The story is that engaging those pearly whites in the chew process is the most important initial step you can take for the health of your digestive tract and your bodaciously beautiful body cells. Think how many people chuck food into their faces at break neck speed, chomp on it 5-6 times, and then swallow large chucks of food.
Pay attention the next time you engage in eating a meal. Are you a chewer or a chunk swallower? All these years picking on cows for their endless "cud chewing" and it seems those beautiful cows had it right all along.
Get chewing your cud people and here is why:
1. Chewing begins carbohydrate digestion: which prevents reflux as you are revving up the digestive tract with your chewing. The more you chew your food, the more messages are sent to the gut to get the digestive juices flowing. That means optimal hydrochloric acid for stomach digestion of food. Good digestion in the stomach sets the stage for good digestion throughout the digestive tract.
Little chewing = little time for messaging the GI tract to send out digestive juices = impeded digestion.
Most reflux is NOT an over abundance of stomach acids but in fact a lack of stomach acid (food sits in stomach not digesting and body's wisdom says "hey this stuff is rotting right here... let's get rid of it.” At this point the easiest way to get rid of stomach contents is up and out. Yup, reflux.).
2. Chewing food well feeds your beautiful gut microbes: You waste $$$ taking probiotics if you are not going to offer them kindness and feed them well. Be the gut bug hostess (or host) with the most-ess! Chew your food well. Doing so breaks down the food fibers, the starches, which feed the gut bugs you want surviving and thriving in your gut.
3. Chewing well prevents leaky gut: See above for how chewing feeds the happy, healthy gut bugs. When we are not feeding the "good" gut microbes to maintain a healthy and balanced microbial population, we can create an inflamed and irritated gut lining. This leads to leaky gut syndrome and contributes to many chronic, lifestyle related, health problems.
4. Chewing food slowly and well promotes relaxation: eating fast, swallowing food practically whole, creates a stress response in the body. Stress causes body tissues (muscles, organs etc) to tense, contributes to poor digestion, and chronic fight or flight response throughout body. This digestive tract and body tensing also contributes to constipation.
Chewing IS yoga for the digestive tract, nervous system, and really your whole body. You know how I love, love, love my yoga. Type Yoga into the search bar, below, and I will inspire you with the many body, mind, and spirit benefits of a daily Yoga practice.
5. Chewing food well means food is then swallowed in a liquid state this means your body, digestive tract, is better able to digest and pull the nutrients out of the food.
This means your body cells are being better nourished by the whole foods you spend your hard earned money on. This is very important my friends. The more nutrients we can pull out of the food we eat, the healthier we will be. It is all about what nutrients actually got to your body cells. Poorly chewed food cannot be digested well and therefore the actual nutrition does not reach your intended body cells. Yes, your health pays dearly over the years.
Chew all food into liquid consistency. 30-50 chews per bite or gulp of food (Gulp: I am thinking about smoothies, creamed soups, etc. that are gulped down without any conscious thought of actually chewing.)
If food is already a liquid or mushy consistency (soup, puddings, smoothies) take 20 to 30 conscious chews. If food is solid, take 50 conscious chews.
Example: blueberries and skins of berries require 50 chews. The soft inner part of berry will chew up quickly and naturally move down throat... keep chewing that blueberry skin 50 times. Yes, the cud will get smaller and smaller and the habit of swallowing before adequate chewing has taken place will be right there in your face (literally). Resist and keep chewing as the skins of blueberries are loaded with micro-nutrients and complex carbohydrates (fibers) that feed those gut bugs IF you chew it up well for your gut bugs to be able to use them. Trust me; the gut bugs (microbes) do not have teeth to do the chew job if you leave it unfinished. For goodness sake, show those gut bugs (who do so much for you) some genuine hospitality and chew, chew, chew!