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The Link Between Meditation and Nutrition

publication date: Mar 28, 2018
 | 
author/source: Tam John B.A. N.T.P.

 

By Tam John, BA, NTP

     Meditation as a means to protect and promote vital peace and calm is sweeping America. The Chopra Center cites meditation has been around for about 5,000 years in countless forms. [1] The English word ‘meditation’ stems from meditatum, a Latin term meaning ‘to ponder’. [2]

 

Photo courtesy of Ahmed Saffu on Unsplash

 

     As life on planet earth has evolved, the mind has become a repository for mulling over life and its plethora of choices, interactions, and consequences (if I choose this then that happens).   Perhaps the implication for meditation has shifted to mean ‘release pondering’. Letting your mind clear of constant musing is the beauty of quality meditative time when you let your nervous system rest and naturally regulate healthful function.

     Your nervous system is the means by which you and your body communicate with the world and internally for virtually all of your body’s function, energy, growth and repair. Supporting your nervous system in synchronicity with the body’s natural design is fundamental for creating wellness. This article focuses on the nervous system’s interplay toward GI tract health, stress management and optimal digestion for assimilation of nutrients in food.

     Scientists have long acknowledged the Gut-Brain Axis’s vital interplay to create vibrant health. ‘The gut-brain axis (GBA) consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.[3]  Experts estimate as much as 85% of immunity resides in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Good digestion is imperative for adequate assimilation and absorption of nutrients from the food you consume and healthy GI tract function.

     The autonomic nervous system has two divisions: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. When the body perceives danger, cortisol is released by the adrenal glands. Cortisol plays a significant adaptive role for the body to defend itself. The modern condition of being in a frequent state of ‘fight or flight’ excitement causes cortisol to be released more than for which the function was designed. Think stop lights and traffic, hurried schedules, looming deadlines and more stress.

     When digestion is compromised, cortisol is also released to aid digestion. Cortisol as designed by the intelligent energy which created us serves the body brilliantly. Its constant release, however, breaks down the body. Furthermore, the chronic release of cortisol disrupts sleep (when the body needs to be rejuvenating and detoxifying itself), healthy stress management, and energetic needs (adrenal depletion). Inflammation is linked to obesity, diabetes, early aging and other health issues.

     The parasympathetic nervous system operates when the body is in the state of being calm and peaceful. Proper digestion only occurs when the body is in a parasympathetic state. The practice of catering to your body’s natural design by eating in a calm state and creating a regular practice of meditation will allow cortisol levels to naturally regulate to healthful levels.

 

You must take your foot off the gas pedal of life for you to receive nourishment.
      • Feel the protective and loving connection of calming your mind.
      • Receive the bounty of your spirit and food.
      • Slowing your life brings safety.

       

      Photo courtesy of Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash

      Tips to restore you:

      • Carve out ten minutes of quiet time once or twice daily. Close your door, mute your devices, close your eyes and breathe. If you can’t close a door during the day, schedule to arrive at your next destination 10 minutes earlier. Park away from the ‘main entrance’ or find a sitting bench, set your timer to 10 minutes and close your eyes.
      • Be consistent in practice to find detachment from your thoughts.
      • Don’t look for solutions. Let the mind chatter fade away. You will receive.

      Meditation and nutrition need not be perfect to be of benefit

           When going all in with the most perfect scenario for mediation to the nth degree isn’t feasible, make this a simple consistent practice of letting yourself just be.   Optimal nutrition is the same process.   You need not source every one of your ingredients personally and banish all cans and packages from your pantry to realize really great sources for protecting the vital energy which is your birthright.

      Invite more nourishment for your mind and body with simplicity. You are designed for wellness.

       

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      For more information about Tam's personalized approach to help you with your wellness goals and nutrition, including access to her newly published book, ‘A Fresh Wellness Mindset:  Personalize Your Food Life & Find Your Truth about Gluten’, please click here . . .

       

      Works Cited:

      [1] The History of Meditation. (2017, February 13). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://chopra.com/articles/history-meditation

      [2] Where Does Meditation Come From? Meditation History & Origins. (2018, February 27). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from http://mindworks.org/meditation-knowledge/the-history-of-meditation/

      [3] Carabotti, M., Scirocco, A., Maselli, M. A., & Severi, C. (2015). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367209/

       

       

       

      because Wellness is True Happiness™

      This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care Physician or Naturopathic Doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 EatRight-LiveWell ™ & Tam John

       

       


       

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