Can Food Be Therapy?

Rather than fill our emotional needs when the world has temporarily exhausted us, might food be able to sustain us in a more substantial way such that we don't only try to fill the voids in our life?

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Food affects our mood in different ways and depending on our mood, we seek out different kinds of food. Carb-heavy meals and those filled with sugar and fat are often called comfort foods. We go to them when we need comforting. But food might have a higher purpose. Rather than fill our emotional needs when the world has temporarily exhausted us, might food be able to sustain us in a more substantial way such that we don't only try to fill the voids in our life? British news outlet The Philosophers' Mail suggests that developing a new vocabulary for food with respect to our psychological needs might result in healthier living--in body and spirit. 

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The kinds of foods we prepare might help us communicate in different ways. A roast chicken meal might be an attempt to bring the family together; you may serve penne with fresh basil to a loved one; serving mango sorbet with squares of dark chocolate might externalize your vision of utopia. Though it perhaps extends its reach, TPM suggests that food might compensate for the decline in religious belief, suggesting we locate present values in new foods: 

Zen Buddhists were encouraged to remember the value of friendship over a cup of elaborately brewed and very slowly consumed tea. In the early years of Christianity, the faithful would gather to remember the Saviour over that noble yet vulnerable creature, the lamb. The Jews use unleavened bread and bitter horseradish to embed the courage the believers displayed on the flight from Egypt.

Read more at the Philosophers' Mail

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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