" choices of food that this "advanced world" has to offer, one can choose their foods out of their desires for tastiness and turn away from the body's cries for healthier options.
The desires of the mind thus can drive one to make unwise decisions!
Realize that the body is intelligent; in every moment, it is always communicating to us what we need to be healthy. But when we let our desirous thoughts drive our life we can lose that communication.
It is by developing the Knowing of The Self that one can re-connect with our senses and become aware of one's physical sensations in every moment; that is how the body communicates. When one's thirsty, one's throat will dry up. When one's hungry, one's stomach will growl.
That is why the practice of meditation can be helpful because it will help one to become less distracted with one's thoughts about all the delicious food in the world and become more sensitive to the physical sensations that are happening on one's body, allowing one to become aware of its deeper messages.
So the destination is to reconnect oneself with the body so that one can become aware of what the body needs. It will be a journey of learning to love the body—of learning to love ourselves.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
After each meal, you can simply ask yourselves the following questions to develop the awareness of whether the food you are eating is good for you—
"Do I feel more tired?"
"Do I feel more energetic?
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
It's important to maintain a Still mind when eating food. This will help the stomach to digest food most efficiently. The more the mind is thinking while eating, the less energy the stomach will have to digest the food properly.
Thus, if you are angry, it's best to meditate and still the mind before you eat. Otherwise, you may end up with digestive issues.
That is why it's important to practice meditation every day!
Know and Transform The Self!
Use the 10 Day Self-Knowing Vipassana to develop awareness of the body and mind. This will help you to become aware of what food is good for you by becoming aware of how different types of food affect your body and mind.