5 Reasons To Ditch The Cutlery & Use Your Hands!
We have been wrongly trained to believe that using our hands to eat food is inappropriate. Don’t believe me? Well this time we have the science to prove it!
Most of us are guilty of making assumptions about someone’s eating manners if they use their hands. Knife, fork, napkins, posture, along with hundreds of other table-manners somehow shed a light on the education, class, and sophistication of an individual. But not anymore. Infact, increasing research is now showing that the use of hands to eat food has tremendous benefits.
Eating with our hands is not something new. From Ghana to Malaysia, Arabia to the Australian Aboriginals, India to Fiji, many ancient cultures and religions stress on eating with our hands. Some go as far as to instructing the use of right hand only to eat.
While modern man has come very distant from his roots- more and more people are turning back to their cultural and religious teachings. Their faith and belief are not the sole reason, this time we have science on board too.
So what are some of the benefits of using our natural utensils for eating? :
1. Practical Serving Size Estimate:
Serving sizes vary not just country to country but rather café to café! Those who are already struggling to eat healthy and in portions- are confused and lose interest using the general methods of measuring serving sizes. But who needs measuring utensils when nature gave us hands! There is now tremendous research highlighting that our hands are equally accurate as measuring utensils. This leads to better estimation of portion sizes catered for each individual leading to sustainable and practical approach to calorie counting.
2. Improved Digestion:
Have you ever had a watery mouth whilst cutting a lemon? That is nature’s way of preparing the body to digest the food that is coming its way. Similarly, millions of nerve endings on our fingers transfer signals to our brains preparing the body for digestion by releasing enzymes and digestive juices.
3. Mindful Eating:
The problem of chaotic routines with pride of multi-tasking has invaded our meal times too. ‘Eating on the go’, whilst watching TV, or attending that Zoom meeting- are just the norm. However, the concept of Mindful eating is to intentionally utilise all our senses and emotions to the food we are eating. Though we use the sense of sight, smell and taste- we are guilty of leaving the hearing for the television and touch for our phone! However, by intentionally turning all our senses to the food we are eating, we are not just more thankful- but enhance our eating experience.
4. Healthy Bacteria:
There has been extensive research in gut biome along with healthy bacteria on the hands and mouth. Eating with our hands provides more opportunity for the good bacteria to travel to our mouth, throat, and the gut- resulting in numerous benefits
5. Relaxation and humility:
It challenges the many norms of the society which we forcibly drag ourselves into whilst repeating the limiting phrase “what will people say?”. But who says you cannot fine dine using your hands? Why have such formality at dinner when the point is to gather and have a great time! An article in the New York Times beautifully highlights this aspect of embracing our natural behaviour rather than being embarrassed by it.
Finally, eating with our hands humbles us- that we as humans may differ in many realms- but we all need to eat- and for that nature has provided us the utensils! We do not require special fine cutlery or venue to enjoy our food. Rather, sitting on the floor, using our hands it often the best way appreciate and enjoy our food!
So, let us use real table manners….this time using our hands!