Although what you eat is important, how you eat deserves equal attention.
Research shows chewing thoroughly and eating slowly helps prevent weight gain, improves digestion, and is less stressful on the body. You want to facilitate good digestion, which directly influences the health of the immune system.
Chewing your food thoroughly suppresses appetite.
A series of recent studies show chewing each bite thoroughly reduces appetite, lowers caloric intake, and can aid weight loss. That’s because the hormones that leave us feeling satiated don’t kick in until 20 to 40 minutes after you begin eating.
Chewing thoroughly and eating more slowly can be one way to aid weight loss. The process of digestion begins in the mouth, not the stomach.
Saliva contains enzymes that begin the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Exposing food to saliva for longer periods of time in your mouth creates less stress on the rest of the digestive tract, which frees up more energy so you feel better.
Taking the time to eat slowly and consciously also gives the digestive tract larger notice to secrete stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, gallbladder bile, and other chemicals to completely digest your food for maximum nutrient absorption.
By wolfing down your meal, instead, you throw improperly digested food into an unprepared digestive system, which can create symptoms of bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, or stomach pain.
The health of the digestive system is extremely important. The immune system resides largely in the gut, which makes improving digestive health and repairing intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut,” vital to improve your immune response. Chewing your food thoroughly will help improve gut health.
Healthier foods require more chewing.
You may have noticed that many processed and fast foods are so easy to chew you hardly need teeth. Whole foods, on the other hand, tend to require more chewing. Simply choosing a whole foods diet free of refined foods can encourage you to chew more thoroughly.
You may need some outside reinforcement to develop a better chewing habit.
Here are some ideas:
- Take the time to sit down and calmly eat a meal
- Take small bites
- Count so you chew each mouthful 32 or more times—until your food is completely liquid
- Pay attention to the taste, texture, and flavour of your meals; avoid reading or watching TV while eating
- Try to make meals into lengthy, relaxing occasions as often as possible.