04 Jun Interesting Insights on Food
What you choose to eat determines the quality of the nutrients and energy that you bring into your body. However, food is more than just fuel for the body.
How does food affect our body?
Everything we eat is converted into glucose by our body, which becomes the source of energy. Low glucose leads low focus and low attention span. Hence it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach!
Structure of Food plays a vital role in the way it is processed by the body.
Not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta and cereals, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. High fat meals (like cheeseburgers) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and causing drowsiness.
Structure of the food directs how the food will be digested and where it will release important bioactive compounds or toxic substances into the body. In addition to digesting the food, our liver and kidneys need to work harder to process all the artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, hormones, antibiotic chemicals in processed food and meat as compared to organic or fresh wholesome food.
Nervous stimulants create a sense of energy for a short while, after which the body’s energy levels drop. Consuming too much of nervous stimulants destroys stamina in the long run, and affects the body’s ability to store energy.
Importance of locally procured and seasonal food.
A long time between harvest and eating results in loss of vital life force in fresh food. The chemical bonds and molecules that store energy in food, undergo change as food is stored and processed. This causes the food to loose its stored energy and life force – evident in the appearance of fruits and vegetables which dry up or lose their color or flavor the longer they are stored. Thus the value of food lies not only in its nutrients but also in the amount of light energy it brings to us (through photosynthesis).
Do Supplements truly makeup for the loss?
Scientists have discovered that supplements lack other compounds found in natural foods that work in synergy with identified minerals and vitamins to support human health. While supplements can expedite in dealing with deficiencies on a short term basis, long term use can result in imbalances and create cravings.
Nutritional supplements do not produce the same benefits as balanced eating of fresh, whole and natural foods. Let us take the example of Osteoporosis, which has a high rate of occurrence in the United States and other countries, despite consumption of large amounts of dairy and animal protein. It is not only the amount of calcium you eat but how well you can assimilate and retain the calcium in your food. Eating excess protein depletes calcium from your body. Exposure to sunlight helps in producing Vitamin D – which is essential for calcium absorption in the body. Calcium utilization also depends on the proportion of calcium to phosphorus and magnesium. Dark leafy greens and whole grains are abundant in magnesium. Your body can better use the calcium in dark leafy greens and sea vegetables due to their more optimal phosphorus ratio, compared to the calcium in dairy foods.
How does food affect our mind?
Food affects the body’s metabolism, hormones and neurotransmitters (mood chemicals that are produced in the brain), and these in turn influence our emotions, concentration and energy.
Proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins in foods work to keep our metabolism, hormones and neurotransmitters in check, which also balances our moods. Complex carbohydrates foods like beans, sprouts, peas, contain soluble fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and increase serotonin (“feel good” chemical). Consuming too much refined carbohydrates or sugar not just in the form white breads, donuts, icecreams but also packaged fruit juices, syrups, jams give your bloodsugar and consequently your mood, a rollercoaster ride. Foods cooked in hydrogenated oils like fried meat, french fries etc. clog arteries and prevent blood flow to the brain. Infact when you eat meat, you also take in the animal’s energy, including the energy of how it was raised and the fear and trauma from being slaughtered. Alcohol and caffeine can cause low moods by bringing on an inflammatory response in the nervous system.