Optimizing Digestion – healthy eating habits that go right to the gut!
Did you know digestion begins in the mouth? As you start to chew your food, digestive enzymes found in saliva begin to break it down, preparing for nutrient absorption. Saliva also makes the food more alkaline, which creates less bloating and gas.
Chewing is crucial for proper digestion and eating slowly is known to help prevent common digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating and gas.
Also, In order to achieve maximum absorption of the food’s nutrients, it’s important to chew your food thoroughly. Chewing food thoroughly also helps slow down your eating pace which may result in eating less which can lead to weight loss.
In today’s culture, we are always rushing from here to there. We have so much to do with limited time. This often leads to eating fast foods and eating our foods fast. Both of these will affect your digestion and how you feel after your meals.
How you chew your food is a little thing that will matter!
If you typically don’t pay attention to how you chew it may take a number of meals to get into the habit.
- Choose one meal next week and chew each bite 25 times. Put it on your calendar or set an alarm on your phone.
- Place an object on your table to remind you to focus on chewing
- Try putting your utensils down between bites to help you better concentrate on chewing.
- Count your bites, aiming for 25 times or until it is somewhat liquefied.
- Focus on your food. Avoid watching television or scrolling on a mobile device.
- Try and observe the taste, smell, color, and texture of the food you’re eating while chewing. Taking the time to chew will help you to enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas in your food and will help slow your chewing process.
- Take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you.
- Try not to eat at least 4 hours before bed. Instead, drink a glass of warm lemon water.
It’s always good to note any changes body and how you feel after the meal. Be intentional and journal your findings. When you recognize and remember you had better digestion, increased energy, longer lengths of time until you’re hungry again, etc., you will more likely continue this digestive practice.