When two people are attracted to each other we often say that they have “good chemistry.” What if that’s really true? What we think is a clever metaphor may actually be the case. There is a great case to be made that our basic body chemistry influences our attraction to others and that this “chemical attraction” is a helpful tool in creating healthy relationships. It has long been observed that families that eat together generally have a stronger bond, but what is the mechanism of this bonding? Can what you eat improve your relationship?
In my teachings, the first thing I express to all my clients and students is as follows:
Food makes the blood; Blood makes the cells; Cells make the tissue; Tissue makes the organs;
And here we be!
Our body is being physically regenerated every day. In 21 days, 50% of your red blood cells are renewed. Every four months, you have a fresh army of red blood cells. Over 90% of your body’s cells undergoes renewal on a regular basis. Even parts of the peripheral nervous system regenerate. It is our blood that delivers the basic material for our restructuring and, as we all know, it is our food that supplies the nutrients for this process.
Can similar food consumption spark a sense of closeness and trust between love interests, friends or colleagues? I believe so. There are countless strategies as to what makes a relationship work, but physical health is often overlooked. Researchers have discovered there are profound influences on our moods according to the foods we eat. Important nutrients such as neurotransmitters can tilt us toward a positive or negative way of seeing the world. Our nutrition also affects our senses.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, the connection between the senses and our health is clearly described. Since intimacy often relates to sensory and emotional pleasure, our sense of “oneness” with our partners is clearly related to the pleasure or agreeableness of their presence. This does not even address the issue of our pheromones, those chemical substances that we all excrete, are unconsciously detected, yet play a part in the attractiveness of another person. These hormones are dependent upon our nutrition, as are all the hormones in the body. The bottom line is that healthier people tend to have healthier relationships.
Avoiding Food Fights
Sometimes, different food preferences and habits can be a source of stress in a relationship. To help build intimacy and trust, talk to your partner about issues surrounding your relationship with food. Sources of potential conflicts include:
- Tension between a vegan and a meat eater
- Tension between a picky and adventurous eater
- If either of you have a history of eating disorders or chronic dieting, that can also influence your relationships with food and each other
As with any relationship issue, the first line of resolution is communication. It is important to understand where the middle ground is. We have found, in our health counselling, that when partners are willing to try the plant-based diets we recommend (usually a three-week programme) they usually make the switch themselves. This shift is simply because of the improvement in health and not a “conversion” to a new way of thinking.
Eating Together for Intimacy
- Blood chemistry has the strongest effect on sensitivities, so eating the same quality of food creates more harmonious sensitivities.
- In some sense, your brain is the most important sex organ. Sex begins with affection, intimacy, and desire. Mealtime is a great time to unwind with your partner and build intimacy in a relaxed and pleasurable setting. If there is already conflict there with the different foods being eaten, tension is imminent.
I see many couples for health counselling who have this issue that threatens to end their marriage/relationship or friendship. Ultimately, one of them is a meat eater and the other is like myself, a vegan. 80% of the time, it is the man who is the meat eater. The woman is the one, who in a sense, is the driver of the shopping cart and the cooking in the home. However, many men are now taking responsibility and joining my “men’s cooking classes,” which is a joy to behold and music to my ears. I have so much fun with these workshops. At the last cooking class, they invite their respective partners to dine with us. It seriously is one of the most energized events I have created. The partners cannot believe how their cooking skills have developed over the four sessions and are in awe when they are served their meal.
So, my advice to anyone who is struggling with his or her relationship would be to start at the very source of who we are: Remember that food makes the blood, and the chemistry of individuals living together should be in harmony. Happiness and joy will flow for sure.
In good health,