Eating with hands is a common tradition in many countries in the Middle East and Asia. Although this tradition may seem unhygienic and primitive to new generations, it is a really good habit for your health. Using your hands to eat adds a tactile connection with your food as well as body, mind, and soul. Moreover, the practice of eating with hands has many health benefits. Given below are some surprising health benefits of eating with hands that will make you ditch forks and spoons.
1. Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: A 2012 study published by the European Society of Endocrinology reports that people who wolf down their food are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes than those who take their time. Eating with forks and spoons make eating easier and faster which has been linked to blood-sugar imbalances in the body — contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes. So you can reduce your risk by eating with your hands. When using your hands, you end up feeling full sooner and you eat less
2. Improves Digestion: There is a kind of good bacteria, known as normal flora, present on the palms and fingers of your hands. The good bacteria protect you from many damaging microbes in the environment. When you eat with a spoon and fork, these bacteria do not reach your gut. When you eat with your hands, the flora from the fingers transfers to the mouth and is swallowed and travels to different body parts.
This promotes healthy digestion in the gut and prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria in the intestines. Plus, when you touch the food with your hands, a signal is sent to the mind for the release of digestive juices and enzymes. Depending on the type of food, the mind arranges for the metabolism to work accordingly, which is needed for better digestion.
3. Helps in Preventing Binge Eating: Binge eating is becoming a concern with more adults, but it can also occur in childhood. Binge eating seems to be related to the vicious cycle of restrictive dieting followed by a loss of control around food, and it contributes to further health problems.
A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology showed that families who ate by hand were more in touch with eating concepts, such as eating only when hungry and paying attention to fullness cues. The study found that parents were able to help their 8 to 12-year-old overweight children cut down on binge eating episodes by training them to eat by hand.