Kentuckians Should Embrace This Mexican Tradition For Stress Relief
The term "Comfort Food" exists for good reason. When I have an awful day, you better believe I am going to get me a little treat or something to help me feel better at least for the moment. Now, I know this isn't good to do all the time, but the idea of snacking your stress away dates back generations.
When our friends and neighbors go through hard times, what do we tend to do? Someone starts a meal train and we all sign up to bring food. Not only does it take away the chore of deciding what's for dinner and preparing it, but receiving meals made with love makes our loved ones feel good. In fact, the act of eating when feeling anxious or scared is an ancient Mexican tradition. Specifically the act of eating bread. I recently learned about it from a feature by NBC News.
One particular traditional bread is called Bolillo and is very similar to French bread with an outside crust and inner soft pillowy goodness. When baked as a remedy for stress, it is referred to as "un bolillo p'al susto" or "a roll for the fright."
You may have had this kind of bread before if you have enjoyed a delicious Mexican Torta from one of our bomb taco trucks or local Mexican restaurants. I dream of the one served by Taqueria la Bendicion de Dios piled high with meat and veggies. It's very popular in Mexican cuisine and served with soups or as a side for a warm saucy entree. It's also commonly eaten in Abuela's (Memaw's) kitchen fresh out of the oven after a difficult day.
Nayeli Ortiz Olvera, a gastroenterologist who has been researching the science behind why humans eat when going through periods of anxiety told NBC News, "All of this (stress) stimulates our nervous system and makes the heart beat much faster, and breathing is much faster. The body thus favors the production of energy so that we can have a response and, at the level of the digestive tract, we feel that we have a hole in our stomach, nausea or it makes us want to go to the bathroom,” Can you relate to any of that? I know I can!
She also explained, "“The bolillo is a carbohydrate, when we eat it the acid that is produced in the stomach is neutralized. In addition, the simple fact of chewing, of distracting our attention, helps to reduce agitation and we control our body again."
So when you go to your grandma for advice, they are right on track when the first thing they ask is "Have you eaten anything?" It literally fills the hole in our stomachs and makes us feel better.
Mexican history and traditions are so interesting. They still use native practices in everyday modern life. Something so simple as eating bread is passed down through generations to help deal with problems that didn't exist hundreds of years ago. Mexican chef and anthropologist Claudia Serrato was quoted as saying, “The truth is, we are a culture of food. Everything we do is for food. Food is something that helps with strength. It's important to know where one comes from.
Source: NBC News