To Chew or Not to Chew – It’s really a BIG Question

Feb 20, 2024 | Abdominal Pain, IBS, Stop Gain Weight, Weight Loss, Women

The Crucial Role of Mastication: Why Chewing Your Food Matters


by Scott Olsen


In the hustle and bustle of modern life, many people overlook a fundamental aspect of good health: proper chewing or mastication. The way we chew our food plays a critical role in our overall well-being, impacting everything from digestion to nutrient absorption. Here are several reasons highlighting the importance of taking the time to chew your food thoroughly.

Take aways:

   Chewing is the first step in digestion. Releasing enzymes into the food through your saliva starts everything. 20 – 30 chews per mouth full is what is the magic number and YOUR GOAL.

   Chewing signals the stomach, pancreas and gall bladder to start their engines and produce the enzymes and digestive juices for the #1 energy consumer of the body (digestion).

   Mastication (chewing) produces smaller pieces of food which increase greatly the surface area of the food. More surface area means more absorption in the small intestine which means you absorb more nutrients.

   It takes 10-20 minutes for your stomach to notify your brain “I’m Full!…Stop Eating” More chews will give you the time for this signaling to happen and prevent over-eating which guess what? Results in lower weight and a Great Looking YOU! 

   Gulping (4-6 chews) cause an over-worked stomach resulting in a puffed out belly and GAS an indigestion. Watch how flat your stomach stays when you chew 20-30 times per mouth full.

Going Deeper:

1.    Enhanced Digestion:

Mastication is the initial step in the digestive process. When you chew your food thoroughly, it breaks down into smaller particles, making it easier for digestive enzymes to do their job. This aids in the efficient breakdown of nutrients and promotes optimal digestion. Inadequate chewing can lead to larger food particles reaching the stomach, causing digestive discomfort and potentially hampering nutrient absorption.

2.    Improved Nutrient Absorption:

Chewing initiates the release of digestive enzymes in the mouth, such as amylase, which starts the breakdown of carbohydrates. The more thoroughly you chew, the better these enzymes can work, ensuring that nutrients are properly broken down and absorbed in the digestive tract. This is crucial for obtaining the full nutritional value from the foods you consume.

3.    Weight Management:

Research suggests that thorough chewing can contribute to weight management. By chewing slowly and savoring your food, you give your body more time to signal feelings of fullness to the brain. This, in turn, can help prevent overeating, as you become more attuned to your body’s satiety cues.

4.    Prevention of Digestive Issues:

Inadequate chewing can lead to larger food particles reaching the stomach and intestines, potentially causing bloating, gas, and indigestion. By taking the time to masticate your food thoroughly, you reduce the likelihood of these digestive discomforts.

5.    Better Oral Health:

Proper mastication has benefits beyond the digestive system; it also supports oral health. Thorough chewing stimulates saliva production, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth, remineralize enamel, and reduce the risk of cavities. Additionally, chewing promotes a healthier jaw and can contribute to overall dental well-being.

In conclusion, Re-Learn the Joy of Eating by CHEWING 20 – 30 times per mouthful. Swallow before taking the next bite. You WILL EXPERIENCE the difference right away.

Enjoy the time you spend eating with friends and family.

Eating together is food for the mind, soul as well as the body.


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