What is the Relationship between Food and Emotions?

Is there a relation between the food we eat and our emotions? The way we feel. An Eastern vision on our body and mind with Rick Vermuyten.

03-10-2016 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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Is there a relation between the food we eat and our emotions? The way we feel. An Eastern vision on our body and mind with Rick Vermuyten.


Hi Rick, welcome back to our studio.


Hello, Kevin.


In our last episode about macrobiotics, we talked about yin and yang and how everything is in balance but it’s the same with emotions and what we eat, I understood.


Well, in the Oriental point of view, or you may say the old type of Western way which is mainly lost, they don’t… Let’s say there is a connection because they didn’t lose the holistic point of view. And so for them, we have a body and in the body, there is our spirit living and the spirit of course, has many spiritual aspects, mental aspect, social aspect, emotional aspect. And so for them, they say, what we have in our body is also guiding what happens with all the aspects of our life. Because it’s a totality. And so for them, they say, okay, we have, for instance, in our body, they make a division in the sense that we can see there is five couples of organs. And these organs, they say, are the most yang aspect of life, means most condensed and most contracted. And then there is a more expanded aspect of that which is our sensorial capacities, like vision and hearing. And then there is the more emotional capacities which are all the different types of feelings. And of course, there’s also the mental activities and there are the social activities, behavior activities and mind, or you may say, spiritual activities. For them, it’s all together. So that means all these activities influence the body and what happens in the body influences all those, you may say, invisible aspects of life. Like emotional. We can see expressions of emotion but the emotion itself, we cannot take.




It’s an invisible aspect. It’s a vibrational aspect. And so for them, they say, okay, what happens in the body influences that. And so they look at the body and then they see five couples of organs.


Can you give me example of that?


For instance, we have kidney and bladder. We have liver and gall bladder. We have heart and small intestine. We have spleen and stomach and we have lungs and large intestine.


And how are they linked to the emotions?


Well, every organ has sensorial aspects. That’s the most… There’s still a physical aspect. For instance, for the kidney, it’s the hearing capacity. Yes. And then we have the emotional capacities and then we have to look at, are the emotions or is your condition of kidney and bladder, for instance, in balance? Then what kind of capacities does that give you? If that works well, if that’s in balance. If kidney and bladder are in balance, then you have a good capacity to start something. For entrepreneurs, for instance. They can start something or you can start doing something in your life or you can start doing something new. It means you have the courage to do things. That’s, let’s say, an emotional capacity. Of course, it depends on the balance of those organs. For instance, if you have an overly yang tendency, by eating, for instance, excess meat and cheese and eggs, then it becomes so contracted. Then that, you may call it water organs, it’s kidney and bladder, then they become so tight that you tend to have too much courage. You may say you start to have risky behavior.




You do bungee jumping or you go on extremely fast speed with your car and you don’t care. You see?




So that’s overly courage, you may say. That’s a yang aspect. If there is a yin aspect, or these organs become too yin, then you don’t have the courage. So you hesitate, you wait. You don’t dare to do things. And if that goes extremer and extremer, then you develop fear.


You already mentioned by eating cheese, meat and so on, you influence those intestines but that

will also mean that by doing the opposite, you can put balance again, in it.


Yes. So if you look at these organ couples, then of course, in the Orient and in the old, you may say, Western point of view, they knew, okay, there is something on the liver or there’s something on the stomach. And there’s something heavy or we have to bring our gall, our bile out because then, okay, then we discharge the excess. And so they know which kind of foods can make those organ couples in balance and then you have the physical advantages but you gradually also develop the emotional advantages. So if you don’t have courage enough, then you need to take some kinds of foods in order to balance your kidney and your bladder. For instance, that is like beans. So it’s interesting because in our Western world, the beans are getting less and less important and less…


Maybe in English breakfasts, yes.


Yes. Bacon and beans. Yes, yes but I mean in the southern European countries, they kept more of that tradition and generally speaking, even from the Western point of view, we found those diets more healthy. You see? Mediterranean type of diet, but that has beans. You see?




And we are… Gradually, we left it. So we use now, much more animal food which makes us more contracted. So we do risky things. We risk our lives in our way of life. We risk our lives with nature. We risk our lives with the type of society that we develop, which is damaging, for instance, nature. And so in the Oriental point of view, they would say, wait a moment, don’t do that, that’s out of balance.




Because they see the connection between nature and our body. So if we go further on, on how to influence that; for every couple, they have particular foods. So in the book that we wrote, together with my wife, there is explained which kind of foods can you use to balance kidney and bladder?



Which kind of foods can you use in order to balance heart and small intestine or liver and gall bladder? Because it’s connected to those organs but it’s also connected to what happens in nature. That means it’s connected to the seasons.




And so, for instance, if they look at cereal grains and say, okay, buckwheat helps the kidneys and the bladder. And so then, if you are risky behavior, you can make it into balance or if you have no courage, weakness, you can’t start anything, you can bring it back using buckwheat. You can bring it back into balance so the organs become stronger.




And so every organ has its capacities. So if we look at liver and gall bladder, then you have a good way to live with the time. You have patience and you have also, a desire to grow, to develop. If the liver is tight, overly yang, that means you influence it by yang foods or a yang lifestyle. You are all the time, stressed. Then you become easily angry, irritated. So that’s overly yang. If you make yourself too much yin by drinking too much wine or eating too much fruit, or too much sugary foods, then those organs get gradually weak and then you don’t have the desire to develop. You see?




You feel like, weak if you do that. For instance, that making the balance for heart and small intestine, then you have natural joy. That’s when heart and small intestine works perfectly; you feel joy of life. If it’s extreme, it becomes like hysteric or if it becomes weak, you feel, okay, this life has no joy. It’s suffering, it’s trouble. You see? So your point of view changes and how you feel about life changes. If there’s good balance between the spleen and the stomach, then you have good self-esteem. You feel in comfort. You feel comfort in your body. You feel comfort in your relationship. You feel comfort in your work. You feel comfort in how you deal with nature and with life. That’s comfort. If it’s out of balance, you see, you worry. Or you don’t have self-esteem or it’s too yin or you worry all the time and you go in your mind and it’s all the time, turning around and then you become overly critical towards yourself but also to other people or even cynical. So that’s extreme, you see?




When it gets too weak, then, well I’m worthless. So you have the feeling like, whatever I do, it’s never good enough.




So that kind of feeling of course, is very modern. This type of feeling that we know, okay, it’s out of balance in spleen and stomach. If it’s a lack of balance in lungs and large intestine, then we lose our sensitivity. Sensitivity is a very interesting capacity because we should be able to feel what other people feel or what’s happening around us or when we enter a room, we should be able to feel, they were arguing here just before I entered.


So, empathy…


Empathy, yes. So capacity of feeling very delicately. But if those organs like large intestine and lung become very tight, you cannot feel any more. You cannot become aware of because it cannot enter. You’re so tight and so closed and for instance, those organs influence the skin. So that’s your outside barrier to the outside world. It becomes so tight, you can’t take it. But if that organ becomes weak, then you’re overly sensitive and so you take everything in, overly and you react overly. And of course, in the Orient they know, for instance, if you need to balance lung and large intestine, which kinds of foods can you use? That is rice. So for instance, rice in the Orient, the two characters; rice and mouth means peace in the Orient.

Yes. That means if you eat rice, yes, you get a balance and of course, in lungs and large intestine which are the organs that take in and bring out. So there is a balance between what you take in and what you bring out. So that keeps clean.




And so that’s normal sensitivity and so if you want to feel in peace, peaceful mind, eat rice. For them it’s logical.


Yes, yes.


We lost that kind of knowledge, you see?


Yes, indeed and it’s very interesting to learn about it. [Inaudible 00:10:06], I want to thank you for coming over to the studio.


Okay. Thank you.


And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.