Nova Scotian Wellness

Slow down and chew

Home » Nutrition » Slow down and chew

Chewing properly will improve digestion and support healthy new cells.

Definition: Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into the blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism–a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones.

Question: What four letter word is important for your health? It is free and you can do it anywhere?

Answer: Chew!

Are you the kind of person who eats quickly and swallows your food almost whole?  Well, slow down and read the rest of this article.

Chewing your food is a piece of the “health” puzzle.  

Here is a useful tip: Drink your food and chew your liquid.

Every mouthful of food should be chewed until it reaches a liquid consistency. If your food is not broken down well, your stomach will have to work harder and use up more digestive acids and enzymes. If your body isn’t making enough acid, then food stays in the stomach longer, creating acid reflux and indigestion. After a while, your stomach acids are overused, then exhausted.

But why chew liquids, especially whole-food smoothies? The saliva aids the break down of the food for better digestion farther down the pipe. Larger food molecules can lead to bacterial overgrowth and flatulence.

Research has shown that while the food is being chewed, your mouth is communicating to your digestive system: Taste receptors are signaling ahead to produce more stomach acid and enzymes.

Also, drink water before your meal, say a half hour before, so not to dilute the digestive fluids in the stomach. Make sure to take only small sips of water during the meal and between bites, because drinking may result in swallowing larger pieces of food, which are harder to digest.

Connect with your food. So many of us purchase our food at a grocery store and are disconnected from where our food is coming from. Think about where it came from.

Add this to your list: Be grateful for your food. Not a word need be spoken, just a silent acknowledgement if that is your way.

What you put into your mouth and how well it digests will determine what raw material the body has to build new cells in your personal cell-regenerating machine. Many cells are used up and replaced with new ones. The body has 60 to 100 trillion cells. Thirty billion new cells are generated each day to sustain homeostasis. Over the course of one year, you almost have an entirely new body.

So, the next time you take a bite, get into action—and chew!

Gain some awesome new insight from this article? Check out this one about the “Second breakfast“, yep you read that right!

Author: Cheryl Millett BSc CCIr is a Holistic Nutritionist and Director, Auum Omega 3 Canada. Consultations and presentations:


More Articles