Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Benefits of Eating with Hands instead of Spoons and Forks

There are many hidden benefits of eating food with hands. Check them out here to ditch those forks and spoons, and start using your hands to eat.

Eating with hands is an age old tradition followed in India. But unfortunately, this tradition is rapidly disappearing among new generation that is more inclined towards Western culture. They prefer eating with spoons and forks instead of hands. In fact, in today’s times, the practice of eating with hands is considered to be unhygienic, disgusting and primitive. It's really bad that most people are unaware of the fact that this ancient practice has a number of health benefits. Even in Ayurveda, it has been mentioned that eating with your hands can benefit your health in numerous ways. A few surprising benefits of eating with hands are given below. Take a look and you’re sure to ditch those spoons and forks right away.

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According to a study published by the American Academy of Food Science, eating with hands is much more beneficial to health than eating with the spoon, fork and knife. Because eating with your hands makes you feel full, sooner and thus prevent you from overeating. Moreover, using your hands facilitates your body to readily absorb more nutrients because the food that you eat is also absorbed into your bloodstream through your hands unlike when you eat with spoons or forks. There are many other benefits like these that support the practice of eating with hands.

Increase energy levels

According to Ayurveda, human body is composed of five elements - air, water, fire, earth and space. An imbalance in any one of these elements can disrupt the immunity system and cause various diseases. Also ayurvedic texts teaches us that each of our finger is related to one of the five elements (the thumb indicates fire, the index finger represents air, the middle finger correlates with sky, the ring finger indicates earth and the little finger indicates water). So when you join your fingers and thumb to eat food, you unknowingly bring all these five elements together and keep them in harmony with one another. Eventually, the energy level of your body increases and helps you stay healthy.

Improves digestion

The moment you touch the food with your hands, your brain will signal your stomach that you’re about to eat. The nerve endings in your fingers will sense the temperature of the food, level of spiciness, etc. and accordingly the brain will tell your stomach to produce the required digestive juices and enzymes. All this happens even before you put the food in your mouth and thus helps digestion significantly.

Protects your mouth from getting burnt

When eating with hands, you’ll never burn your mouth by putting something that is too hot to eat. Because your hands can gauge how hot the food is. On the other hand, when you use a spoon or fork to eat, the food goes directly from your plate into your mouth. In this case, you’re more likely to scald your tongue or burn your mouth as your brain will not get the signal whether the food is too hot for you to put in your mouth.

Promotes mindful eating and help with weight loss

When eating with hands, your total concentration will be on your food and plate. You’ll pay attention to what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. Such ‘mindful eating’ is beneficial for your health in a number of ways. For instance, it improves the assimilation of nutrients from the food you eat, enhances digestion, and help you maintain weight. On the contrary, eating with a spoon or a fork promotes mindless eating that causes people to eat more than they realize.

Protects your body from harmful bacteria

Not all bacteria are bad - some bacteria are really good for your body and they protect you from various harmful bacteria present in the environment. Some of these good bacteria also reside on our hands. So when you eat with your hands, you will consume these beneficial bacteria along with food. And this in turn will help maintain the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in your body. However, make sure to wash your hands before and after meals to keep them clean and hygienic.

Makes eating fun

Eating with your hands is not only good for your health, but also makes eating more fun! Also it is beleived that food tastes better when you have it with your hands. So, next time when you have a meal with your friends of family, just try serving it up without silverware, and see how everyone enjoys your food more!


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