As you ate your breakfast this morning, did you give any thought as to how long or how thoroughly you chewed? The answer is most likely not. We often are so excited to eat or are in such a rush to eat that we do not properly chew our food. We usually take a few bites and then swallow, eagerly anticipating the next bite, but the chewing process is actually extremely important for keeping healthy. It serves as the very first step in the digestive process, turning food into fuel for our bodies.
There are many benefits for properly chewing food:
- It aids in beginning the digestive process. The smaller the particles, the easier it is for your intestines and digestive system to absorb nutrients. If large particles or improperly digested food enters the bloodstream, a variety of effects on your health may occur.
- It helps you maintain a healthy, stable weight. The longer you chew, the longer it takes to finish a meal. Your brain requires time to process that you are full and satisfied, so this may aid in eating less and feeling fuller.
- Saliva aids in fighting off bacteria in food that may be harmful to the digestive tract. If food is swallowed too quickly, that bacteria may still be present and may release in the intestinal system, alongside gas.
Now, you may ask, how do I know if I am chewing properly? The following are some guidelines for proper chewing:
- Make sure you chew your food enough so that the texture is even throughout
- Take smaller bites
- Finish swallowing before taking another bite or taking a drink
- Chew slowly
In a recently published research, chewing was related to a protective neurological effect through the interaction of preserved chewing with trophic factors responsible for brain health, including prevention of dementia!
If you are interested in learning more benefits from chewing properly or want to discuss nutrition with a medical professional, call our office at 516-746-1103 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Druz! Next time you take a bite, remember these tips so you chew properly and thoroughly!