Chewing is something that we have been doing for most of our lives. In fact, it is so common to us that we are not even aware that it has a multitude of benefits such as it aids in digestive enzymes and weight loss, can help you absorb more nutrients, and can even help you eat less.
With this, one can’t help but wonder, what are the other benefits that we get from chewing?
What is chewing?
We won’t make the definition of chewing anymore complicated because most likely, in your earliest biology or science class you probably already heard and know that, chewing is the process wherein larger particles of food are broken down into smaller particles before going into digestion.
So basically chewing helps you eat and digest food.
Benefits of Chewing Food Longer
1. It helps in digestion
It is often unknown that chewing is also part of the digestion process, chewing for a longer duration actually helps in the digestion process.
This works as chewing, with the help of saliva, breaks the food down into smaller pieces, making it easier for the food to be digested.
Actually, digestion takes a toll on the body and consumes a lot of energy, this is why foods that are not properly chewed but needs to be, require more energy because they are forced into digestion.
This is why chewing plays an important part in digestion because it makes your stomach work more efficiently and it prevents it from taking a toll on the body as large particles have already been broken down into smaller ones.
2. It’s good for your teeth
Your abs, triceps, and glutes are not the only ones who need a workout or do workouts.
Chewing helps in maintaining a strong jaw and whenever saliva is secreted from chewing, it helps in decreasing the bacteria that can cause tooth decay and other health-related complications by clearing out any food particles.
3. It makes food taste better
It’s very simple how chewing longer makes food taste better.
Chewing longer gives you the opportunity to actually sit down and take your time in eating your meal and tasting your food.
By thoroughly chewing your food, you are letting the food stay longer in your mouth and letting your taste buds identify and enjoy the food that is being broken down.
Also, it is found chewing longer gives ‘volatiles’ or particles from food more time to be sensed when they are carried into the nasal cavity. There, our olfactory receptors are able to examine them in a complex way.
4. Helps in absorbing nutrients
Because chewing breaks down large particles of food into smaller ones, it already makes it easier for other organs such as the intestines to absorb the nutrients that we get from the food we are consuming.
In addition to this, unlike improperly digested food, foods that were broken down and absorbed by the body completely, are highly unlikely to enter your bloodstream which can cause health complications.
5. Makes you eat less
Chewing longer means eating longer, and when you eat longer, you are most likely to eat less.
As it turns out after eating, the body suppresses a hormone called ghrelin which is responsible for controlling hunger.
So, how are they connected? Well, when you eat too fast, you actually tend to consume more food because you are going too fast for your body and brain to send you the signal to stop or to say that you are full.
Vice versa when you eat slowly you are giving your body and brain enough time to evaluate if you have eaten enough. Which also gives you more portion control when eating.
6. Saliva enzymes
When we chew, we secrete saliva from our mouths, which, as it turns out, saliva has digestive enzymes that can help in digestion.
What are these salivary enzymes?
These help in breaking down starches in the food you eat. They are often responsible for the release of sugar molecules. You often experience this when you eat and a sweet taste sensation forms in your mouth.
While Lysozyme is not really a digestion enzyme but more of a defense enzyme, which protects you from bacteria.
You’ll be happy to know that this specific enzyme helps in burning and breaking down fatty acids, while it is found and starts on the mouth, its purpose doesn’t stop there but instead finishes when arriving in the stomach.
While most salivary enzymes perform to digest or breakdown foods, salivary kallikrein does the opposite and makes sure the proteins in the food you consume are not digested.
7. Boosts your energy
Chewing longer can help you gain more energy due to the effective digestion that happens when we chew thoroughly, because foods are broken down and are easily and effectively absorbed by the body, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the food we consume are also effectively used and fueled upon by the body.
As simple as chewing can be, we can’t deny the benefits of chewing food that we weren’t entirely aware of.
Sometimes it is the simple things that we overlook which can do more for us.
We can take walking here for example, even though it is considered as an aerobic exercise, just like chewing, it is also overlooked because of how simple and common it is.
Sometimes, by expanding our knowledge and evaluating properly the things that we are commonly doing, we would be able to expand and reassess which ones are capable of doing more for us rather than going overboard for something which can do less.
Was this article helpful and insightful to you?
While reading, did you think of anyone who might need to read this or is chewing too fast and is not aware that there are more health benefits in taking their time when chewing their food?
Perhaps you were able to relate to the article, and have an interesting story or insight to share with us like chewing food for weight loss?