5 Reasons to Chew
1. Improved digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth when our teeth and the digestive enzymes in our saliva break down our food. We don’t want to miss this step! Chewing properly relieves stress on the esophagus and keeps the lower stomach muscle relaxed. This is key for those with a hiatal hernia, reflux or bloating. Chewing well also sends a signal for smooth travels to the rest of the digestive tract and in turn to the whole system. It's like telling your system - hey, I'm ready to send stuff down - all is clear! Get ready to nourish me!
2. Nutrient assimilation. Thoroughly chewed food aids nutrient assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb the optimal dietary benefits from each bite.
3. Satiety. When we chew well and break down our food, we tend to feel fuller faster and more satisfied, rather than inhaling our food, only to find we soon want another serving or we are hungry again soon after. Chewing unlocks the flavors in food and we certainly don't want to miss those! We may find we eat smaller meals when we take more time to chew.
4. Increased energy. Digestion, and poor digestion in particular, take up a lot of energy. Ever notice that you feel tired after eating a meal too quickly? The digestive tract and organs work together to sort out what goes where and what fuel to give you, so we can certainly help out by breaking down our food at step 1 - the mouth. You will be rewarded!
5. Mindfulness. Chewing promotes mindful and conscious eating. Taking time to chew and savor a meal feeds our emotional health. It allows for more enjoyment, a feeling of abundance or gratitude, a moment to thank those who made our meal possible, from farmer to chef, or a few extra moments to breathe or be with a friend.