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The Spirituality of Food

The connection between food, spirituality and spiritual growth, is far deeper than what may seem at first.

Peter Farb and George Armelagos, the authors of Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating mentioned in their book that “Food to a large extent is what holds a society together and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.” The connection between food, spirituality and spiritual growth, is far deeper than what may seem at first.

If you think about it, almost every spiritual path of organized religion pays special attention to diet and types of food to eat or to avoid. The direct effects food has on spirituality vary from fasting to preparing special meals at various occasions and events throughout the year which bringing family members as well as communities together. Simply put, we are what we eat!

Increasingly, we come to know or read about food that is uplifting, depressing, rejuvenating, detoxifying, yang food, yin food, junk food, and of course nowadays ‘ethical food’. In the words of Hippocrates “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” The food we eat affects how and what our body assimilates and benefits from, which directly affects the cellular chemistry of our body, the bloodstream that nurtures those cells, and in turn our overall physical and mental and emotional well-being.

We have all heard of Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Intelligence, and now Body Intelligence as a criteria of how well attuned, or body-aware, we are of our body and the signals it provides giving information on what food is good and what is not for our general well-being. Several months ago, I read an article about a diet experiment on a group of kindergarten children where it was left up to them to eat what they wished from a wide variety of food. To begin with, the children generally opted for ‘junk’ rich and sweet foods. However, within few weeks; they naturally began to choose to eat good healthy food of their own accord! If we learn to tune into our bodies, it will let us know what is naturally good for it.

The saying that our ‘body is the temple of the soul’ could not be truer. Naturalist, Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970), said “If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either.” This could not more relevant today, at a time when the Earth is densely populated and consequently, natural resources are increasingly depleted.

US Naturopath, and co-owner of the Lily Hill Farm, Penny Kelly, author of From The Soil To The Stomach, Understanding The Connection Between The Earth And Your Health, explains in her book why too many people are getting sick, ‘falling apart, dying early, or holding themselves together with a regimen of drugs that lead to further dependence on heavier chemicals later on’. She also demonstrates how the right food and diet can be healing, and sometimes, even produce instant healing results: “… if you are going to become well, you must learn to honor your body and its unique needs, not the way you were raised, nor by following the latest food fads”.

Pointers to Spiritual Eating

  • What goes into the body, affects the clarity of the mind, and in turn, our ability to make decisions. Explore better alternatives such as good, organic food when and if you can; natural or naturopathic.
  • A balanced diet leads to a balanced body- and- mind. Pause and think about the food you eat, why you are eating it, and what does your body really need?
  • Remember Body Intelligence if you listen, your body will let you know who it feels as you eat the foods you do. This will help you choose what is best for you.

Note That Quote

“Remember, your body and mind must learn to work together, and once they do, you will discover you are the best doctor you will ever have ”
Penny Kelly, N.D. author of From The Soil To The Stomach, Understanding The Connection Between The Earth And Your Health

© Copyright Sahar Huneidi

About Sahar Huneidi-Palmer (71 Articles)
Author, Columnist, Holistic Therapist & Personal Development Coach focusing on Personal Resilience. Helping my clients achieve the life they are meant to live since 1992. I am a published poet in literature magazines in the UK; and play the piano. My friends and those who know me describe me as a “wise woman” and a "pathfinder". I am passionate about demystifying the abstract, writing, teaching, brand-management, podcasting, and love Turkish coffee!

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