Finger Licking Good

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Our ancestors used to eat with their hands and had a long list of benefits in favour of it to share with us. It seems today, science too is agreeing with it. The latest research published in Nature Neuroscience gives scientific evidence on why eating with hands is the better way of having our food.

Researchers from Umeå University in Sweden state that our brain is overloaded with thinking business, so if there’s a way to outsource a few mental tasks to save bandwidth, it’s going to do it. Hence, our brain has outsourced some of its functions, for instance, that of touch processing pathway.

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Our fingertips are among the most sensitive parts in our body. They are densely packed with thousands of nerve endings, which produce complex patterns of nervous impulses that convey information about the size, shape and texture of objects. Our ability to identify objects by touch and manipulate them depends upon the continuous influx of this information.

Researchers observed, “the timing of nervous impulses produced by nerve endings in the fingertips signal the orientation of edges to cells in the spinal cord. Spinal cord then relays these signals up to the brain.” Until now, this function was believed to be performed by the brain.

So what happens when we eat with our hands? Researches in past have told us that when we touch our food with hands, our brain prepares our stomach that we are about to eat, so our stomach is ready for digesting the food which ultimately results in better digestion. This implies, it is the touch of our fingertips, which have the same neurons as our brain and these neurons already initiate the signalling process even before impulses reach our brains.

One scientific reason why our ancestors not only ate with hands but also maintained the highest level of hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly several times in a day. Many more will come to fore as science progresses. Modern science is evolving still, science in vedic times had reached its peak. As modern researches gradually validate the ingenuity of vedic rishis, it is on us to accept and adopt them without losing time.

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