Thursday, December 29, 2011
Are you ever consiously aware while you're chewing? Probably not. These days, we tend to eat on the go, while distracted, working, thinking of absolutely anything else, but we don't focus on the art of chewing. You might laugh when I say art, but I think you'll understand after you give consious chewing a try. It's really hard.
We discussed chewing in depth in one of my classes a couple months ago. On the way home from school, I was hungry so I decided I'd practice chewing. I chewed a segment of a mandarin orange 77 times. I thought my brain was going to explode. It felt like the hardest thing I'd ever done. I'm sure my digestive system was thankful. Aside from the obvious of chewing food so that it can easily be swallowed, here are a few other reasons why you should spend time chewing:
- The body uses less energy to digest the well-chewed food, since the teeth and saliva have done some work. Food that hasn't been chewed sufficiently, requires more work from the body and takes away from other jobs it could be doing to keep you healthy!
- The molecules of the nutrients in the food are quickly released and assimilated while chewing.
- The longer the food stays in the mouth while chewing, the better the tongue can recognize all of the wonderful flavours. The tongue then sends a message to the brain and the brain sends a message to the digestive system. This allows the digestive system to release the appropriate digestive juice needed for that particular food!
The next time you're eating - count how many times you chew each bite on average. Slowly try to increase the amount by focusing on what you're doing. Do your digestive system a favour!