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The Importance of Chewing

BY EARTHFIRST


Chewing, munching, chomping, devouring, crunching, nibbling, gnawing, consuming or my personal favourite masticating are all the words used to describe an action that we exercise daily but perhaps don’t give a second thought to. Chewing your food properly is the first step in the process of digestion.

The majority of us don’t actually chew our food enough. Whether it’s because we’re in a rush or just habit, we should be aiming to chew each mouthful between 20-30 times before swallowing. The more you chew your food, the more nutrients will be absorbed by your body.

Here are a few other reasons why you should change your chewing habits…

  • Saliva is antibacterial which means that some bacteria can be killed before they hit your stomach.
  • When you eat it takes a while for your ‘fullness signal’ to reach your brain and tell you that you’ve had enough. If you rush your meals you will probably eat more than your suppose to.
  • Chewing stimulates the endocrine system, keeping your hormones in balance for a happier, younger-looking you. In particular, the parotid glands just under your cheekbones release a cell-rejuvenating substance, which gives you that youthful glow.
  • Chewing decreases your risk of indigestion and gas. By increasing the surface area of your food, the enzymes in your saliva can begin digestion earlier and prevent your stomach from working too hard.
  • The more you chew, the more oxygen is sent to the brain. So take your time and give your meal a thorough munching if you want to keep your mind sharp and avoid feeling sleepy after a meal.
  • The next time your tummy rumbles and you settle down to a nice meal, take a moment to enjoy the whole experience. Enjoy the flavours, smells, colours and textures and chew, chew, chew before you swallow.



This article appeared in Issue One of our EarthFirst iPad Magazine. Support us by purchasing a copy today! It's only $2.99



 

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