Healthy Diet Habits
It’s hard to maintain healthy diet habits in a fast-paced society that has redefined a meal as something that must be convenient and quick. Modern conveniences like microwave ovens and drive-thrus have quickened our eating pace. Business lunches have turned a much need break into a continuation of work activities. Even eating while watching TV interferes with the digestive process. In general, good health can be defined as good circulation that is smooth and unobstructed for our body and our lifestyle. Has the celebration of eating become a tedious obligation obstructing our lifestyle?
What we eat is just as important as how we eat and there is a science behind this idea. Eating quickly or while participating in other activities dilutes the digestive process. The body has two types of nervous systems that enable the release of hormones for different body responses. The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) enables fight or flight responses that help us respond to various stressful activities. The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) enables feeding and breeding responses of a more relaxing nature. The process of digestion is more efficiently regulated by the PNS during conditions of relaxation. Eating quickly or eating while engaged in other activities can increase stress, not allowing our bodies to fully relax, thereby diluting the digestive process.
This smooth transition from activity to rest promotes good circulation and health. Irregularities or harsh transitions knots up our circulation and can bring on indigestion, acid reflux, irregular bowel habits, headaches, and more. Promoting a healthy diet includes taking the time to relax, celebrating each meal, eating regularly, chewing slowly, avoiding the mixing of other activities with eating, consuming fresh whole foods and eliminating or limiting refined fast foods. Relaxation will allow your body to properly digest food so when you engage back into your active day your body will be healthy and ready to respond.
Christopher Carlow, D. Ac. Doctor of Acupuncture Date: 10/16/05