The Five Signs of Eating the Right FoodMar 01, 2022 04:31PM ● By Camilo Sanchez
Nutrition is one of the three pillars of physical health along with proper exercise and digestive health. Many of us know what foods are considered healthy, but sometimes we eat right and still don’t feel great.
Here are the five signs our bodies signal that we are eating the best foods:
1. Food feels light and easy to digest. When eating, food should feel light and be easy to digest (provided we aren’t overeating). There should be no bloating, gas, heaviness, mucus, acidity, heartburn or biliousness during or after a meal.
In the Ayurveda system of medicine, there’s the principle of the “three doshas”—Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water)—referring to the three main waste products of digestion: gas, mucus and acidity. “Dosha” means a fault, stain or defilement.
Each dosha has a primary site of activity or location in us associated with the gastrointestinal system—Vata, in the large intestine (colon); Pitta, small intestine; and Kapha, the stomach. When Vata, Pitta and Kapha become excessive or aggravated in their organs, corresponding conditions of gas and bloating, acidity and heartburn, and mucus and heaviness can take place. Eating the right foods keep doshas in proper shape.
2. Feeling satisfied after eating. Healthy nutrition should elicit satisfaction and feeling nurtured and supported, not full and heavy. We shouldn’t feel hungry between meals. It’s not the quantity, but the quality of food that’s eaten and its efficient digestion and assimilation that’ll provide a sense of fulfillment, lightness and satisfaction. Proper food should be assimilated into cells to support physical and mental functioning.
Yogic nutrition teaches the principle of “Mitahara”, meaning moderation in food intake. It says that the body should be filled one-third each of solid food (earth element), liquid (water element) and empty (ether element). The digestive tract needs space to breakdown, digest, oxidize and assimilate food nutrients. Overeating, even if healthy foods, will impair digestion, aggravate the doshas and create metabolic toxins (autotoxemia). We should stop eating before we feel full. Feeling full means we have eaten too much.
3. Experiencing sustained energy. Food is designed for nurturing, sustaining and repairing the body. The right type should provide sustained energy and stable blood sugar levels for four to six hours. Eating the right breakfast should energize us throughout the morning, until lunch time. As the digestive system becomes healthier, the body becomes more efficient at assimilating and utilizing essential nutrients, requiring less amounts of food.
4. Not having cravings. Occasional cravings for particular foods are normal and should be satisfied. However, regular and ongoing cravings—caused by imbalances in the gut bacteria (dysbiosis), emotional habits, neurotransmitter imbalances and mineral deficiencies— indicate a bodily dysfunction.
5. Experiencing mental clarity. The brain is a metabolically active organ with high energy demands. It’s estimated that it utilizes about 25 percent of the glucose supply from the heart and 20 percent of the cardiac blood output. Especially high-sugar and processed food can lead to lethargy, brain fog and lack of mental focus. Junk food both disrupts digestion and gut health, and also alters the biochemical balance in the brain.
Camilo Sanchez, LAc, MAOM, owner of Empower Life Center, located at 14136 Lancaster Hwy., in Charlotte, a licensed acupuncturist with a master’s degree in Oriental medicine, author and teacher of qigong, tai chi and Taoist yoga, offers The Three Pillars of Health, a new holistic course to upgrade health and vitality. For more information or to register, call 704-542-8088, email [email protected] or visit www.EmpowerLifeCenter.com.
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