The Food-Mind Connection: Fueling Your Body Fuels Your Thoughts

Food for Thought

Scientists, nutritionists, and accountants agree that creative and clear thinking depends on having a well-nourished brain. Whether you believe the mind exists apart from the brain or arises from it, people cannot utilize the mind effectively without a steady supply of energy supplied by food.

Our brain is a glucose guzzler. An amazing 50% of our body’s ready glucose and 20% of our oxygen is required by gray matter to fire its 100 billion (or so) neurons.

Did you know there are spiritual traditions that believe the mind is food, that it is created from what we ingest? The subtlest vibrations from food go through our heart and arteries to become organs of communication, and to form our mind. If this is true, our mind is made of extremely subtle physical material that starts out as stomach content.

Despite what people believe to be the source of mind, all agree that without food (or other energy supply), humans lose their physical connection to mind. Anyone who has ever gotten sick from Halloween candy, or dozed off after a turkey dinner, also knows that what we eat affects our body, mood, and ability to think clearly.

The Hungry Mind

It would be wonderful, because of the food-mind connection, if exercising wisdom about our food choices was easy. Since the mind is also in cahoots with our powerful emotions, many of us know that eating wisely is anything but easy.

When the body is low on energy, we naturally become hungry and are compelled to maintain existence by eating. This body hunger begins before our situation is desperate so we do not have to assuage it by eating whatever is at hand (i.e., insects or fudge). It's a different story when we eat because the mind thinks we are hungry.

When your hunger is not based on the energy needs of the body but originates in the mind, the urge to eat comes on quickly. This urge is typically attached to an emotion or feeling which will influence, or dictate, what you eat. sad people often reach for something sweet. Those who are anxious may reach for comfort food loaded with carbohydrates, butter, or oil.

Unfortunately, when humans are steered by emotion, they get immediate pleasure, and calories for survival, but likely have not taken in nutrients the brain and nervous system thrives on. We usually feel guilty eating this way and sometimes continue to chow down after we are full, creating more guilt; enough already.

Eating with Awareness

There is no known diet that cures anxiety but there are foods that excite our nervous system, and foods that calm it. Dark chocolate, legumes (beans), almonds, sesame and sunflower seeds are good for soothing our nerves.

Before you eat something take a moment to see whether you are actually hungry. Is your body really calling for food, or are you thirsty, or anxious about the layoffs at work? If you realize anxiety is calling the shots, not hunger, it might help you decide against a fried chicken with potatoes and gravy lunch.

It’s hard to eliminate favorite foods from our diet, but you can add brain super-foods to your diet without subtracting anything. Add items such as bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, salmon (or other fish), lean beef, chicken, turkey, dark green veggies, avocados, or soybeans to your menu and keep the brain humming.

If you suffer from anxiety and drink caffeinated drinks all day long, stop it. You may need to wean yourself off caffeine (see your doctor), but that is the only way to find out how much it contributes to your anxiety.

“Walk, with awareness. Eat, with awareness. Breathe, with awareness.” ~ Osho

Source: Organic Authority
Photo: Pixabay

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