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Chew Your Way to a New YOU!

Good digestion is key to abundant health because we are only as healthy as our gut is. God wants us to enjoy our food and have mealtime be a pleasurable experience, so He created us with taste buds to appreciate the various flavors; in fact, nine thousand taste buds!

Taste buds are replaced every 21 days. Therefore, if we want to introduce a new food to our diet that we currently do not like, we can continue to introduce that food for 21 days and we will learn to like the new food!

If we want to remove a food from our diet, our taste buds can adapt within 3 weeks! The longer you stick to a new pattern of eating the more the brain will run along the new channels or grooves, and less on the previous brain grooves, forming new habits and preferences.

How we chew our food has huge effects on our gut health. Some benefits of proper chewing include:

  • Improved digestion and nutrient absorption

  • Less work for the digestive organs

  • Increased appreciation of food and flavors

  • Decreased cravings

  • Decreased gas and bloating

  • Strengthened immune system

  • Improvement with Weight Management

The smaller the food particles that enter the stomach, the easier it is to digest, process and assimilate into useful nutrients and energy by the body. When food is less chewed, the larger food particles pass through the system and become a ready platform for bacteria, or, in other words, begin to decay and give avenue for disease resulting in less nourishment for the body. Initial symptoms may include (but not limited to): gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping, and/or bad breath.

As food is chewed, simultaneously, saliva is excreted from salivary glands and is mixed with the food. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that help breakdown carbohydrates, as well as prepare and lubricate the food for an easy transit through the esophagus into the stomach for further digestion. The longer food is chewed, the longer the enzymes have to initiate the process of food breakdown and digestion, making it easier on the stomach and intestines to work efficiently.

Chew well to control weight!

Chewing your food twice as long may result in 10% fewer calories consumed. This is because your brain is given enough time to signal “enough”. It takes about 20 minutes for the signal to trigger, no matter how many calories you eat. However, we can desensitize this signal by repeatedly overeating. Simply by chewing well and eating more slowly you can lower your risk of diabetes, obesity, lower body mass index and waist circumference.[1]

Learning to change a chewing habit will take conscious effort, but if you can still eat, it is never too late to start a new chewing habit at your next meal. Slow down, enjoy your food, savor every bite, and learn to appreciate the true flavors.

Tips for Chewing Your Way to a New YOU!

  • Take smaller bites of food. Smaller bites are easier to chew.

  • Be conscious of what, when, and how much food you put in your mouth.

  • Chew slowly and steadily.

  • Lay down your utensil between each bite.

  • Finish chewing and swallowing completely before picking up your utensil for the next bite.

  • Avoid drinking with your meals. Drinking with meals dilutes the saliva and digestive acids.

  • Avoid eating between meals. This interrupts the work of the digestive organs.

  • Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible will necessitate that you chew more (consider a smoothie versus a salad, which will you chew more?).

“In order to secure healthy digestion, food should be eaten slowly…The benefits derived from food does not depend so much on quantity eaten as on its thorough digestion.”[2]

[1] Eating Slower Tied to Lower Obesity Risk in Type 2 Diabetes. [2] White, E. Counsels on Diets and Foods, Review and Herald


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