The Surprising Truth Behind The Saying ‘You Are What You Eat’

We’ve all heard it said at some stage that we are what we eat, and logically, we can all see the sense in that statement. After all, our food is the substance that fuels us and helps our bodies to function, meaning that, if we didn’t eat, it’s unlikely we would exist. 

Far from just referring to the literal use of food to fuel our bodies, however, this statement, originally penned as ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,’ by French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin back in 1826, quite literally referred to the fact that overall health was dependent on nutritional intake. Since then, further studies into healthy eating and its impact have revealed the truth of this saying far more than even those original uses could have anticipated. In fact, there’s some quite surprising truth behind this idea, and we’re going to unravel that mystery here. 

The mental impact of food

Tying nicely into the other famous saying ‘I think, therefore I am,’ it’s first worth noting the sometimes significant mental impact of a poor diet. Taken together, the two phrases can especially tell us something interesting about how food determines our attitude, mood, and general life outlook. Of course, unhealthy lifestyles, in general, can leave us feeling lethargic, anxious, and even depressed, but poor dietary choices have especially been linked to negative mental impact, especially with regards to foods that prevent the conversion of necessary brain nutrition, such as saturated fats. Worse, high stress levels from caffeinated coffee etc. can prevent our guts from functioning as they should. By comparison, healthy, Mediterranean-style diets have been proven to significantly reduce the symptoms of depression. 

Healthy diets for hearing

The fact that clogged blood vessels due to already life-threatening obesity can reduce ear functionality is especially concerning considering that hearing helps your longevity in and of itself. Refined carbs, sugary foods, and high-fat meats have especially been found to worsen the onward march of hearing loss which can result in increased isolation, mental decline, and more. Luckily, experts state that guarding against food-related hearing loss is possible with foods known to actively boost hearing health, such as magnesium-rich offerings like dark chocolate, flax seeds, and legumes.

Food impacts appearance

While we all have more about us than our appearances, the fact that this is the first impression anyone gets means that food’s outward impact can also have a significant effect on our overall being. By this, we don’t just mean weight gain, though that’s certainly a consideration, but more the lesser-known ways that poor diet impacts how we look, such as wrinkled skin, brittle hair, and chapped lips. Only by making sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of much-needed nutrients for skin health (e.g. vitamins A, B, C, and E) can we truly say that we’re happy to be what we eat.

Like it or not, you are what you eat. Make sure that what you eat is the best it can be by considering these surprising ways that diet is changing your body.