Are You Chewing Your Food Correctly?

Improper chewing can harm your digestion. Eating slowly is considered healthier advice than eating quickly, which our parents often give us. But it’s not just about swallowing; how you chew your food can affect more than just your ability to swallow. Let’s delve into this further.

Chewing And Digesting Food

It’s interesting to know that digestion begins in the mouth. That’s why it’s crucial to chew your food thoroughly for proper digestion. Saliva plays a vital role in breaking down your food. When you chew, your salivary glands work harder and produce more saliva. Saliva aids in breaking down carbohydrates and fats, helps with swallowing, and stimulates stomach acid production.

Insufficient chewing can lead to several problems, including the following:

1. Overeating

Eating too quickly may cause you to chew your food inadequately and disregard your body’s signals of fullness. This can result in overeating, which increases the risk of developing “metabolic syndrome.” This condition raises the likelihood of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

2. Digestive Issues

Insufficient chewing can cause you to swallow larger, unchewed pieces instead of smaller, well-chewed bits. This can make it difficult for enzymes and bile in your stomach to break down the food effectively. Consequently, undigested food may ferment due to bacteria in your stomach, leading to increased bacterial growth. This can result in bloating, gas, indigestion, and constipation, as described by Johanna P. Salazar, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Healing Nutrition.

3. Heartburn

When you chew your food, your stomach produces a specific acid called hydrochloric acid. However, if you don’t chew your food sufficiently, your stomach won’t produce enough acid to properly break down the food. This can lead to a condition known as heartburn.

4. Nutrients

Thoroughly chewing your food is vital for optimal nutrition. Insufficient chewing means that the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your food won’t break down completely. Consequently, your small intestine won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients.

To ensure proper chewing, Salazar recommends chewing each bite around twenty to thirty times. Make sure your food is fully mashed before swallowing. By paying attention to your chewing habits and giving your food a proper chew, you’ll maximize the benefits of your meals!


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