Today I am going to begin a new feature on my blog called Tiny Tip Tuesday. I plan to use each Tuesday as an opportunity to offer information focused on tips for a healthy life. Sometimes I might examine a particular food or supplement. Sometimes the focus might be on a cooking tip or explore healthy digestion. I will just see where the mood takes me on each week. (Of course, I am always open to reader suggestions.) So on the inaugural post of what should be many more tiny tips, I would like to remind every one to CHEW YOUR FOOD!
Taking the time to thoroughly chew your food is one of the single most important things you can do to aid digestion. Mechanical digestion begins in the mouth. Thoroughly chewing your food breaks the food down into smaller particles which are easier for your body to digest. Being in smaller pieces makes it easier for your body to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients in your food. Also, the longer you chew, the more your food is exposed to the digestive enzymes in your saliva. (Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with the digestive enzyme amylase and lingual lipase starts digestion of fats. Both enzymes are found in your saliva.) More chewing also means a longer dinner time. Given that some researchers believe it takes the body up to 20 minutes to recognize signs of satiety, slowing the chewing process down gives the body time to recognize it is full. Finally, chewing more gives you a longer opportunity to enjoy your food.
So the next time you sit down to enjoy your poached salmon dinner or flourless chocolate cake, remember to take the time to chew your food to a uniform consistency. Your tummy will thank you!!
See other photos by Christian Scheja on flickr.