Bite-Sized Facts About Chewing
The last time you ate, did you ever think about how long you chewed or if you chewed it enough to digest properly? Most people don’t because it is an unconscious reflex. But researchers are discovering what your grandmother probably told you about eating your food properly is scientifically sound.
We may be running around and trying to finish our meals to get from one place to the other but here are ten reasons why you should slow down and chew. It could significantly impact your health.
Chewing Kickstarts Your Digestive System
Chewing initiates digestion
The act of chewing tells the rest of your gastrointestinal system to start the digestive process.
How Much To Chew
Chew until your food is a paste
Chewing your food to the point that you can no longer identify what you’re eating based on the texture. This means the food until it is a fine paste with lumps. If you gulp down the foods, the large clumps and can move into the intestine where it rots and can make you sick.
Good For Teeth
Chewing helps strengthen your teeth
The chewing process is good for your teeth. The bones holding your teeth get a “workout” helping to keep them strong. The saliva is also beneficial to help clear food particles from your mouth and wash away bacteria to create less plaque buildup and tooth decay.
Saliva breaks down and digests food too
Before it hits your stomach, it acts as an antibacterial. Saliva also has digestive enzymes that start breaking down your food and makes it easier for your stomach and small intestine. Lingual lipase is an enzyme in saliva that helps break down fats and also lubricates the food making it easier on your esophagus.
Save yourself from an upset stomach
Chewing also sends messages down to your stomach telling it what is coming so that it can prepare the right amount of acids to break it down. The chewing process predigests your food and partially liquefies it to make it easier to digest for your body. Digestion in the stomach and small intestine is a very demanding task for your body and requires a lot of energy if it is forced to digest improperly chewed food.
Chewing helps with blood flow
Chewing food helps to get more oxygen into your brain and allows you to think more clearly.
Even your mouth absorbs nutrients
Chewing helps to break down the food into smaller particles before it enters the rest of the digestive system. The enzymes in saliva and digestive enzymes also help assist in digestion. There is also an enzyme called Amylase which breaks down starches and carries them directly into your blood stream through the flesh in your mouth. This allows your body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods you eat.
Large pieces of food rot in your stomach
You risk incomplete digestion when you swallow larger pieces of food. This also means that some of the food you eat don’t get broken down and allow the nutrients to enter your system. Pieces of food that are too big can cause bacterial overgrowth and create gas.
Chewing can help prevent overeating
Taking your time to chew food allows you to enjoy the food you eat more and helps to prevent you from overeating. It takes 20 minutes of eating for your body to recognize that it is full. The slower you eat and take the time to chew your food the easier it is for you to digest and stop you from overeating.
Chew gun before you’re about to start a meal
Chewing gum sends signals to your body that food is going to enter the stomach. The enzymes and acids are activated, but no food enters the stomach. This can cause bloating, overproduction of stomach acid, and even compromise your ability to produce the sufficient amount of secretions when you do eat food.
Chewing gum also can cause temporomandibular joint disorder, which can become a painful and chronic condition.