Something to chew on

How many times does the average person chew a bite before swallowing!?  According to the incredible Christine Lucas of Complete Mind and Body, 4-8 chews.

“Eating begins with the simple art of chewing.  Chewing leads to smooth digestion and greater assimilation of nutrients initiating the release of digestive enzymes that break down food.

Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with chewing.  Chewing turns grains and other complex carbohydrates into satisfying sugars and makes oils, proteins and minerals available for maximum absorption.  Whole foods, especially whole grains, must be mixed with saliva and chewed until they become liquid to release their full nutritional value.  In addition, the more that whole carbohydrate foods are chewed, the sweeter they become.  Because digestion becomes so efficient when you chew your food thoroughly, your body will begin to feel wonderfully light.

How to Chew Properly

To get started in the habit of chewing correctly, try counting the chews in each bite.  Aiming for 30 to 50 times.  It helps if you put your fork down between bites.

  • chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times each, until the food becomes liquid
  • chewing breaks down food and makes it easier on the stomach and small intestine to digest
  • saliva assists the digestion of carbohydrates
  • saliva also makes the food more alkaline, which creates less gas.  (gas is experienced in the stomach and intestine, but it is caused by spleen imbalances.)

If under pressure at meals, take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you.  Taking the time to chew will help you enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal.” Excerpted from Power Eating Program: You Are How You Eat, by Lino Stanchich.  Healthy Products, $9.95

Christine also pointed out that leptin, another hormone like glucagon that signals fullness, is activated only on a measure of time.  Usually after about 20 minutes of eating, leptin will kick in, causing you to feel satisfied.  Not to mention when you don’t chew your food the nutrients of what your eating won’t be absorbed properly, if at all, causing you to feel hungry still and keep eating.  This unabsorbed food will either be stored somewhere, ahem, fat, or make it out the other end.  Also, eating quickly is so destructive, enjoy what you’re eating!  Take a second to stop and smell the flowers, ya know?!

Chew your food.  Your mind, body, spirit, and soul will thank you.

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