It's your local nutrition train conductor giving you the latest and greatest tips to improve your health. Actually, this is a pic from my princess days. I was Thomas for a day. It fit so appropriately with the topic of this post - Chewing your food - that I couldn't resist. Clever, huh? Sometimes I really do impress myself.
Have you ever found yourself multitasking while you eat? Driving and eating? Gulping down a drink with a mouth full of food? Taking extra large bites and attempting to gracefully swallow the large lump of food?
I know you're busy. Places to go. People to see. You eat more for taste than for nutrients. Here's the deal though, if you want the energy to effectively do whatever you're doing, chewing your food helps. And you'll feel better. Your skin will glow. You'll also win the lottery.
Two benefits of chewing your food well:
Chewing helps you digest food. Not only does chewing break the food down into easy to swallow mush, it also provides you with digestive enzymes. Our saliva is rich in alpha-amylase and lingual lipase. These fancy words help us break down fats and carbohydrates. What happens in our mouths is the first step in dynamic process of digestion. Even thinking about something "mouth-watering" will start the digestive process rolling. When you properly digest food, not only do you have better nutrient absorption, you'll also have less gas. And won't that make everyone happy?
Chewing your food helps you lose weight. It takes about 15-20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain "Hey, I've had enough." When you chew and swallow repeatedly, instead of chew chew chew and swallow, you end up eating a lot more food. 5 to 10 minutes into it, you think you're still hungry when you're not. You continue eating and the next thing you know, you're stuffed. Eat less, weigh less. This is one important part of the equation.
Chewing food is an investment in your future health. As mentioned above, chewing helps with the digestive process. When food isn't properly digested, it creates excess bacteria in the body. Excess bacteria is like toxic sludge. It gets in the way of your immune system to properly fight off new free radical damage, the colon to properly, er, release toxins, and can lead to candida /yeast overgrowth. Another great article summary on the importance of chewing your food.
Two more quick tips -
1) A great article on how chewing will help improve eczema (see I told you it was good for your skin).
Make up a ditty about eating. That's how parents can get kids to do all sorts of things they normally wouldn't. We are no different in that way. Distract the pattern of gulping with a little rhythm and you'll remember to slow down.
Imagine you, with glowing skin, toned body, feeling confident with people complimenting you on how great you look. Associate that with chewing food. Think of that image/scene right before you eat. Once you do that a few times, it will start to become habit to slow down and chew.
Have a chewing contest with whoever you share a meal with. You might not be able to convince a stranger, but a friend or family member is obliged to help. See who can chew more slowly. Involve money, freedom from house chores, or a vacation as a prize.