Psychology Behind the Food We Choose To Love
There is a revolution happening! What kind, you may ask? People are beginning to care more about what they put into their body and consequently, how it affects their ability to excel in daily life - in essence, we want more. This rise in awareness comes as no surprise as there is a ripened interest in individual and holistic health and wellness. Niknian, Lefebvre & Carleton (1991) studied the shifts that began to transpire due new understanding of health, they noted that when awareness is propelled, it results in changed behaviour around dietary choices.
As a result of this we are not only beginning to consume better, through the food we choose, we are also drinking better. A research paper carried out by Thach, Schaffer & Bell (2022) reported that people generally drink less and the sober-curios lifestyle is becoming a popular pathway to a healthier way of living.
Another study carried out by Layton (2010) sheds light on just how much the public are becoming increasingly aware of environmental and occupational exposures. By this, Layton (2010) refers to how we interact with food and the care we take to read labels and seek more naturally grown foods.
So, why do people eat the way they do to begin with and what encourages this to change over time? Interestingly, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN, 2019) tells us we tend to gravitate toward food choices based on what we know to be inherently good for us.
And, what forms this inherent knowing? Unsurprisingly, our gut bacteria plays a rather significant role in how our body responds to nourishment and what we crave (IIN, 2019). Specifically, we learn the intimacy of nourishment during pregnancy and childhood, this then sets the bar for what we are to expect from nourishment, either enabling or impeding our ability to meet both our emotional and nutritional needs.
Our emotional health then cannot be considered separate and the interlink is highlighted by Schubert & Bode (2023). They reveal that emotional regulation influences our likelihood of making healthful choices, Schubert and Bode (2023) note that positive emotion can boost willingness to consume healthier foods. In short, the happier you are the better choices you will make, a sentiment that seems so simple, though easily neglected.
And so, if we’re not primed to make healthful choices to begin with, how do we change this? The concepts of constitution and condition can lend us perspective here. “Constitution and condition describe the idea that some aspects of a person may have been determined at conception, while others are shaped by the person’s environment” (IIN, 2019).
Simplified, your constitution is determined before birth and your condition, after birth, through your habits and belief systems. And why should you care about this? Well, brain health! The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) 2019 refers to the brain as an energy hungry organ that requires a constant flow of nourishment to function and naturally, the foods you ingest will have a direct impact on this. Wurtman (1982) gives us a clear cut understanding of this in his research findings, which reveal the vital role of nutrients as it pertains to hormone synthesising. Specifically Wurtman (1982) speaks about the link between Tyrosine (an amino acid found in a lot of foods) and dopamine, our all-time favourite feel good hormone! So now that we know all of this, how can we choose better?
Mindful brands like Bemuse are part of a community that make it easier for us all to do that. Bemuse is a Mead brand created by friends Anna Chalov and Nataliya Peretrutova, who are on a mission to make inspiring drinks that are not only low in alcohol, (at 0.5%) but also low in sugar and gluten free. Together, they have created a delicious, health conscious alternative that we can all get behind! Bemuse puts a refreshing spin on an age old beverage, transforming it into a modern drink.
Here’s a little bit more about mead:
Mead has a very interesting history, dating back thousands of years, it is a beverage referred to as the drink of Gods in Greek Mythology. Bemuse’s Mead is made by fermenting honey, with water and yeast.
Bemuse uses all natural ingredients for the fermentation process with 0 preservatives, the only additional ingredients are the spices and herbs used to flavour the drink. Uniquely, Bemuse uses different kinds of honey to pair with specific herbs and spices, to ensure a distinctive taste for each blend.
The assortments of honey range from Wild Heather, Apple Blossom, Orange Blossom and Wildflower Honey. Each with their own unique taste, depending on the flower nectar the bees collect. If that didn’t intrigue you enough to try, here is some more information on the pioneering brand; Bemuse’s mission statement convey their desire to create drinks that are not only kind to your body, but also our planet.
Bemuse are dedicated to the welfare of Bees as well as supporting responsible Bee Keeping. Because of this, Bemuse is such an impactful brand with a great incentive toward holistic health and well-being.
Notably, Bemuse is a great alternative for sober curious individuals or on evenings you just don’t feel like drinking. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I have recently begun delving deeper into my own relationship with alcohol, the psychology of drinking and why I drink. The thing I have noticed as a fundamental piece, is ritual. You will probably be able to relate to what I have come to understand, which is that I enjoy the simple pleasure of holding the stem of a wine glass in my hand; while bonding with a loved one, getting to know someone new or cosying up in front of the TV.
The occasion of swirling the liquid contents in between glances and words bring about a certain comfort. As it turns out, it was never about what was in the glass and I was simply socialised to think what I filled it with ought to be alcohol.
Much before training as an Integrative Health Coach, I became curious about the effects the food I was consuming had on my body. I’ve spoken considerably about the relationship you have with yourself, influencing all things; namely how you move (exercise), what you consume (media) and how you eat (nutrition). As the saying emphasises, once you know better, you sort of have to do better. I know I feel much more comfortable being able to pronounce and recognise the ingredients in the foods I consume, after all, you do only get this one precious body and so I believe you should act in reverence of it, in all ways.
And so Bemuse, for me, is a great example of a brand that encourages and enables this radically open and honest relationship with myself, as well as the mindfulness journey of self-enquiry, in the name of better gut, brain and holistic health.
Elektra Schubert & Stefan Bode (2013). Positive emotions and their upregulation increase willingness to consume healthy foods. Vol 181. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2022.106420 - Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Layton, L. “US facing ‘grievous harm’ from chemicals in air, food, and water, panel says” The Washington Post. 7 May 2010.
M Niknian, R C Lefebvre, and R A Carleton, 1991: Are people more health conscious? A longitudinal study of one community. American Journal of Public Health 81, 205_207, https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.81.2.205
Thach, L., Schaffer, R., Bell, M. (2022) - Low-No Alcoholic Wines as a Growing Product Category? Examining the Sober-Curious Movement in America?: 13th International Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research: 233-237 2022_AWBR_Conference_Proceedings.pdf (academyofwinebusiness.com)
The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) 2019. New York: New York.
Wurtman, J.R, (1982) - Nutrients That Modify Brain Function. Scientific American. Vol. 246 No. 4 pp: (50-59) Available at: Nutrients That Modify Brain Function on JSTOR
Article written by
Leightanna Asanya | Integrative Nutrition Health Coach