The Importance of Chewing Food: 11 Benefits & Actionable Steps
The most important aspect of nutrition is the one that most of the people do not pay attention to – chewing! Just because it is so logical to chew food, like breathing, people seem to neglect it. And I speak from experience when I say that I used to be proud of being the first one finishing my meal, inhaling my food like it was a contest. I thought this was ‘normal‘. Is this what happened to you or it is still happening to you?
I am asking this because this whole article you are about to read is going to reveal the importance of chewing food, how many times is okay to chew your food, steps to chew your food properly and what happens if you over chew. I hope you are ready to discover the truth and take some action – if you feel like changing your life for the better right now.
11 Facts on the Importance of Chewing
#1. Chewing your food helps you stay skinny and avoid obesity
By chewing your food properly, you will actually eat less. Why? You are eating so much food because your brain never gets the signal of being full in time, due to inhaling the food. When you are chewing it, your brain knows when to tell your stomach ‘I am done, no more eating for now‘.
#2. It also helps you enjoy your food
How will you fully enjoy the food if you inhale it? You will not have time to taste it. By chewing, you will start to analyze the taste and get to know yourself and what you truly like when it comes to food.
#3. What about talking and expressing your emotions better? Chewing helps too.
We have muscles everywhere, even in our mouth! By not exercising them, we lose the ability to speak the words clearly and to express emotions with our facial expression. If you want people to understand you, you know what to do – chew your food better! (not a joke)
#4. Can you get smarter by chewing food?
You have not thought of this, haven’t you? (I will be honest, I did not know about this myself) Indeed, by chewing we increase the blood flowing to the brain, stimulating it. This leads to better development of intelligence in children and memory loss in adults. Pretty cool I must say.
#5. It helps you have healthy teeth
When we chew, we produce saliva and saliva is washing away food debris and the bacteria that was left in our mouths. Because of this, we don’t get cavities or gingivitis. If you are scared of the dentist just like I am, you will take your chewing seriously!
#6. An important factor in preventing cancer
Cancer is one of the most frightening diseases out there and I am sure you want to do all in your power to stay away from it. Looks like by chewing the enzyme called peroxidase, which is in the saliva, is suppressing carcinogens in food, preventing cancer.
#7. What to do to have a healthy digestive system? Chew your food!
Digestion starts in the mouth. By chewing properly, you are helping all the organs that take part in the digestive process, especially the stomach and the intestines. Just think about it: if you swallow your food, your stomach does not get the signal regarding ‘how much acid and enzymes do you need?‘ and most of the time secrets just a bit.
This would not be such a big problem, but instead of having to break down very small particles of food, now it has 1×1 inch of meat to digest in an environment that is not prepared for it. So, it passes it over to the intestines, where the food gets stuck in the walls and it starts to putrefy, potentially leading to gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping, and other digestive problems.
Not to mention, that in time, you might get autoimmune diseases, because your gut gets compromised and you will get small holes in your intestines where food will invade your bloodstream and contaminate it. This is a really serious thing, next time you get bloated or have a stomach ache, think about chewing.
#8. Helps you stay active
Most of the people binge on coffee, energy drinks, and sweet things because they feel powerless throughout the day. I hear people all the time complaining about having no energy. How can you change all this? By chewing your food properly! When digestion takes place how it was meant to be, you won’t lose all of your energy to digestion and have plenty of it left for your activities.
Have you ever felt really heavy and sleepy after a big meal? You might think this is ‘normal‘, but it is not. After each meal, you should feel energetic and not sleepy. If you feel tired you either ate too much or did not chew your food. How do you want to feel after each meal?
#9. You will also absorb more nutrients
As I said above, when your digestive system works perfectly, all your food is broken into ‘good things‘ for the body and ‘waste‘. When you don’t have time for chewing, your stomach/intestines won’t have time for digesting and then your ‘waste‘ bag will be much bigger than the ‘good things‘ bag. This means that your body will push you to crave more food in order to satisfy its needs.
#10. Connect with others and receive Primary Food
When you sit down with someone and eat your meal in peace, chewing every bit of your food, you actually have time to enjoy your friend’s company. You have time to enjoy a conversation, look at them in the eye, connect with them and enrich your relationship. This is Primary Food and most of the time is far more important than nutrition.
#11. Helps the lining of the throat and your esophagus
When you eat fast and you swallow large mouthfuls you can get reflux which can damage the lining of the throat and esophagus. Did you know that around 44% of Americans experience reflux or heartburn at least once a month, 20% have it every week and 7% suffer from it daily? Now you know why.
How Many Times Should You Chew Your Food?
Some people say 50 times, others 30 times, but I say ‘chew it until its liquid‘. For some foods, it might take 10 times for others 80 times, s