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Psychology of Digestion

Our state of mind and emotional balance are critical at meal times because they determine the extent to which we digest our food. In order for the nutrients contained in the food to be absorbed by the body they need to be properly assimilated. If the nutrients are not assimilated, the food will pass through the body and be eliminated without any benefit to the body. In many cases we would have been better off had we not eaten at all. It is remarkable that we are still alive in view of the ways in which some of us abuse our bodies.

Our thoughts when we sit down to eat have a fundamental effect on our digestion. As an experiment, think of some of your favourite foods and notice how you feel and what takes place in your mouth and your stomach. Now think of your least favourite food and notice your feelings and the sensations in your stomach. Possibly you began to salivate when you thought of your favourite food. The juices generated by our thoughts determine how thoroughly the food is broken down in the stomach and assimilated.

It is important therefore to ensure that your state of mind at mealtimes is conducive to digestion. If not, you may just as well throw away the food for all the benefit that you are likely to receive. How you eat the food is almost as important as what you eat. Often, remedies are required to compensate for not having absorbed the nutrients from the food we have eaten.

My recommendation is that when sitting down to eat, ensure firstly that you are actually hungry and not simply proposing to eat because it is a certain time of day. Next, meditate, or put yourself into a relaxed state of being that will facilitate food intake. Use mealtimes as occasions to take time out for yourself. Be kind to yourself and to your body at these times. Treat them as your sacred moments during the day.

My general guidelines for choice of diet are:

1. Choose your diet carefully: vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
2. Follow your intuition - don't force yourself.
3. Follow what pleases your palate.

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