Eating with hands have a different take from other cultures. When they heard eating with hands, they seemed to judge it unclean, barbaric and taboo. But when I went to Asian countries, eating with hands is the perfect healthy way to eat food.
Eating with hands or commonly known as Kamayan is not only a practical way of eating your food. It is a way to blend with the cultures of certain people. It breaks social boundaries and a better way of enjoying your meal.
When I look more rooted in eating with hands, I found some health benefits and it really “wow” me. Since then, I tried to eat using my hands to enjoy the healthful benefits in our health.
Eating with hands is better than using utensils. It is true because of the simple reason that you wash your hands multiple times a day while we clean the utensils once a day. We are conscious of the cleanliness of our hands, and before we use it for eating, we are sure that it is 100% germ-free.
We do multiple tasks with our hands. We can pick up things, scratch, feel, touch, make it into a claw shape and pick up small stuff or big stuff, hold water without dropping it. But we cannot use our hands while drinking soup or any food made from liquid.
Precious Parts of our Body
Without our hands, we cannot do many things. According to the Vedas, every finger is an extension of the five elements. Through the thumb comes space, with the forefinger comes to air, the middle finger is fire, the ring finer is water, and the little finger represents the earth. More so, eating with one’s fingers stimulates these five elements and helps in bringing forth digestive juices in the stomach.
The nerve endings on our fingertips are known to stimulate digestion. Feeling your food becomes a way of signaling the stomach that you are about to eat. You become more conscious of the taste, textures and aromas.
I believe, eating with hands is supposed to be a sensory experience, and it is said to evoke emotion and passion.
Measure Right Options
My observation when eating using my hands, I feel the portions of the food I intake. Eating with hands makes you eat slower and hence digest better because you become more aware of the process of eating as you experience it with all your senses. If you want to measure your food, you can try this.
Prevent Irritable Digestion
Did you know that natural bacteria are present in our hands? We call it flora. These are not harmful. It protects from damaging microbes in the environment.
If you eat using your hands, you allow the flora in your fingers to be swallowed. It is beneficial for health and various body parts such as the mouth, throat, and intestine, and it promotes healthy digestion in the gut.
More so, eating with hands makes the food with your fingers releases digestive juices and enzymes. Also, millions of nerve endings in your fingers relay the message that you’re about to eat, including the temperature of the food, level of spiciness and texture of food, thereby prepping the stomach for digestion.
Given that, this manages the food portion and muscle exercise. Researchers concluded that eating by hand promotes a sense of fullness and satiety as compared to eating with utensils.
Reduce Risk of Getting Type 2 Diabetes
Choosing to eat with hands or utensils? I prefer eating with my hands. From the advantages and the fact that it helps prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to be fast eaters that used cutlery to eat. Eating with forks and spoons correlates with more rapid eating. Improper digestion of food and overeating are linked to blood-sugar imbalances in the body. Over time, it contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes.
How to maintain cleanliness if you are eating with hands?
Wash your hands thoroughly.
It’s rather obvious, but since you will be using your hands, it’s best to wash them thoroughly. It’s customary to have a basin or pail of water close to or on the table if you plan on eating using your hands, so you don’t need to excuse yourself and go to the toilet beforehand. Don’t forget to do it after biting as well.
Use your fingers.
It’s not practical since you won’t be able to do much with your palms. You’ll also look like you haven’t eaten in days if you use your palms when you get your serving of rice and eat it off of your palm. As you read along, you will find the proper technique in eating with hands.
One hand is okay.
Your off-hand is typically used for holding your plate, a bowl of soup, or glass of water. Trying to eat with both hands will only complicate things.
Steps on Eating with Hands
Step 1: Gather up the rice in a small mound.
Using whichever hand you use to hold a spoon, gather up the rice into a small mound. Use your fingers to do this. You can also put a bite-size portion of whatever your viand is underneath the rice.
Step 2: Squeeze in, then press down.
Using the same hand you used in step 1, squeeze your fingers together and press down on the mound of rice you’ve gathered. It makes it easier for you to do the next level.
Step 3: Lift and push.
Lift your hand as soon as you’ve pressed down on the rice mound and bring it to your mouth. All that’s left is for you to open your mouth and push the food in with your thumb.
What can we say?
Indeed, eating with hands for some is unhygienic. But it was different this time. Some studies show the importance of eating with hands. Also, this method of eating is somewhat part of the culture in Asian countries.
Nevertheless, eating with hands can be useful, after all.