“Ayurveda 6”, Yoga Chuck’s Ayurveda Series.
Chewing Food for Health and Weight Loss.
I've ate fast as long as I can remember. I'm now working on chewing food longer for the health of it. Chewing food longer slows the eating time and is a tough change to make, but it's one of the changes I'm making in my Ayurveda practice to help prevent another Multiple Sclerosis exacerbation.
Chewing is where the digestion begins. We break down the food into smaller pieces almost to the point of liquefying it, while at the same time saliva is being added to the food breaking it down further. The food can now be swallowed easily with plenty of lubrication from the saliva that allows the stomach to do it's digesting. With food being chewed into smaller pieces the stomach can further digest it so the nutrients and fluids can be absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract. It's been proven that the smaller the particles are the more quickly they can be absorbed by the body. This allows the release of digestive enzymes in the stomach that help to break down food for fuel our bodies need for energy.
I've read we should chew our food 32 times before swallowing. It's not realistic to me to attach a # on how many times we should chew our food. Because it depends on the type and texture; how hard/soft, tough/tender, moist/dry, and other factors that determine how many times we chew our food. It's obvious to me when the food is or almost liquefied and ready to swallow.
Chewing more leads to eating less! It works by increasing the satisfaction you get from meals helping to tide you over between meals. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to signal the stomach that it's full. Research shows that chewing more helps reduce meal size by 15%. If you chew your food twice as long as you currently do it will help you control the amount of food you eat, ultimately decreasing caloric intake leading to weight loss (nice side effect).
I personally notice I'm filling up faster when chewing slowly. This small but challenging change to my lifestyle is improving my health.
Healthy digestion is the key to helping keep us healthy!
Happy & Healthy,