Do you remember when you were younger and your parents told you to eat slowly, chew your food, and close your mouth when you are eating? Unfortunately, they may have been right 🙂
Eating slowly and chewing your food properly has a number of health benefits. But before I get into my top 3 benefits I wanted to give you some hints and tips on HOW you can do it. It can be pretty challenging sometimes….
So, you’ve prepared your healthy meal, firstly It’s best to sit down at the table rather than on the couch watching TV! Take a small mouthful, don’t shove in a full spoon or fork full! Chew your food until it becomes almost liquid – this will aid digestion. Put your knife and fork down after every bite and only pick up your utensils once you have swallowed your mouthful. It’s easier said than done! Make sure you enjoy your meal. It’s ok to be a bit critical of your cooking – what you loved about your meal/what you enjoyed, what would you change for next time, or was it perfect? One of the hardest things to do, especially if your meal tastes great, is to stop when you’ve had enough, it’s your brain telling you that you are full
If you chew your food slowly you are much less likely to suffer from indigestion and heartburn. If you chew your food properly (as mentioned above) it will be much easier to digest rather than sending large chunks of food down your esophagus.
Another benefit related to reducing indigestion and chewing your food is that you’ll be less likely to swallow air, which will prevent you from getting indigestion – when you swallow too much air it can cause your esophageal sphincter to open allowing stomach acids to come back up and out of the stomach and into the throat or chest.
Absorption of nutrients
Did you know the first stage of digestion is actually chewing your food? When you chew your food your food mixes with your saliva which helps to break down your food so the vitamins and minerals can be more easily absorbed by the body and into your bloodstream rather than passing through unused.
So make sure if you are making an effort to eat lots of nutrient rich, clean food, give your stomach a helping hand by digesting your food before it gets there. Your body will thank you for the vitamins, minerals and good nutrients you are giving it!
And the number 1 benefit…..Weight Loss!
If you eat your food slower you can actually lose weight. There are 2 parts to how this works…
1. Psychological – when you eat slower you will automatically chew your food more which actually tricks your brain into thinking you are fuller. It’s well documented that it takes your brain about 20 minutes to register that you’re full. If you eat slower this allows the hormones that tell your brain that you are full the time to do their work. If you eat your food too fast and don’t chew your food enough you risk over-eating, as your brain hasn’t caught up yet. This can also cause you to feel bloated and over full which can lead to weight gain. If you eat slower, you will feel fuller and reduce the amount of food you are eating. Bonus!
2. Stretching your stomach – when your stomach is full it signals the brain to tell us to stop eating. If you regularly eat too much, this will cause your stomach to stretch and become bigger and that means in future it will take more food to make you feel full = weight gain!
The great thing about eating slowly is that it’s more satisfying! Enjoy the tastes, the flavours, the smells, the textures – become your own masterchef!
Yours In Good Health,