Get Clean 2015 – Tip #29

Chew your food

The last time you had something to eat, did you give any thought to how long you chewed? Most likely not, as chewing is done, for most people, almost as a habit or unconscious reflex. As soon as a piece of food enters your mouth, you chew and swallow, probably far too quickly (especially if you’re in a hurry or eating on the run).

The chewing process, also known as masticat

ion, is actually extremely important, however, and serves as the first step in your digestive process. The way you chew, including how long you chew, can significantly impact your health in ways you likely never knew…

7 Reasons to Chew Your Food Properly

1. Absorb More Nutrients and Energy From Your Food

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

3. Your Food Gets More Exposure to Your Saliva

4. Easier Digestion

5. It’s Good for Your Teeth

6. Less Excess Bacteria Lingering in Your Intestines

7. Enjoy and Taste Your Food 

How to Chew Your Food Properly

The way you chew is unique to you and is probably deeply ingrained by this point in your life. In other words, you’ll likely need to make a conscious effort to change the way you chew, but the good news is you can start with your next meal. There are many theories about how many times you should, ideally, chew each piece of food. The Times of India recently highlighted Horace Fletcher, a late-1800s health-food guru (also known as “The Great Masticator”) who was famous for chewing each bite 100 times before swallowing (and to this he attributed his good health, strength and endurance).3

You needn’t be this strict, however, as the amount of chewing a food requires will obviously vary depending on its type and texture. Here’s a guide to ensure that you’re chewing in a way that will support your health. Generally speaking, you’ll want 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 chewing.

  • Take smaller bites of food to begin with (it’s easier to chew smaller morsels)
  • Chew slowly and steadily
  • Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or lost all of its texture
  • Finish chewing and swallowing completely before taking another bite of food
  • Wait to drink fluids until you’ve swallowed
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