Are you chewing your food long enough?
I know that seems like a crazy question to be asking. And I'm sure you're wondering why that's even of any concern. Have you ever been so hungry that all you can think about is food? First you realize how hungry you are and by this time you're already in panic mode. The worst part about being hungry is when you get out of the trance and realize you've already scarfed your whole meal and don't even remember chewing your food.
Although eating your food fast may seem like the most satisfying thing to do at time, you're not going to benefit from this. Healthy digestion and nutrient absorption begin with chewing your food. Your mouth starts producing saliva, and saliva is the first step in breaking down your food. It also signals the stomach to start producing more digestive enzymes and acids that are necessary for digestion. By eating too fast, sometimes the stomach may not have produced enough of these enzymes and acids to keep up with the amount of food being consumed which can lead to less absorption of nutrients and more unpleasant symptoms such as indigestion.
It takes time for your brain to signal to the stomach that you are full, and if you rush your meals, you may not be getting the "full" sensation until it's too late and you're already miserable from too much food. Chewing slowly is a great way to practice portion control as it can signal the sensation of satisfaction before you've overeaten.
By chewing your food slowly, it can aid in maintaining a healthy weight, you can get more nutrients from your food, and most importantly, you can enjoy and savor your food.
I know that in today's society, many of you probably have busy lives and work schedules and eating slowly might not be a top priority, but taking notice of your eating and chewing habits might benefit you more than you think. Here at the kitchen, we believe in practicing healthy habits and most importantly believe in eating healthy food. We are always looking for all and any ways to improve our health as well as yours!
Here are some great tips from Precisionnutrition.com about eating slowly :
1. Eat in a calm or quiet environment. Avoid distractions such as tv, texting, DRIVING, and this can help you focus on your eating.
2. Choose high fiber foods that take longer to chew such as fruits and vegetables.
3. Put down your utensils every now and then and just take a break in-between bites.
4. Try setting a goal number of chews per bite.
5. Use smaller plates or utensils. Give chopsticks a try ;)
6. Take smaller bites.
7. Find another slow eater, and try to pace yourselves to them.
8. Set aside time to eat. Treat each and every meal as a mandatory appointment so you can ensure that your body gets the fuel it deserves from food.