Health tip #8 - Chew, chew, chew! Take time to chew your food. We Americans are always in such a rush to the next activity that we are not chewing our food long enough to maximize the nutrient benefits of our food. Meet Karen Malkin, a Glencoe native, wife, mother to 4 sons and health counselor. Karen is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and is working on the Integrative Nutrition Graduate Immersion Program.
It’s not just what we eat, but how we eat.
Chewing can change everything. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience. We eat while distracted and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.
You can experience the benefits of chewing by increasing to 30 chews per bite. Try it and see how you feel. Also try eating without distractions, just pay attention to the food and to your breathing and chewing. You have to eat every day-why not learn to savor and enjoy it?
There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food:
- Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
- Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food.
- More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
- It’s helpful for weight loss: when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
- Chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy, endurance, improve skin health and stabilize weight.
- Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating.
For more information, plrease visit www.karenmalkin.com.