Do you chew your food?
This may sound like a silly question but chewing your food is a very important first step toward healthy eating and good digestion!
You probably are chewing. I doubt you are swallowing your food whole! But are you chewing properly? Are you chewing enough?
My guess is…you aren't!
I am the first to admit that I am not a ‘good chewer'. I have a tendency to eat very quickly. I need to work on my chewing for sure!
Chewing is something we learn as babies so why do we need to revisit how we chew?
Because, most of it aren't doing it enough. It is time to rethink how we chew!
Did you know that digestion actually begins in the mouth? As you chew your food digestive enzymes in your saliva begin to break down the food. Chewing your food more, increases the surface area of the food, allowing the enzymes to break down the food better.
This is an important part of digestion and will take some of the load off of your stomach and small intestine and will increase nutrient absorption.
Most of us take a bite of food, chew it 3 times and swallow with a gulp of water (or other beverage). This is really short changing your digestion. You need to thoroughly chew your food to get the maximum absorption of all the vitamins and minerals you are eating! No sense in letting all that Real Food goodness go to waste!
Other benefits of chewing food well:
- Saliva can make the food become more alkaline…which will lead to less gas, less bloating. (that's a bonus, right?).
- Helps to relax you as you take the time to enjoy your meal.
- Aids in the digestion of carbohydrates as the salivary enzymes are responsible for breaking those down.
- Gives your brain time to signal that you are full…preventing you from overeating!
- Smaller particles are better digested. Large food particles can sit in the intestines and putrefy (gross) leading to gas, bloating and discomfort.
So, how should you be chewing your food. You should chew slowly and a lot!
This may seem weird and forced but it is amazing how much better you feel after eating!
We are still working on incorporating this into our lives, but sometimes at dinner, my family focuses on 30 chews. My daughter even made up a song to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat…'Chew Chew Chew Your Food!”
Here are some tips to chew your food well:
- Chew your food until it is almost liquid.
- Try chewing each bite of food 30 times. As you get better at it, go for 50 times! (obviously some foods can't be chewed that long…mashed potatoes, pasta, etc. but you get the idea!)
- Try putting your fork down in between bites to really focus on chewing.
- Don't forget to chew your juices or smoothies.
- Take smaller bites and chew them thoroughly.
- Take another bite of food only after you have swallowed the first bite.
- Drink liquid or water AFTER you have swallowed your food.
Give chewing a try! Let us know if you feel a difference. I bet you will!!!!
This post featured at: