Thought this might be an appropriate blog considering the Festive Season is fast approaching, and all the wonderful Xmas luncheons, work functions and family gatherings are about to bombard our busy schedules. There will be surplus amounts of Seafood, Hams, Salads, Cakes, Pastries, Fruit platters, punch, chocolates, breads, meats and more on offer for us to indulge in whilst celebrating the year gone by.
Remember those times when you had a massive meal, you ate and ate and ate, whether it be because the food was so delicious or because you were just so hungry you ate until you could eat no more?
Then remember how you felt afterwards? Well besides the thought of regret of overeating, but do you remember the feeling of being tired, a little dizzy or light headed, heavy in the legs, sleepy?
So then you usually made your way to the couch to lay down, just for a minute, but then you more than likely stayed there for a lot longer, or even worse, you fell asleep!
We generally call this having a FOOD COMA.
Did you know there is a technical term for this?
Postprandial somnolence syndrome - Which is a normal state of drowsiness or lassitude following a meal. (wikepedia)
There is a technical explanation for this effect on the body but I would rather try to help you understand it in more simple terms.
As you know every time we eat food, our digestive system goes to work, digesting it through a multitude of organs (which are made up of tissues/cells/muscles). Liek any muscle in the body these organs require blood flow to them in order to help them do their job.
So if you overload the digestive tract with too much food, the heart will have to send all its blood flow to that area, hence in time leaving your other muscles (eg the ones in your legs!) without as much blood flow as usual in order to help them do their job (bringing on the feeling of being lethargic).
Now remembering your brain is a muscle also, so the feeling of being a little tired, dizzy, light headed is thought to be the affect of less blood flow to the brain.
The feeling of having a Food Coma can happen whether you eat good healthy food or bad food. It's all about the volume of food you try to cram into your body at once that can bring on this feeling.
The feeling of regret just might be higher after over indulging in bad foods rather than good foods.
So don't think it is ok to eat 10 portions of grilled chicken and vegies, just because you think it is the healthy option. One portion size is still enough. Digestion still has to happen whether it be good or bad foods. Our bodies just work harder to process the bad foods.
If your digestive system struggles to move that food in the way it should, toxins will build up in your body which can cause several health issues either short term (eg constipation, diarrhoea, head aches, stomach aches etc) or long (eg bowel issues, obesity etc)
So think about the next time you have an enormous amount of food in front of you, especially buffets, have a quick think of how it may affect you afterwards. Hopefully it makes you reduce your chances of overeating.
And hey, no one wants to be the one at the Xmas Party asleep on the couch after eating while everyone else is enjoying the festivities. Nor do you want to put your internal organs through such unnecessary work overload ,which we now know isn't healthy.
Happy Healthy Eating :)