This is connected to the previous advice about eating slowly but is more specific. While eating slowly can be achieved i.e. by taking breaks between your bites, chewing your food often enough ensures that you crush your food enough.
Chewing your food has several benefits for your health as well as for the experience on how you taste your food.
A study from 2013 analyzed how much energy was absorbed if they either chewed almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. It turned out that those who chewed the almonds 40 times absorbed more nutrients and energy from their food.
If you chew your food often enough you will automatically eat slower and thus are likely to decrease your portion size as you realize when you are getting full. As you probably read above, it takes about 20 minutes for our brain to get the information that we are full and chewing enough is a good way to reach those 20 minutes. Studies show that people are more satiated when they ate their food slower and thus decreased their food intake over the course of the meal.
In case you want to prevent weight gain or even lose weight, chewing your food enough is a great way to start, that doesn’t require additional exercises or any expenses.
If you are experiencing heartburn, chewing your food more often might be a solution to your problem. Studies found out that 44% of Americans experience heartburn on a regular basis.
Your digestion will also be better if you chew your food enough. First of all your saliva in your mouth has enough time to do its job, using its enzymes to predigest the food.
As a consequence, your stomach has an easier job of digesting, as the food is already broken down. Another benefit that occurs is that due to the longer time in your mouth, the food is more lubricated and will move easier through your esophagus.
Maybe you’ve heard about how stone age people had better teeth. Although this is not 100% sure, chewing might be one factor for their superior teeth health. Chewing is like working out for your muscles in and around your mouth and keeps them strong.
Unfortunately today less (processed) foods require real chewing, which isn’t a common trend.
Those are pretty good reasons for chewing, but how do you chew properly?
The first step is to take smaller bites of food, as it will be easier to chew. A common guideline is to chew every bite at least 25 times, which usually is enough to break down the texture of the food you eat.
Before taking your next bite you should finish chewing the previous one and swallow everything that’s in your mouth.
Chewing your food and taking your time will not only have health benefits, but it will also help you to enjoy your food more. You have more time to feel the texture and experience the taste. Doesn’t that sound much better than wolfing down everything without chewing it properly?
Steps to take:
- During your next meal count how often you normally chew your food.
- After that chew at least 25 times.
- Notice what effects it has on you, less food intake, no heartburn, etc.