Mar 22, 2018

Why you should sit down to eat?

Image Source: http://www.chivukulas.com/2017/04/Indian-traditional-way-of-eating-food.html
Yesterday morning around 10AM, I noticed someone carrying a heavy laptop bag on her shoulder, biting a sandwich, taking quick strides and talking to someone who’s walking right beside her. On-the-go / grab-and-go kind of breakfast while also talking or taking a call. In my honest opinion, it is a form of signalling to herself, her family and the world - "I’m a busy person, I play an important role”. Why have we become so busy in our lives that we can’t even sit down for 10 minutes to eat a sandwich?

When I was a child, both my parents were working. They would leave home around 8:30AM. My mother would return around 5:30PM while my father would return around 9PM. Their workdays were long, but not once I had seen them run to work without eating breakfast or walking and munching breakfast on the go. 

We ate our breakfast together as a family, sitting down on the floor with folded legs and taking atleast 10-15 minutes of our time to finish our breakfast. 

When we stand/walk and eat, the blood circulation to the digestive system is reduced since the blood now has to flow to our legs. This interrupts the digestive process, food remains undigested which leads to acidity, bloating and gastric issues.

Our grandparents had always insisted that we do not talk while we eat. When we open our mouth to talk, we inhale air which inhibits the digestion happening in our mouth. Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth. The salivary glands secrete the enzyme "salivary amylase" that begins the process of breaking down the polysaccharides in the carbohydrates.

With all the multitasking we do along with food, we end up not chewing our food properly, which leads to poor digestion. I have earlier written about this in detail on why working lunches are bad for our health. Do check it out if you haven’t seen it.

Lady, I understand you are super busy and have multiple responsibilities. But please take some time to sit down and eat that sandwich.” - I wish I could tell her this without sounding hurtful or judgmental.

Mindful eating is becoming the rage in the West, whereas in urban India, we are adopting the “fixing breakfast” mindset and “grab-and-go” smoothies. Sigh! How I wish I could turn back the time and go to the 80s!

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