Could saying grace be more common sense and less religious?

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 19 January 2021

When I was growing up we always said grace before every meal. It was a tradition that was part of the religion I grew up with.

Now taking a picture of your meal seems to have become the norm.

But should you stop saying grace just because you put it in the category of religious and you're not really a religious person?

I would argue no.

There is actually a very practical reason to take a few minutes and a pause before eating a meal.

Digestion is a parasympathetic activity. The parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that controls rest, relaxation, repair, and digestion.

As opposed to the sympathetic nervous system which controls fight, flight, or freeze.

You can't be in both at the same time. It's like a light switch. And the fastest way to switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic is taking a few deep breaths.

So if you want to optimize digestion, and reduce bloating, belching, burping, heartburn, and even constipation, think about switching the light switch.

Slow down before you eat. Take a few deep breaths. Have gratitude for the meal in front of you. Chew your food several times before swallowing. When you eat, only driving, working on the computer, watching TV, etc.

Optimize conditions for your body to digest properly.

You are not just what you eat. You are what you absorb.

Now I would love to hear from you! Do you take your time to digest properly? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

5 Replies to “Could saying grace be more common sense and less religious?”

Ann Jansen

I enjoyed your comments on the way our bodies work, and taking a few moments, relaxing, comtemplating, while not being distractred by doing other things while eating, our bodies respond much more effectively. God knows what He has created, and designed our bodies to work this way. That’s why your thoughts are well taken, as well as affirming that we are miraculously created.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Ann! Thanks for commenting.


I agree with the saying grace. Unfortunately I disagree about the computer part while eating. I play solitaire while Iā€™m eating to slow down my eating and chew more. I found this helps me since Iā€™m now eating alone


Great Article!
The digestive benefits of pausing before eating are surprising.

We live in a society of entitled people, fewer and fewer people now days give thanks or are appreciative for the gifts they receive everyday. (friends, sunshine, family, food, life!)

Perhaps experiencing what it feels like to “go without” could help.
That should bring a measure of perspective and appreciation in people’s lives.
Plus, I hear is good for your digestion šŸ˜‰

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Yes, fasting also has other health benefits šŸ™‚
Here is a previous article on it:

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