Chew Well

Chew Well

Why should we chew well?

The advice of chewing well our food has been heard by many of us especially from our elders, who would ask us to chew our food 32 times.

Some of us followed it too. The fact that chewing well our food provides us with a number of benefits is widely accepted. While we understand the need for it yet most of us are not able to follow it and do not do it in a sustained way.

It will be easy for us to stick to the habit of chewing our food well once we clearly understand the immense benefits of this single habit.

A first mandatory step in the process of digestion

The first step in digestion is Chewing or mastication. Chewing breaks the food into smaller sizes. While chewing, more saliva is produced, which mixes with the food.

The food is broken into smaller particles and mixed with saliva and other enzymes secreted in the mouth to help in the proper digestion of food.

Benefits of Chewing well

  • Helps easy swallowing of food.
  • When we chew well more saliva is added which also lowers the acidity.
  • Saliva also helps in breaking down fat.
  • Well chewed food is found to be helpful in bloating and gas etc.
  • Absorption of nutrients is made easy; well-chewed food which has been reduced into tiny particles decreases the workload of the rest of the digestive system and helps in the effective absorption of the nutrients.
  • Mindfully eating leads to enjoyment in having food.
  • Well-chewed food assists the process of digestion.
  • Helps in weight management as when we chew our food properly the feeling of satiety comes with less quantity of food-you see the mind sends a signal that the stomach is full after around 20 minutes of eating. So, if you eat slowly and chew well, you feel full with less food and do not overeat.

How to develop the habit of chewing well and eating slowly?

  • Eating in a relaxed state of mind makes food enjoyable and helps in digestion.
  • Sit while eating- as parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest system) is needed for the digestion of food, and the same gets activated when we sit and eat.
  • You can keep in mind how many times you are going to chew each bite, Initially, you will do this with some sort of attention but slowly it will assume the form of habit and automatically you will chew the food over a longer time.
  • Not using the mobile phone or watching the screen is an essential step to mindful eating. You remain conscious of the quantity of food you eat and can also enjoy the same when such distractions are avoided.
  • Have small bites; the next bite shall be picked up only when the bite in the mouth has been thoroughly chewed and the mouth is empty.
  • Having small size spoons and forks also helps in portion control thus making chewing easy.

Thus, we find that chewing properly is the key to better digestion. So start eating properly and find the benefit of relaxed, slow and mindful eating.


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