Physical digestion begins in your mouth. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin to break down what you eat, helping to prepare your food into something your body can absorb (not just swallow!). The more thoroughly you chew your food, the more likely you are to achieve maximum absorption of all its vitamins and minerals.
Saliva not only assists in the digestion of carbohydrates, but it also makes food more alkaline, which reduces bloating and gas.
HOW TO CHEW PROPERLY
Like any good habit, proper chewing takes practice. If you are new to the idea of slow and mindful eating, start with the two tips below. Remember, big changes have small beginnings.
1. Chew each bite 20-30 times before swallowing
2. Put your utensils down between bites to slow down.
Become aware of the conversations you are holding while eating, aim towards using language and words that calm you and those around the table down. We want to be in “REST AND DIGEST”, not “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” mode when we eat. If you are feeling stressed out during a meal, pause for a moment and focus on your breathing. See if perhaps you can take several abdominal breaths to help down regulate your nervous system into ‘chill mode’.