Importance of chewing

Whats new in that?  You might say. Chewing of food is as innate as breathing for air and hence, most of us find this solution to be very trivial. You might think it is so logical to chew the food when it enters the mouth, how can anyone go wrong it that. But before waving it off lets  munch on a few of the facts:

Chew your food 32 times. The number is not a magic number. It is just trying to tell you to chew the food enough number of times. The moment you place the food in the mouth the process of breaking down the food starts. Chewing increases the surface area of the food thus enabling a better mix of saliva and food. The enzymes in the saliva break the food into smaller bits reducing the stress on the stomach to digest.

By grinding the food in the mouth, there is very little work left for the stomach. Easier digestion in the stomach means lesser emptying time of the food from the stomach and the intestine which prevents the growth of yeast and bacteria that would otherwise thrive on the food that stays for a prolonged time in the gut.

By reducing the stress on the stomach, the body saves a lot of energy. This spares you with a lot of energy to remain active throughout the day. Not chewing enough could be a major reason of you feeling heavy and sleepy right after the meals, not the dahi or the rice.

Chewing the food thoroughly  also increases the time each morsel stays in the mouth slowing the entire process of eating. This time allows the brain to signal the nervous system to stop when you are full. This mechanism is what one defines conscious eating.

The movement of chewing also activates the enteric nervous system to start the production of acids and activate the enzymes for the incoming food. By preparing the gut with ideal pH and required enzymes, the absorption and assimilation of the nutrients takes place optimally.

One of the major byproduct of chewing the food is that it helps you stay skinny and avoid obesity.

If you are suffering from any gut related problems, one of the ways to alleviate the symptoms is to get the art of chewing right. After all healthy gut is healthy body and mind.

Use your teeth while you can. The chewing action allows the muscles of the teeth to get their share of exercise they need thus, improving its health.

Symptoms to look out for if you are not chewing your food well:

  1. Feeling sleepy, heavy or groggy right after meals?
  2. Feeling bloated or acidic post meals
  3. Overeat often
  4. Finish your meals in 10 minutes
  5. Weight Gain
  6. Low on energy

Steps to chewing the food the right way:

  1. Take small bites.
  2. Keep your spoon or fork down while you are chewing on the food.
  3. Keep chewing on the food till the food has liquefied in the mouth.
  4. Chew slowly.
  5. Get away from any disturbance that would prevent you from eating mindfully.

While chewing the food is of great importance to gain the above benefits, one need to follow various other guidelines of eating and eating healthy to get best results.