I think people have forgotten why we have these pearly whites – are they really just something to flash when you’re in a good mood and having a laugh? They are for MASTICATION!! You heard me, mastication. The word that sounds a bit rude…… but it’s not! It is actually incredibly important.
Did you know that digestion begins in the mouth? Well actually, it gets stimulated prior to that as we smell, touch and prepare our food. This allows salivation to get going and also stimulates the release of our digestive juices such as stomach acid, bile and digestive enzymes.
So…… why do we vitamise food for babies? Why do we vitamise food for the elderly? Generally, it’s because they both have no teeth to do it for them selves!
There are a couple of other reasons too like bubs have sensitive little developing digestive systems that do better with simple mushed up foods and as we age our digestive function can become way less efficient.
If we miss this vital step of chewing (AKA mastication) food thoroughly, the rest our digestive system is put under a lot of unnecessary pressure making it work harder than need be.
Think about this; there are no teeth further down the tract! The mouth is where mechanical break down occurs and the rest is chemical break down with acid, enzymes and bile plus a little bit of encouragement with peristalsis (the muscle contractions that keep food moving on its way through the digestive tract).
Food lower down that has not been digested properly can sit in the bowels fermenting making us feel bloated, uncomfortable and gassy! Yikes! That’s not good at work or on a first, second or third date.
And even more worrisome this undigested food can look quite foreign to the immune system and may trigger an inflammatory response potentially leading to food intolerances and other inflammatory conditions. Ohh No!
None of these are great outcomes!
And so here is your challenge for the week. Chew chew chew. Take your time when eating. Smell, touch and look at your food! Try and chew each mouthful at least 20 times. Chew your food into a paste before you send it on it’s merry way. Try and eat uninterrupted and without multitasking, be peaceful and relaxed. Don’t shove it in, chomp twice, swallow and run off to do the next thing and wonder why you feel a little sick in the tummy 20 minutes later.
I don’t care if you were one of 10 kids and learnt to eat like a speed demon at age of 2 just to survive. There aren’t exceptions to this rule. It’s really important to change your ways or at least try!
And if you are still feeling bloating, uncomfortable or sluggish in the guts after really trying a bit of thorough mastication there are some great natural remedies to improve & support good digestion that you can discuss with any good Naturopath including myself!
But until then Chew Food Dude!
Love and Healing
Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.