Something to chew on

Something to chew on

Chew on this for a minute




Well think about it – does your stomach have teeth?

If you put whatever you just ate in your hands and mashed it about a bit, can you get it to a place where it’s small enough that your body can break it down the rest of the way into it’s un-see-able bits?

So your digestive system can pull off the vitamins, minerals and toxic chemicals, and bring all the good bits into your system through the walls of your intestines, sending the rest out as healthy poop. Can you? Or do you need something to chop it up a bit? Something like, oh I dunno – TEETH.

Chewing grinds your food up so your body can handle it.

Also, digestion begins in the mouth as soon as you even think about food, because, if you’re thinking about something yummy, you salivate and saliva begins to break down starches.

Chewing also helps create saliva. PLUS chewing mixes the food with the saliva, which is kinda important – think about mixing concrete, or cake batter, you add all your dry ingredients, chuck in some water, mix a bit and voila, if you didn’t mix it properly you have bunches of dry chunky stuff that is neither concrete nor cake. The mixing is important.

Chewing your food is one of the most important things you can do to improve your digestion and it’s FREE. It breaks down food better, mixes your food with saliva and is absolutely crucial to make it easier for the rest of your digestive system and intestinal tract.

This is gonna take some practice though, and you’re going to have to be patient with yourself, cause this is probably gonna feel weird, but we should be chewing our food at LEAST 30 times per mouthful! At LEAST!

Start to eat slower – count 25-30 chews – try using chopsticks to slow you down or put your fork down between each mouthful. Try being really present to the food, actually tasting and savoring it, pick out all the flavors, enjoy some conversation with loved ones (I know, call me old-fashioned), sip a little water. Take your time. You don’t need to be perfect, doesn’t matter if you can’t make it to 30 at first, just do more than you normally do and build it up. Make it a habit.

And don’t stop at 30, if you feel you need more chomps. Honestly, seriously, 70-100 is probably more appropriate for much of what we eat, I just didn’t want to freak you out with such a big number up front. So shoot for 30, shoot for 10-15 more than you do now, there’s no definitive answer here and there’s no ‘perfect’.

But cut your stomach and the rest of your digestive system some slack and use your pearly whites for their God given purpose, which is not just to flash a good smile.

Take advantage of the time to connect to your meal, really taste those wonderful flavors and enjoy nourishing your body with goodness.

About the author

Susan Vallelunga

Susan graduated as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in 2009. She has coached in a gym setting and private health clients. She has also coached students of Integrative Nutrition and continues to coach both private clients and health coaches. She is an avid learner of permaculture and self-reliance, getting back to basics and all the juicy things life has to offer.

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