Chew On This! - Culinary Therapy

Chew On This!

“Make sure you chew your food” is a statement I heard countless times growing up.

Unquestionably, there’s truth to that wisdom. Chewing your food with awareness will aid digestion, boost nutrient absorption, help to control weight and more.

This may seem simple, but when’s the last time you were truly conscious about chewing?

At home, the girls are having chewing contests to see who can chew their food the most number of times before swallowing. They’re getting anywhere from 4 to 20 chews, depending on the food.

Ideally, we should be chewing a minimum of 15-30 times for each bite. Some experts will go as far as saying that 40-50 bites are ideal. That’s a lot to chew!

3 Good Reasons to Chew, Chew, Chew:

  • Chew for better digestion. Digestion begins in your mouth, where the enzymes in your saliva begin to break down your food. Food that’s well broken down glides easily into your stomach, where digestion continues. Food that is gulped down has a tougher journey and sets the stage for poor digestion. If you aren’t chewing well you’re not breaking down your food well, which increases the risk of bloating, gas, indigestion and other GI symptoms.
  • Chew for optimal nutrient absorption. The better you chew, the more nutrients you will absorb from your foods. These nutrients are used by all of the cells in your body and the building blocks for energy.
  • Chew for weight management. Chewing your food gives your body time to signal to your brain that it’s no longer hungry, which means you’re eating less food and less likely to gain extra weight.
And if you’re looking for something good to chew on that’ll immediately quell any digestive distress, try fennel seeds.  Find a small jar in the herb section of your local market and stash it in your handbag as a safeguard while traveling, at a restaurant or summer barbecues!

Your Simple Action Plan:

Join me for a chewing challenge! This week, remember to slow down, savor your meals and try chewing each bite a minimum of 15-30 times. Notice how this changes both the pace of your meal and how you feel.

Sometimes, it’s not just what we eat, it’s how we do it.


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