Alan D. Wofel once said,
“food is a symbolic form of love when words are inadequate.” A properly made meal opens even the most guarded of hearts. This is the immense power that food holds. Can you imagine that?
For some, cooking for their loved ones is the ultimate love language and a way to express how much they value them. This is also a reason mothers love cooking for their families, they don’t see it as a chore but as a means of caring for them.
During WW1 food was used as a means of conveying love to the soldiers by their wives and mothers. After they came back from the war, they would find a hot steamy meal prepared in their honor.
Even now in modern times, food remains an essential part of our lives. Did you know that you are more likely to be open to someone you’ve shared a meal with than someone you haven’t?
This is a huge secret that is used by big cooperatives when they want to partner with others.
They invite them over for a lunch or dinner meeting. What happens is that as they eat, the formality drops, and the involved parties let their guard down and are able to connect as humans, not just as businessmen.
Research reveals that business deals made over lunch and dinner are more likely to be successful than those made in a boardroom.
As human beings, we crave connection, we want to be understood and food creates the perfect ambiance for that.
Now that we know the role food plays in our lives, let’s talk about the six known types of hunger. This is vital because once we can identify the type of hunger we feel, we can know how to go about it, and in the end lead a healthier lifestyle.
Hunger from thirst
You might be scratching your head and asking what exactly this means.
During ancient times, our ancestors used to survive mainly on fruits and meat from animals. Some of the sources of water back then weren’t as fresh because of pollutants hence fruits such as melons, oranges and pineapples became a viable source of water to them.
Our bodies adapted to this and communicate to us similarly whenever it needs water.
Most of us misinterpret this for the body needing food and that is where we are wrong. That is why sometimes all you need is a glass of water and you’ll be good to go.
Whenever you’re having a bad day and want to grab something to eat, what types of food come to mind? I would place a bet that in the first three choices, chocolate or ice cream would be included. Want to know how I guessed correctly?
This is because we reach out for sugary things whenever our emotions are running high. Does it ring a bell? Remember the bucket of ice cream you devoured after the horrible breakup? That’s the one I’m talking about.
The sugar infused in them gives us a temporary high and relief that seemingly soothes our hearts. Once the sugar levels go back down all we are left with is a massive load of guilt and we realize that indeed nothing has changed. Want to know the craziest thing about this? We will still go back for another cookie, another candy, another chocolate to retain the short-lived high we had and the cycle goes on and all.
Sugar itself triggers the release of dopamine in our brains, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. Precisely why ice cream and chocolate always put us in a better mood. The downside is that it causes skin inflammation and acne in some. It also triggers the formation of free radicals that prevent nerve cells from effectively communicating with each other and hence slows down brain activities.
Since we cannot avoid days that we just wish to crawl under our beds, the best alternative is to swerve the ice cream shop and head to the fruit vendors instead. Fruits such as apples and bananas are sweet too and rich in sugar too, the good kind.
Hunger for variety
Life can at times be monotonous. Following the same old cycle and same timetable right from when we wake up to the time we get back to bed.
Being stuck in this cycle makes us not pay attention to what we eat and we end up reaching for what’s familiar and easy to make.
Our bodies become accustomed to receiving the same old type of nutrients and lacking in others keeping in mind that there are 13 nutrients our bodies need. They include vitamin A, E, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
Sticking to one meal plan deprives our bodies of so many nutrients that aid in the development of cells and that keep us radiant and healthy. When our bodies realize this, they send out signals to us in form of cravings. Thus we end up wanting to eat certain types of foods, even some that we haven’t had in ages.
So try as much as you can to experiment with various dishes and not just sticking to one.
Low blood sugar hunger
Ever wondered why athletes are given glucose before and after a marathon? This is because the glucose is absorbed directly into their bloodstreams raising their blood sugar levels.
There are certain days our energy level is at its lowest and we begin to feel drowsy or even weak. This especially happens when we have been having a strenuous day that involved a lot of physical activities. This means that our blood sugar has gone down.
Eating food might give you the energy you need but it also gives extra work to your stomach whereas all you needed was a source of energy. This is why snacking on glucose whenever you feel drowsy and weak is the best alternative for you.
Empty stomach type of hunger
Picture this, you get to work at 9 and immediately your boss gives you work, that’s expected, right?
You finish your first task and he gives you another and another. You do them perfectly and you’re relieved to have finished it all and decide to take a break to catch your breath. Your boss sees that and immediately comes at you with extra tasks although you have already finished the required ones.
What happens when you reach home at the end of the day, you’re dog tired right? Don’t we know this is exactly what we do to our stomachs?
We give it breakfast early in the morning, it knows food is coming so it keeps gastric juice on standby ready to digest the incoming food. Just when it is about to take a rest we keep giving it more and more food.
Keep in mind that it already has processed enough and produced energy that would last us the entire day, but we keep snacking and giving it more and more work. Having an empty stomach does not necessarily mean your body needs food. Your body is at the resting stage and just like you need sufficient rest to perform tasks efficiently, the stomach also needs rest.
This is the original type of hunger. The one accompanied by hunger pangs as a way of your body communicating to you that it needs food ASAP.
We obey nature’s call by seeking out food to replenish our depleted energy and for vital functions such as muscle and tissue repairs.
Although being active and exercise is a vital factor in maintaining our bodies, food plays an even bigger role. Did you know that 80-90% of our body weight is based on food?
Identifying the type of hunger we feel is one of the ways of efficiently taking care of ourselves.
By listening to our bodies, we are able to identify what it needs and provide for it. Our bodies, in turn, become strong and healthy, able to fight off diseases and we end up looking young and feeling young for a very long time.