We all heard it: “Eat slower.” or “Chew thoroughly.” Did our parents just echoed a phrase they picked up somewhere or is there a deeper truth in transforming your food intake into a contemplation exercise? Let’s investigate it the ExperienceZone way.
Chewing is more than training your jawbone
I’m guilty as charged: My eating pace is incredible fast and thus unhealthy. That’s what they say at least. So why is that? The faster you eat, the less you chew. What’s the purpose of chewing? In first place, it divides the food bites, which helps the subsequent digestion organs to further convert it. The smaller the food bits, the less work your stomach and intestines have. Also, moving your jaw produces saliva. Latter already converts food in your mouth. Ergo: The fewer chews, the less saliva is available for pre-digestion. Your stomach and intestines have no teeth. Hence, food bits will cause digestion problems eventually.
Two good reasons to spend more time over a meal and thus chew every bite more often. There’re two additional ones, which are not directly related to the physical act of digestion.
First, Your brain impacts your feeling of hunger. Proper chewing supports proper alignment with the rest of your body. Your brain can make a good judgement call when it’s time to stop eating. If you gorge food, your brain might not be able to keep up and receive and send the message “I’m full. Stop eating.” too late. The result is that you ate to much and end up with stomach pains.
Second, spending more time over a meal – especially in company – improves your life quality. Why’s that? Well, it gives you time to enjoy the meal with all senses. You taste food with your tongue – or more precisely your palate. You smell it with your nose. Your eyes get the visual benefits of a well prepared salad. In turn, you significantly decrease the awareness factor of a meal if you eat hasty and being distracted by social media or your telly in worst case.
How do you ensure proper pre-digestion?
Yep, this is definitely one of my larger learning opportunities in nutrition & energy. I’m just eating to fast, due to my hectic nature. There’re some tiny habits I’m about to dig deeper into. Surely, you’ll find value in them too. Here they’re:
- Eat consciously: Awareness is the first step towards any change in your life. Eating with all senses requires you to eat when you’re eating. No distractions. No smartphone, tablet or telly. Just you and your meal. Practice enjoyment. Try to be grateful for it. Most people on this planet would love to have a meal like you’re gorging every day once in their lifetime! The problem in our “developed world” is not that we don’t have enough food but that we eat too much (and the wrong stuff).
- Eat less: Strive towards an efficient digestion. If your digestive track is clean – from your tongue to your anus – you need only little food intake. I used to too fast and thus too often and too much. Not a surprise that my bowel had a serious conversation with me afterwards. The slower you eat, the less you need. Reason being, your body is able to metabolize food better. Hara hachi bu: Stop once you’re 50% full. That’s what the Japanese do and you need to try as well. Join me on the way to control our palates.
- Get a good blender: Usually, there’re no shortcuts in life. Yet, when it comes to eating, there’s a great way to be time efficient and eat healthy – especially if you combine it with a raw vegan diet. Get a good blender! It purifies and thus pre-digests your food. You just need to drink the green-brown soup. Bon appetit!