Food for the Soul – Contributed by Jen Burton

Food for the Soul – Contributed by Jen Burton

Food for the Soul: The Benefits of a Spiritual Diet

From an early age, our dietary habits are ingrained in us, either as a result of our parent’s relationship with food or due to our social environment. Because of this, some of us may grow to develop a sweet tooth while others may have a penchant for salty or spicy foods. While these food types are harmless in moderation, the average person’s diet is rich with highly acidic, fatty foods and this can have a very harmful effect on the mind as well as the body. Different types of food affect our brain chemistry and overall wellbeing, which often explains why wholesome foods satisfy us while stimulants and processed foods see our moods rise and fall at the drop of a hat. When you begin to see food as nourishment rather than a way to feed your emotional state, however, you begin to reap the benefits of feeding the soul.

Thai_Fruits_Mango_Guava_Baby_Banana_Pineapple_

Focus and Concentration

A lack of nutritional and ‘pure’ foods such as raw fruit and vegetables causes us to feel off-balance and jaded and this can have a domino effect on almost every aspect of our wellbeing. Foods with high-sugar and fat content may provide us with a temporary boost but the after effects are never worth the initial high, leaving us feeling ultimately empty and drained. A poor diet of ‘material food’ or food that we eat with our eyes instead of our stomachs kills concentration in its tracks and leaves us feeling detached from the people and experiences around us. In the same way that insomnia can prevent the mind from functioning properly, depriving yourself of good food means that vital human functions within you are more or less neglected. An intake of natural, healthy foods provides you with a sharper focus and a greater quality of life. If you do not feel focused or energised in your everyday life, you will soon become physically and mentally unwell. Redress the balance by introducing only happy and healthy foods into your diet.

Happier Relationships

Consuming a poor diet of non-fulfilling foods can cause you to be irritable and impatient and this can quickly impact your social life and close relationships. Foods that grant quick energy bursts offer no real long-term satisfaction and these types of ‘quick-fix’ foods can cause you to have a short fuse and act out of character. In essence, junk food is a harmful stimulant akin to nicotine an alcohol and if you abuse it, many of the same effects can be expected. The constant fight to satisfy a need or craving can cause us to become mentally and emotionally bloated, affecting our behavioural patterns in everyday situations. By simply nourishing the spiritual self with organic and natural foods, you can quickly restore harmony in your peer relationships and bring loved ones closer.

Satvik cuisine

Simple Pleasures

Life has an abundance of simple pleasures and if we can enjoy the simple things in life, we can scarcely go wrong. This applies to our food too. We may experience small moments of joy when eating something sweet but there is also a lot of joy to be had in eating healthy food. By taking the time to slow down and savour our food, we can easily begin to appreciate all the unique notes and flavours of all the foods we take for granted such as fresh fruit and freshly baked bread. Our taste buds send messages back and forth to the brain but unfortunately if we rush to feed ourselves, we can hardly enjoy or experience our food in the same way.  Often when we feel hungry, we can look to the wrong foods for nourishment and this is a big mistake. If you are likely to experience pangs of hunger throughout the day i.e. in between main meals, reaching for quick-release foods will only dull your senses and drain you of any remaining energy. Complex and processed foods are filled with toxins, many of which can disrupt your nervous system and dull your vitality which in turn can kick-start a dangerous cycle of consuming stimulants purely to stay alert. Instead, learn to step back in the heat of hunger and seek out the food your soul craves to ensure you are getting everything you need to help maintain optimum physical and spiritual health.

Sources

http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/nutrition-news

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/19-foods-boost-health-happiness/story?id=19184264

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/50-things-to-love-about-life-that-are-free/

http://www.nutrition.gov/shopping-cooking-meal-planning/ethnic-cooking

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/science-how-we-taste

http://www.rawfooddiet-holistichealth.com/metaphysicsofdietspiritualnutrition.html

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/micronutrients/en/

 

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