Chew Your Way to Health
Think about the last meal you ate. Did you give any thought to how long you chewed each bite? Probably not: most people chew out of habit without considering exactly how they do it. As soon as you put a bite of food into your mouth, you probably chew and swallow it automatically. We tend to be so busy these days that we eat on the run or in a hurry, and we fail to take the time to chew our food properly. This has some surprising effects on our bodies, as the chewing process is more important than many people realise. Here’s why.
Chewing allows you to absorb more nutrients from your food
When you chew your food, you break down large particles into smaller particles your body can digest more easily. This breaking down makes it easier for your intestines to absorb the nutrients present in the food as it passes through. When you fail to chew your food for long enough, larger food particles may pass through your body undigested, wasting important nutrients and energy.
Chewing helps you maintain a healthy weight
When you take more time to chew each bite of food, it takes you longer to finish your meal. Eating slowly is a good thing because it can help you eat less, feel fuller sooner, cut down on weight gain, and even potentially lose weight. Consider chewing your food twice as long as usual to control your portion sizes and decrease your calorie consumption.
Chewing exposes your food to more saliva
The longer you chew, the more time the digestive enzymes in your saliva have to break down the food, making digestion easier. One of the enzymes present is lingual lipase, an enzyme with the important job of breaking down fats. Saliva lubricates your food and makes swallowing it easier on your oesophagus.
It’s not just about nutrition: when you take your time and chew each bite thoroughly, you give yourself a chance to slow down and truly enjoy the taste of your food. When you make the most of each meal by spending time savouring it, you end up eating less overall. This strategy puts an end to mindless eating, a major source of excess calories. Start chewing your food more for an almost effortless way to improve your health and manage your weight.