You may think of food as a source of vitamins, minerals, and macro nutrients like protein, fat, and the dreaded word carbohydrates. You may also view food as a reason to celebrate, spend time with your loved ones, or as reward for a job well done. While all these facts are a part of food and why you eat, there is much more to your eating experience that has everything to do with your health.
If you are like many people who struggle with a digestive disorder (e.g., IBS, ulcerative colitis, GERD, crohn’s disease), it very likely that you are severely deficient in one essential nutrient – vitamin A. I am not referring to the fat soluble vitamin that you find in many healthy foods (e.g., carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, liver), but to how it is that you eat. I’m talking about eating mindfully with Awareness.
Simply slowing down, consciously paying attention and savoring your food instead of eating while distracted (e.g., lunch at your desk, watching T.V., using your smart phone), while breathing deeply and relaxing when you eat will help you to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
When you trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, a cascade of many important and restorative functions in your digestion begin to work optimally. Your parasympathetic nervous system stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach, digestive enzymes from your pancreas, and the release of bile from your gall bladder. Simply relaxing and taking your time when you eat (i.e., 20 to 30 minutes) will enhance the absorption of the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from your food in the micro villi of your small intestine.
Eating in a hurry while you multitask conversely activates your sympathetic nervous system and inhibits this digestive cascade. It will also stimulates the release of the glucose that is stored in your liver and muscle tissue and may lead to the excess production of cortisol. So the next time that you eat, set an intention to honor your food, appreciate how your food was produced and learn to slow down. Your body will thank you many times for this simple gesture.
To your health,
To learn more about how working with a psychologist and holistic health coach can help you to enhance your health and well-being, call or email Dr. Sandoval to schedule a free consultation.
The information, published and/or made available through the www.drjosesandoval.com website, is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a physician-patient relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information in this post for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a physician in all matters relating to your health, particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Any action on the reader’s part in response to the information provided in this blog is at the reader’s discretion.