Want Better Digestion? Try this!

When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but HOW we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems. There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food. Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets. Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food. More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.

It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we're chewing well, we're more apt to notice when we're full. In fact, chewing can promote healing and circulation, enhance immunity, increase energy and endurance, improve skin health and stabilize weight.

Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control. Try eating without the TV, computer, newspaper or noisy company. Instead just pay attention to the food and to how you are breathing and chewing.

This kind of quiet can be disconcerting at first, since we're used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create a new habit, you'll begin to appreciate eating without rushing. You have to eat every day—why not learn to savor and enjoy it?

Here's my inspiration for you: the next meal you eat, see how many times you can chew one bite. Don't count, just chew and REALLY taste the flavors of food.  Let me know how it goes for you! I'd love to hear!

{life is tasty}

©  2010 Renee Yemma ® All Rights Reserved.

Want to use this article on your website or on your own blog or newsletter?  No problem!  But here's what you MUST include: Renee C. Yemma, Holistic Nutrition Coach, is founder and director of Get Inner-gized with Renee.  She is a mother, writer, teacher, coach, photographer and so much more.  To receive weekly healthy living articles on loving delicious, nutritious foods and putting YOU first without feeling guilty about it, visit www.reneeyemma.com.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.