Chewing your food completely is an often overlooked part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are like most people, you lead such a busy life that meal time is cut down to a fraction of what it should be. Have you ever timed yourself when eating? How long does it take you to finish a meal? Is it ten minutes? Twenty minutes? Five minutes? If you fall into these time frames, chances are you are not chewing your food properly. Read on to unforgettable the reasons why chewing your food completely is so important to good health.
Most people think that digestion begins in the stomach. This is not true. Digestion actually starts in the mouth. Saliva in your mouth contains enzymes that are important to food digestion. One of the enzymes that your saliva contains is called alpha amylase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the starch that you eat into smaller molecules that the cells in your body can use for energy. When your food is not chewed properly, the alpha amylase in your saliva does not have the opportunity to break down these starches, leaving body cells starved.
Another important enzyme in your saliva is lingual lipase. This enzyme is secreted by glands located under the tongue. Lingual lipase starts digesting the fat content found in the food that you eat.
Do you find yourself feeling bloated and gassy after eating? You are not chewing your food properly. When you do not chew your food thoroughly, this will result in incomplete digestion. Large particles of food will pass into the colon and become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to bacterial overgrowth, indigestion and flatulence. Not chewing your food completely will also result in just a portion of the nutrients being released from your food.
Properly chewed food is important for a healthy lower GI tract. There is a muscle that sits at the bottom of your stomach. This muscle must relax to enable food to pass from the stomach and into the small intestine. When your food contains large amounts of saliva, this will help the muscle to relax and the food can pass into the small intestine easily.
So how many times should you chew a bite of food? It is impossible to give an definitive answer to this question. There are plenty of variables that would come into play. For example, you would need to chew a piece of meat a lot more than you would need to chew a piece of bread. A good way to tell if your food has been chewed properly is to chew until you can no longer recognize the food by the texture. If you are chewing a carrot and are still able to tell it is a carrot by the texture in your mouth, then you need to chew it a lot more before you swallow.
Not only does chewing your food completely lead to a healthier lifestyle, it will also bring out the flavor in the foods that you eat. Chewing your food completely will make all of your meals more enjoyable.
Source by Lambert Klein