Did you know that chewing your food has an even more important role than just preventing tummy ache? In fact chewing, or ‘masticating’, food is where the process of digestions all begins.
So if you are one of those people who tends to eat in a hurry, and often swallows large chunks of food without chewing, here are some very important reasons why you should slow down and start to chew your food properly!
- Easier to digest - The process of chewing your food helps to break down your meal into smaller and much more digestible pieces. Without this process, food would sit in the stomach for much longer, being slowly broken down in the stomach acid and possibly passing through before it is ready, which will hinder the entire digestive process.
- Saliva breaks downs starches - As already mentioned, the digestive process begins in the mouth. Not just with the process of chomping food down into more digestible pieces, but also due to the saliva in the mouth as it works to break down the starches into simple sugars that are being digested before you even swallow.
- Saliva aids in propulsion - The lubrication saliva adds to food helps it to be slowly propelled along the digestive tract. This means that by chewing your food thoroughly, you are ensuring that each mouthful is properly saturated with saliva.
- Reduce gas and bloating - When food that has only been partially chewed enter your intestines, bacteria accumulates to work to break it down. This basically means the food begins to putrefy in your guts. When this happens it can cause gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation and other digestive problems.
- More awareness = healthier weight - When you pay attention to chewing your food, you will naturally eat slower. In doing this you will become more aware of when you are satisfied and be less likely to overeat. This will help prevent you overfeeding yourself and regulate your body at a healthy weight.
- Strengthens your gums and teeth - The process of chewing against resistance (food) actually strengthens your gums and bones of your teeth. By keeping them active and working, you are likely to keep your mouth healthy and whole for longer!
- Makes eating more enjoyable - Take the time to enjoy eating your food. Even if you are very hungry, there is no point in gulping it down before you have even tasted it!
Obviously some foods will require more chewing than others, however making sure you eat with awareness each and every time will not only help you become healthier, it will also enhance your eating experience.