Just as with art, there is also a science to creating positive food experiences. This post focuses on the science of the food experience.
Science is more of the biological aspect of the food experience. What we put into our bodies matters from many different dimensions. Whether we are trying to lose, gain, or maintain our weight; whether we are trying to accommodate food allergies; or whether we are trying to build our energy levels: we can still create positive food experiences.
3 Attributes of the Science of the Food Experience
As we think about the food experience, let’s consider three main science attributes that drive our experience.
The science of the food experience starts with simple biology. Your body needs food. One major factor of the science of the food experience, therefore, is that the food be nourishing. The word nourish, as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary, means “to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, to be healthy, etc.” Fitness instructor, Imogen van Wyk said, “We do not eat to get full, we eat to nurture our bodies.” She emphasizes making time to plan and cook your meals efficiently, and the importance of having healthy ingredients on hand.
During your shopping or other research, take time to examine food ingredients. Take time to compare different foods in terms of nourishment.
A fresh apple, for instance, is oftentimes more nourishing than a dish of applesauce, which may have additives such as sugar or various preservatives.
Every food has different levels of nourishment. We often need to weigh the costs and benefits of eating or not eating different foods. If you are buying ingredients for a recipe, for example, using the freshest ingredients possible is often best, as you are getting more nutrition from fresh ingredients. Your body needs vitamins and minerals.
If you have food allergies, you need to be conscious of the ingredients in different foods, and whether those allergy-prone ingredients are contained therein. Often there are many substitute ingredients you could potentially use. For those with peanut allergies, for example, substituting another type of nut in the recipe, or omitting nuts altogether, may be the smartest choice. For those with wheat allergies, there are many gluten free recipes and gluten free products, such as pastas and breads, which may serve as excellent substitutes for traditional wheat-based ingredients.
Just like you need gasoline in your car for it to run properly, you need food in your body for daily living. Making the time to research and select nourishing ingredients and recipes will help your body operate at maximum performance.
Another aspect of the science of the food experience is that food should be satisfying. The food may look nice, and even have great flavor, but if you still are hungry after the meal, then that is problematic. For a reasonable price, you should be able to get a satisfying meal both in terms of quantity and quality. Eating slowly helps you to digest the food properly, and register when the body is full so that you know when to stop eating. Unfortunately, overeating is a common experience, especially during the holidays. Overeating often leads to food sickness, eating disorders, or other illnesses.
Using moderation and understanding when your body is full will help you have a satisfying meal that you can enjoy without overdoing it.
Not only is it important for food to provide basic nourishment for your body, but it should also rejuvenate you. It is important to not just be able to make it through the day, but also to have the power, energy, and sustenance you need to meet your goals each day.
Many foods may be nutritious and satisfying, but may make you feel bloated or otherwise uncomfortable. This may prevent you from concentrating on your daily activities, whether they are work, school, or home responsibilities.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that “people who are focused on eating healthy and nutritious foods stand apart from other Americans in how strongly they think eating is tied to a long and healthy life and in eating “what they should” most days; in their beliefs about the nutritional value of organic food; and in their attention to nutrition and ingredient labels.”
Foods that give you energy, such as yogurt, fresh fruit, and nuts help to balance your sugar levels. They also give you the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals you need for that extra boost to get through the day. All this without the side effects of caffeinated beverages or energy drinks.
Focus on the Food
Eating food that is nourishing, satisfying, and rejuvenating helps you focus on the food. In so doing, you can reap the benefits of health and nutrition. Set in motion the steps you need to create a positive food experience. Build your culinary skills. Have vital interaction with the food. Then you can set realistic goals for yourself. You do not have to major in science or chemistry to master the science of the food experience. Simply make the time to understand how food affects your body, mind, and ambitions. Then you can gain the rewards thereof.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What are your thoughts on the science of the food experience? Are there other factors? What are some ideas you have to provide food that is nourishing, satisfying and rejuvenating?