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The importance of proper chewing

Stopping gobbling: the importance of proper chewing

Bite, swallow, gone. We all have those moments from time to time when we wolf down a quick bite with tremendous haste. Or are so hungry that we almost forget to chew properly. And our parents used to say it: chew your food well. It sounds so logical. And yet we actually forget very often. But why is proper chewing so important, anyway? It may seem like something very simple, but chewing properly has significant benefits for your health and well-being. This is why it is worth taking the time to chew your food thoroughly.

Improved digestion

One of the benefits of proper chewing is improved digestion. In fact, digestion already begins with the chewing process in your mouth, where saliva contains enzymes that help break down carbohydrates. When you chew food thoroughly, it is better mixed with these enzymes, which is the first step toward more efficient digestion.

In addition, the larger food particles are broken down into smaller pieces during chewing, which facilitates the work of your stomach and intestines. And it works as simply as you might expect: when you swallow large pieces of food, your body will have to break it down into smaller pieces on its own. If you have already done that work, then your stomach and intestines can skip this step, so to speak, easing the process for digestion.

Keeping a good weight

This too is probably recognizable: in a nice restaurant, you order just a little too much. You still have an appetite, so you decide to keep eating. Once home you feel heavy and realize: I ate too much. Chewing well can help you eat more consciously and feel satiated faster. When you eat more slowly and chew your food thoroughly, you have more time to recognize signals of satiety. In fact, that heavy feeling when you come home from a restaurant is often the result of missing the signals that you are satiated.

Your brain sends that signal in part by how much you chew. This is because it releases histamine, which gives a feeling of satiety. The better you chew, the slower you eat. And the slower you eat, the more histamine is released. As a result, not only will you be full faster, but you will also feel satiated longer throughout the day, making you less likely to snack. This helps to maintain weight.

Better nutritional absorption

When you chew food properly, you improve the absorption of nutrients into your body. Nutrients are primarily absorbed in your small intestine, and the better your food is broken down in your mouth and stomach, the easier it is for your body to absorb those nutrients. After all, the energy that would otherwise have gone into breaking down those large chunks of food can now be spent absorbing important nutrients.

This means that you benefit more from the nutritional value of your meals when you chew properly. Certain nutrients, such as
in vegetables, by definition, become more readily available when they are properly ground.

Reduced risk of gastrointestinal problems

People who hastily swallow their food are at greater risk of stomach problems such as heartburn. Insufficiently chewed food can irritate the stomach and increase the production of stomach acid. Discomfort such as bloating can also occur in the intestines. This is because of the effort your body has to put into breaking down the large pieces of food.

Enjoying the meal more

Last but not least, proper chewing simply adds to the pleasure of eating. By eating more slowly and enjoying the flavors and textures of your meal, you will have a much more satisfying experience than if you gulp without proper tasting. For most meals, someone has done their best, and surely it is only deserved that, by chewing well and quietly, they are well enjoyed?

So, now really chew well

It may seem obvious, but chewing properly is a simple habit with quite an impact on your health and well-being. Stomach and bowel problems can be reduced, it is easier to maintain weight and the enjoyment of good food is greater. You already knew it, of course, but so make sure you actually do it: no more gulping, take your time, taste and chew deliberately. 

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