12 Reasons Why Indians Eat with their hands

Photo of author
Written By Santana

Unveiling India's Treasures from the eyes of an insightful author

Why Indians Eat with their hands

Hand-eating has many health benefits over eating using a fork and spoons. Eating using your hands is part of the tradition in India and other regions. What can be natural or more primal? 

While many might think this is a sinister practice, it isn’t as simple as it might appear. There is an art and a set of rules to adhere to. There are numerous advantages to eating using your hands, like improving Digestion, preventing diabetes, and more. Even more significant to eating, using your hands is crucial in Indian tradition.

1. Improves Digestion

When we touch food using our fingers, the nerve endings in the fingers signal to our brain that we are getting ready to take a bite, and the call is transferred to the stomach, which starts to prepare itself to digest by exchanging digestive enzymes and juices needed to ensure proper Digestion. 

Additionally, the nerve endings on the fingers aid in determining the temperature and texture of the food we are about to eat and preparing our brain to release digestive juices before food is even on our lips.

This is one of the essential reasons Why Indians eat with their hands.

2. Engages All Senses

If a person is using cutlery for eating, he could be restricting the experience to food texture that is felt in the mouth. However, eating with hands adds a tangible dimension to your dining experience by stimulating your senses.

The other reason is that you can feel the food and separate any complex objects that may have mistakenly fallen into the food. This is also the reason why Indians eat with their hands.

3. Benifits Our Chakras

When fingers put food into the mouth, they can be curved into a yogic mudra that increases sensory organs’ activity, which keeps balance in the prana balance. As per Vedas, fingertips are linked to the third eye, the heart, the throat, and the solar plexus.

They also have sexual chakras and root chakras. Also, when we eat food with our hands, the action and touch stimulate our chakras and satisfy us.

4. It is Natural

Hand-eating is a typical habit in various cultures, especially in India, as Indian food is so delicious that it is the most natural way to eat. Imagine eating Dal and Roti with a fork and knife or trying to eat non-vegetarian food made of bones using a spoon. It’s very unpractical. Therefore, hand-held tools are preferred over high-quality cutlery.

5. Betters Blood Circulation

Eating with hands is healthy because it could be an excellent exercise for muscles, aiding blood circulation. Hand movements can help improve blood circulation, positively impacting the overall health of the human body.

6. Believed To Help Lose Weight

According to a study published by the magazine Appetite, when people ate with their hands while reading a newspaper or watching a television show, they felt less hungry during snack time and preferred a light snack. 

Researchers concluded that eating with a hand creates a feeling of being full and satisfied instead of eating with a fork and spoon. This can, in turn, aid in losing weight.

7. Sensor for temperature:

After eating your fingers, the nerves in your fingers detect what temperature the food is. It helps your brain prepare for the food you’re about to consume. Ayurveda’s research shows that our body reacts to food contact by producing necessary digestive juices and enzymes.

8. Food is now easier to tear

This is not just true of Indian foods like dosas and rotis. It is also true of Western food items like pancakes and bread too. The way fingers are placed, and their flexibility make it simpler to cut food into smaller pieces that can be eaten. 

In contrast to rigid cutlery, hands can mold, shape and cut, soften, and roll food items, which makes it ideal for Digestion and chewing.

9. It’s a clean and hygienic habit.

Hand-eating your food is cleaner than eating using forks and spoons. Washing your hands several times daily is recommended, but not with dishes. Therefore, eating using hand helps prevent hygienic issues. Hands are more hygiene-conscious in comparison to spoons and other kitchen utensils.

10. It Might help to be able to prevent Type-2 diabetes

Research has shown that people with diabetes with type 2 tend to be those who eat food with cutlery. This causes an imbalance of blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, to avoid that, eliminate the food utensils and prefer eating with your hands, which can help slow down.

11. It is a good source of bacteria for your gut

We have a few bacteria, referred to as normal flora. It is what we find in our bodies on the skin. These aren’t harmful to us humans. They protect us from harmful bacteria in our environment. It is essential to create normal flora in different parts of our bodies, such as the mouth, throat, intestine, stomach, etc. To improve our health.

This is another crucial reason why Indians eat with their hands

12. The Vedic Reason

Ayurveda plays a vital role and is a part of our daily existence. There are many reasons why Ayurveda that hands are among the most valuable. They are the organs that perform. Each Finger holds a spiritual significance, specifically Fire, Air, Space, Earth, and Water. i.e., Agni, Varun, Akash, Prithvi, Jal.

Each Finger has its Vedic elements,

The thumb finger connects to Agni (Fire).
The index finger connects with Varun (Air).
The middle Finger connects with the Akash (Space).
The ring finger is connected to Prithvi (Earth).
The little Finger connects Jal (Water).

Is it Normal for Indians to eat with their hands?

All across India, you will find Indians prefer eating with their Hands. It has many scientific and health reasons for this. It improves Digestion, helps us lose weight, and helps engage our chakras.

It also protects us from harmful bacteria and promotes the growth of good bacteria.

The thumb finger connects to Agni (Fire).
The index finger connects with Varun (Air).
The middle Finger connects with the Akash (Space).
The ring finger is connected to Prithvi (Earth).
The little Finger connects Jal (Water).

Which country eats with their hands?

Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India are some countries in Southeast Asia where eating with your hands is a common practice. Although it might seem odd to Westerners, who use utensils all the time, many visitors enjoy “hand eating” and think it tastes better.

Conclusion – Why do Indians eat with their hands

It is usual for Indians to eat by hand, which is taught to kids early. The benifits of eating food by hand are numerous. Many people wash and use feces and spoons, and are more unhygienic, whereas your hands are part of you. Of course, exceptional care is to ensure hands are washed clean before eating; otherwise, it will defeat the benefit of eating with hands.

Leave a Reply