Many digestive problems such as bloating, gas and general stomach discomfort can be alleviated by taking the time to carefully chew food. Chewing our food isn't just something we need to do in order to swallow it, it is actually the beginning of the digestive process. Just think that whatever food you don't chew properly, your stomach and intestines have to do later.
I think that most of us forget the reason behind eating, when we actually sit down at the table to eat (that's if you even sit at the table!)...we're sometimes reading, watching tv, talking on the phone or maybe even arguing. Really, food is meant to be savoured and enjoyed...not rushed.
You are helping your body in a few different ways, by chewing throughly;
- chewing longer ensures that your food is well saturated with saliva, which contains lot of enzymes to help break it down faster (carb digestion begins with the saliva)
- it prevents bacteria by eliminating the risk of incomplete digestion, since you're breaking it down into smaller pieces
- it prevents the heavy feeling that you sometimes feel after a meal. It takes a few minutes for your body to recognize it's full...this may also help you lose weight, because you may end up eating less!
- your brain will thank you, because you will enjoy the food more
And what are some tricks to help us slow our eating down?
- breathe, when your food comes to you take a minute to look at it and appreciate it...take a few deep breathes before you begin.
- break, between mouthfuls put your fork or spoon down while you chew.
- bite size, take smaller bites. Ever notice how much slower you eat when you are eating with chopsticks
It might seem weird at first, but really take the time to smell the food, think about the taste and texture of the food, while your chewing it. See how much more you begin to enjoy your eating!
In good health,