From Fear to Comfort: The Mexican Bolillo Tradition Explained



Ever heard of the intriguing Bolillo tradition of eating bread when you’re scared? It’s not just a random practice; there’s some fascinating science behind it!

Pola Carballo, a 53-year-old Indigenous woman and the owner of Café de Raíz in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, experienced a moment of sheer terror during the powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake that rocked Mexico City on September 19, 2022.

Stressed? Grab A Bread: The Secret Behind Mexican Bolillo Tradition

Amidst the chaos and fear, she recalled a comforting tradition from her hometown of Huasteca, Veracruz. In her town, the community rallied together during times of distress, and one way to cope with fear and anxiety was by distributing “bolillos” or bread rolls.

Acting on this instinct, Carballo and her staff quickly grabbed 50 bolillos and began distributing them to those in need. Videos of their kind gesture spread rapidly on social media. As per tradition, they believed that eating a bolillo after a fright could help alleviate the fear.

The tradition of eating a bolillo after a scare is deeply ingrained in Mexican culture, with roots tracing back to the advice of grandmothers. Bolillos, which resemble long oval-shaped rolls with a crispy golden exterior and a soft, white core, play a significant role in this practice.

Mexican writer Alonso Ruvalcaba sees this act as more than just consuming bread in moments of distress; it is an offering of peace and solace, akin to the communion bread.

Interestingly, there’s also a scientific basis supporting this ancient custom. Nayeli Ortiz Olvera, a gastroenterologist and researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, explained that it is natural for people to seek nourishment after experiencing shock or acute stress.

Stress triggers a physiological response, stimulating the nervous system, elevating heart rate, and increasing breathing rate. This heightened state can lead to uncomfortable sensations in the stomach, such as nausea or the urge to use the restroom.

Bolillos, similar to French bread, come into play here. They are a source of carbohydrates, and when consumed, they neutralize stomach acid.

Furthermore, the act of chewing and diverting attention helps reduce agitation and restores a sense of control over one’s body. In times of stress, some people opt for tortillas or any available carbohydrates to achieve a similar soothing effect.

In essence, the bolillo serves as a remedy to mitigate the feelings of anguish and emptiness in the stomach brought on by fear and anxiety. According to Ortiz Olvera, the advice from grandmothers and mothers to eat a bolillo to dispel fear and anxiety is indeed grounded in science, and it does work.

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Delving into the Love-Hate Relationship Teens Have with TikTok and Instagram

Body: In an era where social media has become an integral part of daily life, a complex relationship has emerged between teenagers and platforms like TikTok and Instagram. A recent examination sheds light on the dichotomy of emotions that adolescents experience towards these ubiquitous apps.

Research has long highlighted the potential risks associated with heavy social media use among teens, including heightened anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. Despite these concerns, TikTok and Instagram remain immensely popular among adolescents, serving as primary avenues for social interaction and connection with peers.

Teen’s Interest Towards TikTok and Instagram

One of the primary reasons behind teens’ affinity

Up Next

Impact Of Air Pollution: Understand How It Is Linked to Deteriorating Mental Health

In a significant revelation, the Delhi government has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that exposure to air pollution is closely associated with worsening mental health conditions among residents of the national capital. The admission comes amidst growing concerns over the hazardous air quality levels that have plagued Delhi for years

The disclosure was made during a hearing before the NGT, where the Delhi government presented findings linking air pollution to a range of mental health issues. This revelation underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the dual crisis of air pollution and its impact on public health.

Impact Of Air Pollution On Mental Health

Delhi, one of the most polluted cities globally, g

Up Next

Summer Hydration: Home Remedies for Glowing Skin Through Refreshing Drinks

In the scorching heat of summer, maintaining hydration levels is crucial not only for overall health but also for achieving radiant, glowing skin. With the right combination of ingredients, homemade refreshing drinks can quench your thirst while nourishing your skin from within.

List of Refreshing Drinks

Here’s a comprehensive guide to some hydrating summer drinks that will leave your skin looking fresh and revitalized.

As temperatures rise, dehydration becomes a common concern, leaving individuals feeling drained and parched. However, combatting this issue goes beyond simply drinking water; incorporating hydrating ingredients into your beverages can provide an added boost of skin-nourishing benefits.

Up Next

Strength Training Effective in Reducing Depressive Symptoms, Says Study

A groundbreaking study has revealed that strength training exhibits a potent anti-depressive effect, even in individuals without diagnosed anxiety or depression. Conducted over an eight-week period, the research involved participants aged between 21 and 31, investigating the impact of resistance exercise on mental health.

The study, which garnered attention for its promising findings, demonstrated a significant reduction in depressive symptoms among all participants, irrespective of their mental health status. This discovery marks a pivotal moment in the quest for alternative treatments for mild depression.

The training program, meticulously designed in accordance with guidelines from The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), incorporated muscle-strengthening activities targeting major muscle groups. Participant

Up Next

Boost Memory: 5 Lifestyle Tweaks Recommended by a Neuroscientist

Neuroscientist Adriana Diaz shares five lifestyle tweaks to boost memory and brain health. Her insights offer practical strategies for individuals of all ages.

Brain health is gaining prominence in discussions surrounding overall well-being. In a TikTok video that resurfaced this week, neuroscientist Rachelle Summers underscores the importance of maintaining brain health to potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, conditions on the rise in both older and younger populations.

Tips To Boost Memory And Brain Health

Summers advocates for sufficient sleep, recommending adults aim for eight to 10 hours per night to consolidate long-term memories. This aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendat

Up Next

Drinking Habits and Relationship Longevity: Drinking With Your Partner May Lead to Longer Life

In a recent study published in the journal The Gerontologist, researchers delved into the intriguing link between drinking habits and relationship longevity among couples over the age of 50. Led by Kira Birditt, a professor and researcher at the University of Michigan, the study sheds light on how shared drinking patterns may impact not only the quality of romantic relationships but also life expectancy.

The study, which surveyed 4,566 married couples, aimed to examine the association between alcohol consumption within couples and its implications for mortality rates. Birditt and her team conducted interviews with the participating couples every two years to gather da

Up Next

Combatting Stress-Induced Belly Fat: Effective Strategies for Women Over 30

Stress-induced belly fat is a prevalent issue for many women, particularly those over the age of 30. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to an imbalance in cortisol levels, resulting in the accumulation of stubborn fat around the abdomen. To address this concern, experts recommend implementing a combination of lifestyle changes and targeted exercises to effectively combat stress-related belly fat.

Understanding Stress-Belly:

Stress belly, also known as cortisol belly, is a condition characterized by the accumulation of abdominal fat due to prolonged exposure to stress hormones, primarily cortisol. Chronic stress disrupts normal bodily functions, including metabolism and fat storage, leading to weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. Moreover, stress often disrupts healthy habits and routines,