How do you Eat?

There is need to consider the properties of the food, and its adaptation to the eater. Attention should be given also to the proper combination of foods.

How do you Eat?
How do you Eat?

DIET AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENT

The relation of diet to intellectual development should be given far more attention than it has received. Mental confusion and dullness are often the result of errors in diet!

It is frequently urged that, in the selection of food, appetite is a safe guide. If the laws of health had always been obeyed, this would be true. But through wrong habits, continued from generation to generation, appetite has become so perverted that it is constantly craving some hurtful gratification. As a guide it cannot now be trusted.

There is need to consider not only the properties of the food but its adaptation to the eater. Often food that can be eaten freely by persons engaged in physical labor must be avoided by those whose work is chiefly mental. Attention should be given also to the proper combination of foods. By brain workers and others of sedentary pursuits, but few kinds should be taken at a meal.

And overeating, even of the most wholesome food, is to be guarded against. Nature can use no more than is required for building up the various organs of the body, and excess clogs the system. Many students are supposed to have broken down from over-study, when the real cause was overeating. While proper attention is given to the laws of health, there is little danger from mental taxation; but in many cases of so-called mental failure it is the overcrowding of the stomach that wearies the body and weakens the mind.

In most cases two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed and is unready for the day's duties.

The importance of regularity in the time for eating and sleeping should not be overlooked. Since the work of building up the body takes place during the hours of rest, it is essential, especially in youth, that sleep should be regular and abundant.

So far as possible we should avoid hurried eating. The shorter the time for a meal, the less should be eaten. It is better to omit a meal than to eat without proper mastication!