Food as therapy

We all have noticed that food had always played an important role in people’s life not only by its nurturing function, but also through its cultural specificity. Once with the beginning of the technological era, the food and its preparing began to win space in people’s life, being interested in newer things about it. This is how we arrived at the psychological impact that food has on the human brain.
In many spaces where this subject is enlarged people talk about the fact that food can be an easy way to repress our emotions. And this is true. A lot of people find their psychological comfort not only in food, but also through the action of eating. So much more this thing happens with the food that is rich in carbohydrates, consistent, fat, with intense smell and taste, like fast-food or sweets. By eating this type of food people get stuck in a vicious circle in which they get fat, don’t feel well, but they can’t adjust themselves because they get their psychological comfort through eating and they don’t know where else to get it from.
But, beyond the negative effect that an unhealthy diet has on the human psyche and body, let’s look at a few positive aspects of a healthy eating:
1. Food can help us find our balance
Sometimes we feel like we are too much of something. Maybe too emotional, or too rational, too calm or to inflammable. The food that we crave is the one that tells us what we need. It’s not the food, but the need itself. The reason is that the food contains a dose of those qualities that we need in that moment. Maybe we need the freshness of a salad just to feel fresh, or we want something fast-food because we are bored. The list continues, but it’s certain that we like foods because it offers us something we miss.

2. Food reconnects us to those important parts of us that we deny
We are complex beings, we have an individual history that guides us. Also, we contain hidden parts that tend to get out in different moments. Some foods have the power to evoke these hidden parts and get them to the surface. So, the right food is the one that allows us to access those parts we have forgotten. Maybe you want to eat fish because this is what you ate in a day, when you were a child and you were at the table with your mother and it was a beautiful day for you. Or maybe you will never ever eat fish because it would remind you of something painful from your childhood.

3. Food can help us change our lives
Many times, we have to make some changes in our lives and food plays an important role in many cases. Maybe you don’t want to have a weight loss diet, but maybe you want to be more organized and for this you need to reorganize your meals. Or maybe you want to go out more often with your friends and you could realize this also by eating out or maybe you just want to eat healthier because you would feel better with your body and your life this way.

4. Food is an act of communication
When we love someone, we can prove it cooking something for him/her. If you don’t cook, maybe you will offer him/her a box of chocolate or something that person will like. Because when you love someone, his/her good reflects upon your own good, therefore it’s a pleasure to offer food to someone you love.

5. To know how to cook is a way of individualization
Least but not last, it is important to think about how necessary it is to offer yourself the food you want. Since childhood we are fed by other people that give us what they think is good for us, but as we grow up, we become more and more independent. It should also reflect the fact that you can give yourself your own food. This is one of the most basic parts of an independent personality. Also, this thing can help you know yourself better, because you find out what you need, and you give it to yourself.

So, food is not only a way of getting your stomach full, or just a way of getting physical energy and psychological comfort, but also a way of communicating with oneself. If you aim your attention on what types of food you need, what they mean for you, what you get from them, then you will realize what role they play for you and you will be able to adjust your diet, through self-knowledge.

Autor: Violeta Gudană


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Project co-financed by the European Social Fund Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013
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