Your mother was right: you have to chew your food well!
There is so much wisdom in this seemingly simple advice. You see, every part of our body has an important task. Including the mouth and the teeth. Yes, when you dig your pearly whites into a piece of steak or a veggie sandwich, two very important things start to happen:
- Your taste buds go ecstatic over all the delicious flavors
- Your salivary glands start producing saliva that is packed with enzymes which are there to help you break down your food.
Because enzymes are tiny, they can only do their job on pieces of food that are small enough for them to ‘attack’. If the pieces are too large, they travel through your system fully intact. Which means that you are not getting the benefits of any nutrients the food has to offer. Bye bye to the $20.00 / lb free range filet mignon and the organic veggie medley! In fact, all you might be getting is a stomach ache.
Think of it this way: you need to “drink your food and eat your liquids”. This is, in fact, one of the first things that I tell my clients. What it means is that the food needs to be liquified in your mouth, and liquids ideally need to get mixed up with the saliva before you swallow them. Chewing food well is probably one of the most basic and most ignored practices in our busy world. And I would even go as far as to say that thorough chewing can be one of the first steps towards achieving better health all around.
I’ll leave you with a quick challenge: next time you sit down for a meal, try counting how many times you spend on any one chew. And while you are at it, put a clock in front of you and notice how long it takes you to finish your meal. You might be surprised!
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