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FOOD AND STRESS
Read the following passage carefully.
We are what we eat. The type of food we eat has both immediate and long-term effect on us, at all the three levels – the body, the mind and the spirit. Food which is Tamasik (i.e. stale or leftover) in nature is bound to generate stress as it tends to upset the normal functioning of the human body. Taking piping hot tea or milk or steaming hot food, whenever available, must be preferred. Excessive use of spices also disturbs one’s usually calm attitude. Further, it is a mistaken belief that smoking or drinking, even in moderation, relieves stress. Simple meals with one or two food items, rather than too many lavish dishes, are advisable. Thus, a vegetarian diet is preferable. Although it is customary to serve fruits with food, it is not the right thing to do. This is because different kind of digestive secretions is produced by the stomach for variant foods. Mixing up top many varieties of food items at one meal creates unavoidable problems for the digestive system. In fact, anyone type of fruit, preferably taken in the morning, is better. On average, we eat almost three to four times the quantity of food than we actually need. A lot of body’s energy is used up for digesting the excess food. It is said that after a particular level of food intake, the food actually eats one up’. It is always good to eat a little less than your ‘full-stomach’ capacity. Besides, never eat food unless you are really hungry. Having dinner at 8 or 9 pm after a heavy snack at 5 I or 6 pm in the evening is like asking for trouble. In fact, skipping an odd meal is always good if the stomach is upset. There are varying views on the benefits of fasting, but we will not discuss them here. However, giving a break to one’s stomach, at least once a week, by having only fruit or milk, etc. may be worth trying. While a little bit of water taken with meals is all right, drinking 30 to 60 much water with food is not advisable. Water, taken an hour or so before or after meals, is good for digestion.
One’s diet must be balanced with all the required nutrients for healthy living. Also remember, an excess of everything is bad. Related to the problem of stress, excessive intake of salt is definitely out. Too much of sugar, fried food and chillies are not good either. Overindulgence and excessive craving for a particular taste/type of food generateRajasik (aggressive) or at worst, Tamasik (dull) tendencies. An even more important aspect of the relationship between food and stress lies not so much in what or how much we eat but how the food is taken. For example, food eaten in a great hurry or in a state of anger or any other negative state of mind is bound to induce stress. How the food is served is also very important. Not only the presentation, cutlery, crockery, etc. play a role, the love and affection with which the food is served are also significant. Finding faults with food while it is being eaten is the worst habit. It is better not to eat the food you do not like, rather than finding fault with it. It is good to have regular food habits. Workaholics who do not find time to eat food at proper mealtimes are inviting stomach ulcers. One must try to enjoy one’s food, and therefore, eating at the so-called lunch/dinner meetings is highly inadvisable. Every morsel of food should be enjoyed with a totally peaceful state of mind. Food and discussions should not be mixed. There are accepted ways to ‘charge’ the food we eat. Prayer is perhaps ‘the best method for energising the food and it will do some definite additional well at no extra cost.
Answer the following questions.
1. How does Tamasik food influence the person?
2. What is the mistaken belief people practise at the table?
3. Why does the writer say that food actually eats one up?
4. What generates Rajasik and Tamasik tendencies?
5. Where does the root cause of stress generated by food lie in?
6. What does “induce” mean?
7. What is the importance of serving food properly?
8. How is our way of eating-related to stress?
2. Smoking or drinking even in moderation relieves stress.
3. Excessive intake of food takes a lot of body’s energy to digest it.
4. Overindulgence and excessive craving for a particular taste
5. How the food is taken
6. Cause, influence
7. How the food is served is also very important. Not only the presentation, cutlery, crockery, etc. play a role, the love and affection with which the food is served are also significant.
8. Food is eaten in a great hurry or in a state of anger or any other negative state of mind is bound to induce stress.
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