Eating with fingers has been recently looked down up – considered not very sophisticated or suave. Especially, at restaurants, people even eat pizzas with fork and knife!! Eating with the fingers has multiple benefits – some very obvious and some not very obvious.
- Our bodies are made up of 5 elements/pranas – so is everything in Universe – these are – Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Ether/Space. They are represented by the 5 fingers (see image below). It is believed that these five elements energize the food, cleansing it of any negative vibes and preparing it for us to eat. These elements ensure the food we eat is becomes healthy for the body and keeps our pranas well balanced. These are the representations of the elements:
- Thumb: Fire
- Index finger: Air
- Middle finger: Space/Ether
- Ring finger: Earth
- Little finger: Water
- The prana coming from our fingers mixes with the food making it easier to digest and acceptable to our body.
- The fingers, when touch the food, send signal to the brain and digestive system about the texture of the food – the hardness, softness, consistency etc and thus the system prepares itself to digest the food accordingly. The required type of digestive juices and enzymes are released. When we eat with spoon or fork this messaging is lost – the body is not prepared for what is going to come in!
- Our hands also act as a very effective temperature sensor. When we touch food it is easy for us to gauge how hot it actually is, and we are less likely to put food that is too hot into our mouth – effectively preventing us from scalding our tongue.
- Promotes mindful eating. When we eat with our hands, we focus on the quantity of food and we are more aware of how much food we are putting in our mouths and thus we enjoy the food and the process of eating much more vs eating with cutlery. Mindless eating is a huge problem and one of the biggest cause of overweight, obesity, indigestion etc.
Traditionally even daals and sambhars were eaten with fingers (I wonder how, since I have also grown up having liquid foods with spoon!) However now I try to use the fingers as far as possible and even when we lived out of India, we made sure we ate with our fingers at restaurants and felt proud about it Eating food with fingers makes it tastier and much more palatable. So forget fashion, think of health! Eat with your fingers 🙂