the Benefits of Chewing

There are two vitally important aspects of eating that many of us often forget to do at food time, they are breathing and chewing. I thought I would give it a spin. I want to be more aware of my mouth’s activity in the eating process, especially if it would help the regular bloating. Last week I was in a desperate state of bloat at the book store – hiding out in the diet and nutrition section, hoping perhaps I might meet a dairy food mother, who would wave her special wand, like with Cinderella and poof-flat belly. No luck, but I did find a few good books on belly fat intervention.

Here is what I learned thus far: I need to chew better. Why? Because our poor gut has a really difficult time doing all the work, it has no teeth, only the few enzymes we give it from healthy, raw food. The enzymes helps breaks down the food, but those little guys rely on team work, and that means they expect the teeth to pitch in, do their part and chew the food into smaller pieces. the result of not chewing enough, insufficient enzymes and no teeth in our stomach- BLOATING. It’s important to chew, chew, chew- up to 18 times before swallowing, in order to give our gut a break.

Here are 6 benefits I have gleaned from that tiny piece of information. I want to share it because it’s so easy, with almost instant gratification and it’s free!
1. Chewing helps me taste my food. When I put food in my mouth, I want to swallow ASAP, especially when I am hungry, in a rush or it tastes good.  However, when I chew my food longer, I actually enjoy the flavor longer. I can slow down and slowing down helps me relax and breathe without even trying. I’m not swallowing air that might fill my belly, my mouth is happier and my taste buds feel included.
2. Chewing prevents bloating. This is the biggest reward for me. I’m helping my stomach slim down without any crunches. I feel better, not so sluggish and frumpy. It takes a much shorter time for our stomach to digest food that has already been broken down, not to mention the saliva your adding- I think saliva has a role down there too. It’s difficult for our gut to digest whole pieces of food. Often I think I was adding dinner on top of lunch, because of the amount of time it was taking my food to do everyone’s job.  our digestion system is like a big family, every one has different abilities, and no one should get stuck with all the work, or they will start to misbehave.
3. Chewing forces me to take smaller bites. I can’t chew with a full mouth and breathe at the same time without gagging, so I take smaller bites. Plus it makes me feel more lady like.
4. Chewing results in eating less calories. Mostly because I get tired of chewing, therefore I cut the meal short. It becomes too much work to have a second helping. All that chewing gives my brain and belly enough time to communicate this message to one another: “you’re satisfied and you can stop now.”
5. Chewing helps me focus on my eating habits and be more aware of myself as I’m eating. What do I look like to others, sometimes the food arrives and I forget I’m human, all the rules exit at the point of contact. when i chew more, I can focus, slow down and be more present. instead of seeing the contents of my plate as if they were the last ones I’ll ever see, I can focus on what really matters , the people around my the table.
6. Chewing my food helps me listen better to my table mates, with all that concentrated chewing the only thing left to do is listen to what others are saying! I wish my kids would chew better.
I’ve been doing this for about a week and I’ve learned a lot. there are actually a lot more benefits to chewing than what I mentioned such as better nutrient absorption and that you can research if your interested. I am mostly excited about not being bloated, but thrilled that there are bonus benefits to look forward too!Good luck and let me know if it works for you.

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