You pay a lot of attention to what you eat, but have you ever thought about how you eat? Yes, eating food the right way is as important as eating the right food.
Digestion begins in the mouth
When we start to chew, what we are mostly doing is tearing and grinding the food down into smaller bits, so that they’re easier to digest. You might have heard that it’s important to chew 32 times before swallowing. Doing this helps break down the food until it loses texture. For softer foods with higher water content, 10-15 times may be enough. Some harder foods may need up to 40 chews.
Saliva also helps our body get most of the nutrients from the food we eat. Hence gobbling food without keeping it in the mouth for the desired amount of time may end up hampering your nutrition too!
Why chew slowly?
Chewing more and at a slow pace has numerous benefits. Chewing produces certain enzymes, which signal the brain to start digestive enzyme production in the stomach. Chomping adequately till the food gets a soft, sticky texture, releases a more significant amount of salivary enzymes. This ensures that by the time the food passes through the esophagus and reaches the stomach, it is ready to be digested effectively.
Tips to improve your chewing game
- Keep your posture straight and head upright to support the right motion of chewing.
- Chew till the point where you normally feel ready to swallow
- Pay attention to your breathing to increase chewing time
- Avoid drinking water or other liquids during meals