Dec 23 (HealthShots) – Have you never been asked to chew food properly by your mom? Well, whatever they said about chewing food makes sense now! Chewing your food well before swallowing it is beyond necessary. But, do we really use our pearly whites enough? Getting time to eat is a luxury in this fast paced life. Hence, the neglect of this basic habit is inevitable.
We have heard this over and over again, but that will not refrain us from saying it now. ‘Digestion starts in the mouth’. Ayurveda, the ancient science, stresses on the importance of slow and thorough chewing for better functioning of the digestive system. Well, you have teeth for a reason!
A proponent of spirituality and India’s well renowned yogi, Sadhguru emphasised the importance of chewing food for longer, in a recent interview. “The more the food stays in your mouth the better your digestive process is. In some systems of yoga, if you don’t know how to chew, they say, for every mouthful you should chew it at least 24 times”, says Sadhguru.
What is the logic behind this saying for digestion?
According to Sadhguru, “At least 30 to 40 percent of the food gets digested in the mouth only if you chew it 24 times”. Following this procedure, the food is halfway processed for your digestive system and you get the maximum energy from the food. The benefits don’t stop here! Vitamins and minerals present in food are also well absorbed by your body. Well, that’s because the digestive enzymes in your saliva play an important role in breaking down the food.
Initially, it might seem like a tedious task to chew your food upto 24 times. But, once you start eating slowly, it becomes a muscle memory and you, eventually, adjust to this approach. This amazing hack not only helps to extract more nutrient value from your diet, but also keeps your digestive process smooth. Since chewing your food is the first step of digestion, these are some lesser-known benefits that are linked to it.
Benefits of chewing your food well:
- Chewing your food up to 24 times aids in weight loss and boosts metabolism rate.
- The stomach receives 30-40 percent of liquified food which in turn takes less time to digest the nutrient-dense food.
- It promotes ‘mindful eating’. Chewing your food well makes you focus on your food which prevents overeating, thus, preventing obesity.
- You tend to feel fuller for a longer time as compared to when eating at a fast pace.
- It enhances your overall nourishment and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
- Chewing food into smaller bits can prevent you from feeling drowsy after eating meals.
Having said that, you do not need to chew each food for 24 times or more. It solely depends upon the texture of the food that you consume. For example if you’re gorging on a ripe and juicy fruit like a watermelon, you don’t need to chew for long. However, food items like nuts, hard vegetables and grains require you to chew for more than 24 times. The texture of the food plays an important role in this approach.
What happens when you eat fast and chew less:
- If you’re into the habit of swallowing food without chewing it properly, it will not break down and mix with the digestive juices present in your saliva. The big morsels you eat have to pass through your esophagus to your stomach. Stressing your digestive system further.
- This leads to overburdening your stomach making it struggle to digest the food.
- Not chewing your food enough slows down your digestion process, which can result in weight gain.
- Bloating, constipation are common problems that are bound to occur.
- Digestion troubles like heartburn can follow.
- People dealing with acid reflux are asked to chew their food better.
- Stomach cramps are another addition to the list of digestive issues that you deal with for not chewing food enough
- Poor digestion can result in severe headaches in some people.
These are the common symptoms that spring up if you’ve been maltreating your gut. If you’ve ever felt drowsy or sleepy, especially after meals, you know who to blame!
Counting while chewing your food might make you seem like a nut head. So, to avoid the embarrassment, try to chew your food till it loses texture. That’s how you can get the most out of the food you absolutely love!