By not chewing food enough and properly, you are doing your body’s health a lot of injustice. Many researchers have found that there are good and health benefits of chewing food on your digestion, weigh and general satisfaction. Here’s what you should know about not chewing food properly.
Dr. Mercola, in an article titled Eating More Slowly Benefits Your Health and Waistline notes that, in a study done by a nutrition journal, you consume fewer calories over the course of a meal when you eat slowly. What does this mean? Eating more slowly is generally a result of chewing food properly. People who eat faster are likely to not chew their food as required, which not only has side effects on digestion but also on the general nutrient absorption in the gut. So, what is the importance of chewing food enough?
Importance of Chewing Food
The process of chewing food in the mouth is called mastication. It is a mechanical process and has to be done the right way. You must know how many times, at least, to grind your food, and for how long. Digestion does not just start in the stomach, but in your mouth. So, why is it important to chew your food properly? Here are the benefits.
- Proper mastication breaks down food chemically. Larger amounts of food molecules are broken down into smaller particles. This will increase the surface area for enzyme action in the stomach and even in the mouth where digestion stars as noted above.
- The process ensures that food is well mixed with saliva and lubricated for easy passage in the digestive tract.
- Durable Health notes that the process of chewing your food well enough “relaxes the lower stomach muscle.”
- It stimulates and starts off the rest of the digestive process. Studies have revealed that taste receptors are activated well enough during the mastication stage. In addition, it makes the nervous system to “relay information to the gastrointestinal system to optimize the process of digestion.” [Fitday.com]
Not Chewing Food and Digestion, Acid Reflux
What happens if you don’t chew your food enough? Did you know that chewing food and digestion are the same process? According to Mercola on the benefits of mastication, easier digestion is achieved when you spend time to chew your food properly.
US News, on giving tips for Acid Reflux Relief advices that one of the best ways to prevent acid reflux is to stop “wolfing down your meals.” Not chewing food properly or well enough is now known to be one of the causes of acid reflux and indigestion problems such as stomach upsets.
Causes of Not Chewing Food Well
But what will cause you not to take your time to eat well? Rush eating, hyperactivity, stress and many other reasons cause people not to eat slowly. According to WebMD, “Most Americans eat too fast, and, as a result, they take in too many calories before they realize they’ve eaten enough.”
Chewing Food and Weight Loss (Does it Make You Fat?)
Does not chewing food make you fat or gain weight? Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, writing on the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic discovered that her sister’s secret to a trim figure was eating slowly; slower than the rest of the family. Over the past couple of years, there have been claims that chewing food properly aids in weight loss because you take in less calories compared to when you do it quickly.
Japanese studies have been able to prove that when you eat slowly, you feel full faster, which means you take in fewer calories. This will definitely help you with your weight loss goals. When you eat less, you definitely prevent weight gain because of the controlled calorie intake.
Not Chewing Food Properly or Enough: Symptoms, Side Effects
It can be quite a difficult thing to tell, but there are actual symptoms of not chewing food well enough or thoroughly before swallowing. There is quite some good science behind chewing your food the way it is supposed to be done according to the researches we have already pointed out. So, what are the symptoms of not chewing your food adequately?
- Acid Reflux and Digestive Problems: Most foods, especially carbohydrates, need thorough chewing. According to MicroBiotic Organization, “Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing stimulates the salivary glands to release ptyalin, an alkaline enzyme, which mixes with carbohydrates and begins to break them down into simpler sugars.” If you do not take your time to chew carbs, you will start experiencing symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn and sometimes constipation.
- Weight Gain: Another symptom of not crushing and grinding your food as required is weight gain. If you eat fast, you are prone to taking in too much calories than you might have even realized. This will cause weigh gain, and as some researchers point out, the weight will first show around your waistline.
- Mood Problems: As funny as it may sound, poor eating and mastication will damage your mood. When the digestion process is not well initiated and completed, you are likely to have a lot of gas in the stomach, which is reportedly bad for your mood.
Chewing is important in the metabolism of protein as it is with carbohydrates. Therefore, you will notice carnivorous animals having the tendency of not chewing well enough. Most people who are used to eating animal product eat faster and don’t masticate their food adequately. This may be fine because no digestion of protein happens in the oral cavity. Carnivorous animals must however eat quickly. But for you, when was the last time you felt you had to finish a meal before a predator made a meal out of you? So take your time and
This may be fine because no digestion of protein happens in the oral cavity. Carnivorous animals must however eat quickly. But for you, when was the last time you felt you had to finish a meal before a predator made a meal out of you? So take your time and eat slowly.
WebMD: Eating too Fast
AsiaOne: Preventing Acid Reflux
MacroBiotic: The Importance of Chewing