Why is it important to chew our food well?
A customer – a lady in her 70s – talked with me about how difficult it was to digest food, and she went to food as a comfort whilst watching the “boring” television, more so after the death of her husband.
We talked some more about the qualities of nuts (protein rich) and how they are suitable for eating with dried fruit: Eating nuts with food may slow down the uptake of sugars, according to some studies; “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism” in 2006, “Diabetes Care” in 2009.
We talked about how important it is to chew the food completely. Her mother had told her this, and she’d not thought of that for a number of years.
Here’s two really important reasons why we should chew our food well:
- It takes 45 minutes for the stomach to reach peak acidity. At this time, our bodies become naturally satiated and we feel full.
- Starch is broken down by amylase in our saliva. Without chewing well food can pass undigested through our bodies, leading to discomfort, distension and bloating.
I’ve seen people with oesophageal issues caused by bolting foods!
So how to go about changing a habit of a lifetime and slow down when eating foods?
Though modern life often gets in the way, find a way to share lunch and supper. And breakfast! Even if you eat it on a bus going to school or work take your time:
- Put your sandwich, cutlery or bowl down between mouthfuls.
- If you’re by yourself, a trick is to count the number of chews and aim for about 40. When food is chewed to a liquid, that’s the right consistency. Likewise, spend time swilling liquid foods like smoothies round your mouth. (Gandhi said “Chew your drink and drink your foods!” And this Indian saint almost died fasting a number of times!)
- Talk between mouthfuls if you are with friends.
- Learn to become aware of the food and drink you swallow traveling down the oesophagus and into the stomach. This is something we are often unaware of.
It’s important we take our time eating.
The healthiest cultures around the world are those who eat unprocessed, carefully made foods, and who have a strong family focus around eating.
It’s satisfying to point others in the direction of being as healthy as they can be. If you agree, please share this post with a friend or family member.