CERTIFIED INSTITUTE OF INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION HEALTH COACH
CERTIFIED FOOD & SPIRIT PRACTITIONER
Do You Inhale Your Food?
May 20, 2014
Do you remember when you were little, sitting at the dinner table and practically inhaling your foo
d and your mom said, "slow down, chew your food"? There is a reason we were told that as a kid. When I first started working with my health coach that was one of the first things she asked me. "Do you stand when you eat and do you inhale your food?" I told her "No, I sit down and inhale it." This is when I got my firt lesson in the importance of chewing my food.
Why should we chew our food properly? Digestion actually starts in the mouth. Chewing your food, also known as mastication, starts the process. How you chew and how long you chew, can significantly impact your health for the better or for the worse.
Chewing your food a good 25-35 times starts the process of digestion into smaller pieces and liquefies it. When we chew our food enzymes are released into our mouth with our saliva. One of these enzymes is lingual lipase, an enzyme that helps break down fats and the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin. The saliva enzymes help prepare the carbohydrates for a quicker reaction with the gastric acid juices of the stomach. The stomach only has a few hours to process your food and turn it into useful nutrients that can be placed into your bloodstream to nourish your body.
Without the enzymes in the saliva a lot of food and vitamins would pass thru your stomach and out to waste before your bloodstream could absorb it.
When we don't chew our food we will probably end up with acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, gas and can even lead to auto-immune diseases. Many people who have gout have it because they lack salivary enzymes and gout is considered a nutritional deficiency problem.
Chewing your food is also good for your teeth. It is like the wind for the trees. Wind blowing against the trees makes them dig their roots in deep into the ground. It keep them strong. The saliva produced during the chewing process also it helps to clear food pieces and bacteria so you have less plaque build up and tooth decay.
Our bodies are just not meant to take big bites of food and swallow it whole. That puts a lot of burden on our digestive system. When we begin to properly chew our food, we slow down, we eat less and become satisfied. We are giving our brain time (about 20 minutes) to register that we are full. Who knows you might even find that you lose some weight.
In the act of chewing we show our care and gratitude for both the food and our body.* So slow down, breath, take small bites, put down your utensil, chew till liquified and swallow before you take another bite. Oh, and actually enjoy the taste of your food. Because what happens when you slow down and give your body what it needs? It heals.