Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Health: Food and feelings

After a real long gap in the series of my posts on health since my last one, I intend to discuss some connections I experienced between food and feelings.

The connections between eating patterns and emotional states are well studied in society. Usually the results that are most popularly known are the ones that say how having emotional instability instigates eating disorders. To mitigate eating disorders psychological advice is usually used to reduce the perception of insecurities and induce the perception of one's purpose. Leaving aside serious medical conditions the most common eating disorders are usually because of bad habits.

Alright now comes my main thesis on the connection between food and feelings. Actually this kind of correlation is preached by many spiritual communities, but I wanted to write this because I thought I experienced this especially because of long enough exposure to good American food after eating in India for 20 years. See, I see a chicken-egg relationship between the two. Feelings are produced because of various chemical reactions inside our bodies. Food is one of the biggest modes of injecting new chemicals and triggering chemical reactions inside our bodies. So if ones feelings are bad it might actually be because of the food intakes he is having. The short term effects are pretty clear, for e.g. taking sugar shots drives you a bit crazy, consuming alcohol makes you drowzy. What goes undercover are the long term effects (besides clogging your physical infrastructure like plumbing).

Food is supposed not just to provide nutrition but to provide it in an efficient way. The more efficient way the food fuels us the better our emotional and physical state will be. Signs of inefficient fueling is too much stubborness in adapting tastes to less spicier and "less tasty" foods. Taste is too abstract and subjective that it has to be controlled by us, not control us. So for better health, both physical and emotional, we need good and efficient food and of course with better health the good food habits get reinforced in turn.

A general note: Cultures that control abstract and subjective issues typically produce leaders. Cultures that are controlled by abstract and subjective issues typically end up as followers as they can be "controlled by leaders". Think about it, isn't it obvious from history and differences between western and eastern cultures.

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