Have you thought about how long it takes to chew your food? Probably not. For most people, chewing is an act that is performed without much awareness of it. However, chewing food for an adequate time is a relevant part of digesting process. This very natural action directly affects how we process our food’s nutrients, affecting our overall health.
These are the five most important reasons to chew your next meal more slowly and consciously.
Increases saliva production.
Saliva production is vital for processing food and acts in the digestion process preventing reflux in a big way. The salivation process prevents heartburn because it maintains the alkaline pH and balances the acids produced when eating food. Also, saliva helps prevent the appearance of gastritis.
Saliva contains two powerful enzymes that play a significant role in digestion. One is called Amylase, and the other is Lipase. The function of this enzyme is to break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Lipase, for its part, works as a natural chemical element that breaks down fat in our body.
Chewing produces saliva. So, the slower you chew, the more saliva production is stimulated in your body.
Promotes the absorption of nutrients.
The more nutrients the body can absorb, the greater the amount of energy it produces. For the body to properly absorb nutrients, it must use saliva. This is what will encourage nutrients to enter the bloodstream.
By chewing more slowly, the food is better crushed and thus can be broken down much more efficiently.
Helps maintain a healthy weight.
This benefit of slowly chewing your food is related to the fact that it allows you to feel more satiated. In addition, the feeling of fullness will be completed more quickly. By chewing food more slowly, the digestive system has more time to send signals to the brain indicating the presence of food.
This means that you will have to eat less food than you are used to. This can help you keep your weight in the ideal state.
Likewise, the possibility of feeling bloated, hiccups, or gas at the end of your meal is minimised.
It greatly benefits your teeth.
The bones and muscles of the mouth are exercised when you chew, which helps keep them strong. The gums are also strengthened in this process. This is due to the musculature surrounding the jaw and its movement when performing the act of chewing.
When chewing slowly, the muscles harden and relax. This continuous movement of contraction, when done 15 to 30 times in each bite, strengthens the entire jaw.
Food is better enjoyed.
A plus in the benefits of slowly chewing is that you learn to enjoy food more. The taste of food spending more time in the mouth can be perceived with greater appreciation.
This happens because it is when chewed well that food releases its flavours. The taste buds on the tongue better capture the flavour of foods when chewed slowly.
Schedule an appointment with our team of professionals so we can help you optimise your oral health.