Have you ever wonder why your mother used to tell you to chew your food all of the time? In most cases, your mother figured that you didn’t know how to chew your food properly and she worried that you were going to choke. This may be true, but there are other health benefits to chewing properly. It’s funny how these instructions are passed on from generation to generation, but no one can tell you why.
Most of us have forgotten how to properly chew our food because we are TOO BUSY. Hey, I am just as guilty as the next person.
We eat on the run. We forget to eat. We forget to chew! No wonder you feel like choking and you are looking for the glass of water before the hiccups start! Your breathing is not coinciding with your swallowing and all the sudden your diaphragm is contracting uncontrollably (the bottom line: you are swallowing more air than chewing) and you are struck with a case of hiccups. Want to avoid hiccupping? Easy—don’t eat or drink so fast! Get the picture?
Why is it so important to chew your food properly?
The first step to processing your food is chewing. This is also known as mastication. If you chew your food anywhere from 25-40 times per bite (continue to chew until there is nothing to chew in your mouth), you are aiding your digestion and increasing nutrient absorption processing. HOW?? By chewing thoroughly and combining it with your saliva, you will start the digestion process in your mouth and your body will be able to absorb more nutrients and produce more energy quicker. (Source: webmd.com)
Did you know that saliva contains digestive enzymes? So the more chews per bite full, the more food breaks down into an easier digestive state and the quicker nutrients are absorbed. The food coated with saliva will slide down in your esophagus faster and easier. You will find yourself drinking less because you don’t have to wash down the food.
After chewing, your tongue will force food into the back of your throat towards the pharynx for swallowing. Once food reaches the back of the throat, sensory receptors are stimulated. More receptors will be triggered if the food is broken down into small pieces. When we eat too fast and don’t chew thoroughly, improperly digested food can lodge somewhere in the inner folds of the stomach and/or intestines causing inflammation and diseases.
So give your digestion a break by not making it work so hard. Take a little more time to chew thoroughly, taste and enjoy your food at the table. Be good to yourself and your digestive tract by being aware how you eat.
The Healing Place has helped hundreds of adults and children to find long-lasting relief from chronic pain, digestive issues and heal hormonal imbalances naturally.
Helen Chin Lui is a Certified Reflexologist, Certified Energy Medicine and Reiki Practitioner. She is the founder and owner of the Healing Place in Medfield, MA. She specializes in helping people with chronic digestive disorders. For her free report “Proven Alternative Ways to Heal Common Chronic Digestive Problems: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Keep You From Healing” click here.