Simple Foods Simple Health

Chewing and Proper Digestion

October 1, 2017
A picture of a woman biting into an orange slice with the blog post title "Chewing and proper digestion"

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Did you know that digestion actually begins with your mouth? We always think of biting and chewing, but without chewing our food fully, your body will not digest your food completely.

When you take a bite of food and begin to chew, digestive enzymes are released into the saliva which begins to break down the food you are eating. Thoroughly chewing your food also allows the release of vital nutrients. If you do not chew your food fully, your body will not release all of the digestive enzymes that it needs for digestion and you will not absorb all of the available nutrients in the food you are eating.

The more you chew your food, the more enzymes are released and the easier the digestive process is on your digestive system.

Chewing properly for digestion

Many people go through life unaware of how many times they should chew their food for the greatest digestive benefit. Even fewer know how to really savor the flavor of the food that they are eating. As a result, they almost swallow their food whole, which puts extra stress on the digestive system because it doesn’t have the enzymes it needs to! You should aim to chew each bite at least 30 to 50 times until the food becomes more of a liquid consistency. Chewing that well breaks down the food, which makes it far easier on the stomach and intestines.

The saliva used to liquefy the food during the chewing process assists in the digestion of any carbohydrates. It also helps to make the food more alkaline….and that means less gas and fewer embarrassing moments!

During your meal:

  1. Don’t forget to put down your utensils in between bites
  2. Give yourself a chance to fully taste and savor each bite.
  3. Don’t be a distracted eater…watching tv, reading, working on your computer while eating. Focus on eating.
  4. Learn to truly enjoy your food.
  5. Enjoy good conversation with others over a meal. We typically eat more slowly when talking with friends and family while eating.
  6. After your meal, sit and talk with others.
  7. Take a nice walk to help digestion.

These things can help to improve your digestion.  And they can help to prevent digestive discomfort and other ailments of the digestive system.