I became aware, quite recently, that life has taken on a much faster pace than ever before.
It seems there is more and more to be achieved in less and less time. Faster cars, faster internet, faster travel. We have less time to spend with family, less time to sleep and even less time to eat. We multi-task around our meal times, and our food is bought pre-prepared, heated in an instant, and quickly devoured.
Bite-swallow, bite-swallow, bite-swallow.
Have you ever noticed; we never take the time to CHEW anymore..?
It may seem boring, but it’s true – chewing (mastication) is the mechanism installed by nature to break food down in our mouths from large chunks into a more easily-digested paste.
This makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients from the food particles as they pass through, and therefore offer better supply and support to all your bodies operational systems.
In addition, when you chew your food thoroughly, your mouth releases a chemical called Hypothiocyanate [OSCN]−, a natural – and powerful – antibiotic, helping protect you from uploading various bugs and germs that may have attached themselves to your food.
There are other obvious advantages to chewing your food more thoroughly – The longer you chew, the more time it will take you to finish a meal, and eating slowly may help you to eat less, thus avoiding the chances of weight gain.
Of course it’s best to eat in a relaxed, non-distracted environment; eating on the run or while you’re working – or watching TV – is not conducive to proper break-down, digestion or absorption of your food.
Try these simple suggestions:
- Always eat at the dinner table where you’re sitting upright, ‘disconnected’ from the noise around you, and are mindful of what is on your plate.
- Take smaller bites of food to begin with (it’s easier to chew smaller morsels).
- Chew slowly and steadily, some suggest chewing each mouthful up to 32 times – once for each tooth in your head..!
- Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or has lost all of its texture.
- If your food liquefies in your mouth instantly, or you’re able to swallow it in less than 5 chews, it’s either over-processed or over-cooked and probably not the wisest choice of nourishment. (Obviously this wouldn’t apply to a green smoothie or bowl of fresh wholesome soup…).
- Finish chewing each mouthful and swallow completely before taking another bite of food.
Aside from the potential health benefits, chewing your food rigorously and thoroughly forces you to slow down, savour each morsel, and could also be regarded as a CBO™ (Calorie-Burning Opportunity)
There you go – “Face Fitness from Your Food.” I feel a new Weight-loss Video coming on….
(Photo by Mark Taylor/Rex Features)