If you have seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory more than once, you’re welcome. Good luck getting rid of that earworm.

This week on Facebook, we’ve been talking about facing challenges and how we overcome them. I compared it to eating an elephant – you tackle it one bite at a time. And that got me thinking about the importance of chewing. Real food, that is.

Have you ever noticed that when you eat in a hurry you usually have horrible indigestion afterwards? Maybe that is how you eat normally – gulping down huge, barely chewed bites and finishing your meal in just a few minutes. You probably keep several bottles of antacids at the ready and deal with chronic bloating & gassiness almost daily.

Unless you particularly enjoy having your waistband cutting into your tender skin, belching frequently with added reflux and feeling pretty gross after you eat, you don’t have to put up with it! Chewing slowly & thoroughly can help alleviate the misery. 

Chipmunk with mouth full
#chewyourfood in lower right corner
Emergence Functional Nutrition logo in lower left corner

Let me outline the benefits you can experience with this no cost, practice anywhere digestion-improving therapy. By chewing well every time you eat, you can reduce your chance of being miserable after each meal. People, that isn’t normal nor is it fun!

First, understand that there are two types of digestion that happens with everything you eat: Mechanical and Chemical. Mechanical digestion is the ripping, tearing and pulverizing actions that take place in our mouths when we chew and in our stomachs after we swallow. This action creates more surface area in each bite so that when your food is delivered to your stomach the chemical digestion is more affective. The more you take care of the mechanical digestion in your mouth, the less mechanical digestion needs to happen in your stomach.

In addition to better mechanical digestion, chewing thoroughly infuses each bite with salivary enzymes, beginning the process of chemical digestion. Chemical digestion is the action taken by enzymes, acids and other secretions throughout your digestive tract on the molecular bonds of each macro nutrient you swallow. Unless these bonds get broken into smaller particles, your body is unable to absorb and assimilate the nutrition you are offering it. This means even if you are eating a healthy diet of whole foods, but aren’t chewing well enough, your body can’t receive the careful nutrition you are consuming.

When you chew your food well you are directly impacting your health on the cellular level. Plus you are able to actually savor and enjoy each bite.

If you aren’t enjoying what you are eating, you are doing it completely wrong. But that’s a conversation for another day.

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