Chewing is the Cheapest and Easiest way to Improve the Health of your Digestion System

Digestion Begins Before The Food Is Swallowed

During my childhood, I inhaled my food.  I was always in a rush to go hang with my friends and my stepdad would not let us speak at the table, so even Thanksgiving dinner was completed in 20 minutes. In fact, my college roommates used to joke that I never said a word during our meals.  I guess I did not have good memories of mealtimes because there were so many of us and the competition for food was steep.  I was one of ten and six of them were hungry boys. 50 years later, I have enrolled in one of the most fascinating courses on health coaching called The Digestive Intensive and I am learning a great amount about how digestion works and how digestion can start to go awry.

Can You Spit?  It’s a Great Skill When You are Trying to Digest

When you smell food, most of us start to salivate.  I don’t.  For some reason, my salivary glands are not working properly.  This may have something to do with autoimmunity.  It also may explain why I used to crave salt and sugar so much. A symptom of autoimmunity can be dry mouths, which can lead to other issues. If you can’t spit, then you need to rely more on chewing to start the digestion process.  And according to Functional Nutrition Expert Andrea Nakayame, “the longer the food stays in your mouth, the easier the digestion is on the rest of the body.”

I am trying to chew my food longer and here are five reasons why you should too.

  • Chewing accomplishes a lot –it makes the food smaller, it expels air and helps create saliva which produces an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates and helps your food turn into a form that can slide down your esophagus. It also flattens the food out giving it more surface area for the enzymes to help break down the molecules.
  • Chewing broadcasts to the rest of your digestive system to get ready for food to go down the tubes.
  • Another amazing benefit of chewing is that it can eliminate bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
  • Chewing can aid in weight loss because it slows you down so that your mind has time to figure out if you are still hungry, so it is great for people trying to lose weight.
  • Chewing is especially important for young children and for elderly because they do not have as many enzymes.

So how long should you chew?  That depends on a couple of factors, according to Nakayama. How crunchy is the food? How calorie-dense is the food? The higher the calories, the more you need to chew.  The higher the crunch, the more you need to chew.

The bottom line is chewing can make you feel less tired because by doing the work in the mouth, you are conserving energy in your body that would be diverted to digesting your food.   I am a Health Coach and Yoga Teacher who is specializing in helping people with autoimmune and digestive issues recover their vitality, get rid of unwanted weight and feel better.  Please contact me through my website or by emailing me at for a FREE 30-minute consultation, and discover how Heaven Lane can work with you on the path to health and happiness.

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