Updated: Apr 11
Written By: Jadyn Williams, ACAOF Associate,
Sept 21, 2022
There is no question that food is arguably one of the most important necessities of life. Each day, we digest food that gives us energy, and nutrients, and even feeds our cells. On a cellular level, food is what precisely allows our cells to breathe and continue to perform the necessary processes for our body. Ever heard of cellular respiration? That is the process of turning food into energy that assists our breathing and healing. When you eat an apple, for example, the sugar is broken down into organic compounds, like glucose for example and then transformed into ATP, which is Adenosine triphosphate. All foods are converted into either proteins, carbohydrates, or glucose, each beneficial biological molecules that the body wants to use to promote overall bodily health beginning on a cellular level. This directly promotes health on the outside. Where you may have a cut on your arm, your cells now have the energy to help repair your scar. Better yet, the process of cellular respiration helps to heal your heart as well. The process of ATP needs oxygen and we know that heartbeats allow us to breathe. So breathing that air in is constantly initiating the cellular respiration process. The more oxygen to your heart, the more you can increase your chances of having a healthier heart as your cells will have the energy to support their routines that benefit your organs.
Have you ever woken up and felt depleted after an 8-hour sleep after having dinner? How about having the itis after a good home-cooked meal? It’s common in our culture to place positive attributes behind having the itis, but in reality, it’s not a positive thing. It actually means you did the opposite of what the cellular respiration process requires. Given that your body has to shut down after eating a meal. In that case, it is technically lessening the usage of your other bodily processes so that it can figure out what organic compounds it can get from the overloading food you just ate to complete cellular respiration. Studies performed at the Harvard School of Medicine found that food also affects your moods and emotions. They revealed that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut. This means that your brain is looking to register “feel good” foods and signals in your body and in this case, in your gut, where your food settles. Therefore, if you eat soul food every day for a week, chances are you won’t feel very positive as your body is struggling to find replenishing, nutritional compounds. Food should give you energy and motivate you!
Now that we know how beneficial food can be on a cellular level, I propose the question: How has food acted as a catalyst for healing in your life? We are so busy in our day-to-day lives that we don’t take the time to sit and think of the molecular and microscopical level processes that make our busy days even possible. Personally, my relationship with food is on its way to becoming more intimate. Now that I know just how transformative food can be on all levels, I feel compelled to want better energy for myself. Knowing that while healing other parts of my life, I can take an active step in a straightforward way by intentionally eating to provide energy is motivating. Food has helped me feel more positive and hopeful about life because my cells and body are a reflection of that. What you put in, is what you get out! With that being said, I encourage you to appreciate your body in all of the ways it helps to promote health and healing. Think about the ways in which on the smallest level you could love yourself intentionally as your tiny cells are working each second to replenish you. With this information, How can you show up for you on all levels in your healing journey?
“Adenosine Triphosphate.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/science/adenosine-triphosphate.
Foundation, CK-12. “12 Foundation.” CK, https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-middle-school-life-science-2.0/section/2.15/primary/lesson/cellular-respiration-ms-ls/.
“The Heart - Cellular Respiration and Transport - Edexcel - GCSE Biology (Single Science) Revision - Edexcel - BBC Bitesize.” BBC News, BBC, https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zsw3jty/revision/3.
Learning, Lumen. “Biology for Majors II.” Lumen, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-biology2/chapter/food-energy-and-atp/.
Uma Naidoo, MD. “Gut Feelings: How Food Affects Your Mood.” Harvard Health, 27 Mar. 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gut-feelings-how-food-affects-your-mood-2018120715548.