“First we eat, then we do everything else.”
Let’s be honest, because of our ‘modern lifestyle,’ we eat in the car, standing, when we’re under stress, in a hurry, and depend on the cold remnants straight from the fridge. We buy grown products, avoid GMO’s, make antioxidants, evaluate the glycemic index, and consider all factors related to the quality of the food we eat.
We are making all this research, but I must say that much is in vain if we don’t pay enough attention to the process of eating. It’s not just what we eat, we need to pay attention to how we eat. Nowadays we don’t even have the time to sit down at the table and eat in peace. We don’t enjoy the meal anymore, but furthermore, we do not have time to swallow the food as we should.
It sounds very simple, but have you ever wondered how fast /slow you eat?
Chewing food to the end is a step in the pursuit of a healthy life that is often neglected. Have you ever measured the time you eat? How much do you need to finish your meal? 10, 15 or 5 minutes? If you fall into these frames, then you are probably not chewing food enough.
Good health begins with proper digestion
Most people don’t pay enough attention, forgetting that it has an important effect on our health. The way we chew affects digestion, the teeth, even the face shape. While the last research in this area shows that chewing also affects our brain.
The problem of modern diet today is that the meals, thanks to the processed food, are more mechanic, which does not require long chewing. On the other hand, raw vegetables and fruits, as well as meat, require more chewing. If we do not eat this kind of food enough, bigger pieces pass through the digestive system and aren’t completely absorbed.
In this fast chewing paste, even ecological food becomes unhealthy for our body.
Many of us often do not think about the choices they make in eating, and especially about the size of the portion. That’s exactly what leads to overeating and at the end more pounds. So try to think about what and how much you are eating. Knowing how to stop when your stomach recognizes satisfaction, you will also bring in less calorie. The digestive system cannot quickly expel all that you enter, so it is necessary to chew slowly.
Digest your food well – In your mouth
Most people think that digestion begins in the stomach but it is not true. It actually starts in the mouth. Saliva in the mouth contains the necessary digestive enzymes. One of these enzymes is alpha-amylase. This enzyme is essential for breaking down the starch into smaller molecules that the body cells use for energy. When you don’t chew the food well, Alpha-amylase doesn’t have the ability to break the starch into smaller molecules, leaving the body cells, without energy.
Many people know how to manage their own time, but the most productive people can manage their attention and energy. When you consciously feed, you are always focusing on what you eat, and when you do, you exercise your “concentration muscle”, which will eventually help you focus more on your daily tasks.
Another important enzyme in saliva is linguistic lipase. These glands are located under the tongue and help your body to dissolve the fat. When you eat slower, it is easier to lose your fat tissue. You will start to feel greater pleasure with less food. When you eat fast, it happens vice versa.
The food we adore we want to eat fast as it is so delicious that it would be the best to swallow it whole. But in reality, when we eat food slower, we will not enjoy it less – on the contrary, we will enjoy it much more. If for example, you chew a bite of pie or bacon 20 times instead of 10, you will enjoy double!
Mathematics is simple: When you eat twice as long, you will enjoy it twice as much.
Of all the foods that we eat, only mineral salts, water, vitamins, and glycosides can pass through the intestinal mucous membrane without previous change. (Read digestion).
The cheese pie that you ate for breakfast will be fully digested and extracted from your body the next morning.
When it comes to the stomach, it is already mashed and with the help of stomach acid, breaks about three to four calories per minute.
Then the food travels through the bowel, where it is further broken down, and the nutrients reach the bloodstream through the wall of the intestine. Two hours later, what’s left of your pie comes into the colon where the water and salt are being extracted.
If you are sucking up food instead of eating it, this process may take a lot longer. Not only does a multitude of nutrients that come through your body will remain unused, but your stomach will need more water and energy to burn that pie.
Side effects of fast eating
– Great feeling of discomfort
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease
– Returning of food /liquid; acid taste in the throat
– Insufficient nutrients for your body
– Risk of severe bacterial overgrowth (bad ones):
– Hard to maintain a healthy weight
– Bad muscle jow structure
– Gasses and bloating
– You could choke yourself
– You are slowly killing the sense of taste
There is room for improvement, right?
Ayurveda health system gives us the upayoga samsthu – eating skill with detailed quotations to eat. As soon as you see, sniff or just think about food, the digestion process starts. If you are not sure about this, remember the feeling when you look at the food you like. Suddenly, saliva appears in the mouth. The first step of digestion is moisturizing food with saliva, but there are more to consider:
1. Always eat when sitting down. Do your best to not eat in the car, while walking or even while standing. The body does not want to multitask while you eat. Sitting ensures that all your energy is devoted to digestion.
2. Focus on food. When you give it full attention, it will have a better taste, be more enjoyable. Avoid distractions such as TV, reading or working. Determine how many times you will chew the bite. Sounds weird, but try it! Find a person at the table that eats the slowest (usually small children) and follow their pace. If you are not used to eating slow, this is the habit that needs time and works to overcome.
3. Take the time for food! Schedule your calendar for 20 to 30 minutes for a meal. You should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and harder foods up to 20-30 times before swallowing. Food deserves your attention and entry into your schedule.
4. Eat when you are hungry. Hunger (refers to a true sense of hunger, not a mockery) is a natural urge which you should not suppress. Listen to the starvation of your body. Eat roughly at the same time every day. The body moves along with the routine.
5. Use smaller plates. There is no standard amount of food we need to enter the body because we are all individually separated and have different needs. When you eat slower, you automatically eat smaller portions. Great news if you want to lose that pound. Find your right amount and chew, chew, chew… Big bites of inadequately chewed food will be harder to digest no matter how small your portion is.
6. Eat in a calm and temperate atmosphere. A calm environment encourages a peaceful mind. It has a direct impact on the physical body and the process of digestion.
7. Never eat when you are upset. The whole food will lose its value in the digestive tract if you eat in a negative state of mind. If you are upset, or angry, postpone eating until you feel better.
8. Wait until the next meal. Ayurveda says premature feeding of the system is a major cause of the disease. You need to feel light, enthusiastic, hungry and thirsty. Foods that are not properly chewed may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances and other potential gastrointestinal tract problems.
9. Give your body time to recognize that you are full. The brain takes about 20 minutes from the beginning of the meal to send the signals that you are full. Most of today’s meals do not last so long. If you do not believe it, watch the clock. Consider how many extra (unnecessary) calories you enter into yourself, because you haven’t given the body time to register that food that is no longer needed. If you eat three meals a day, and each has up to a hundred extra calories because you eat fast, that number is no longer negligible.
10. Sit for a few minutes after each meal. Do not just eat and run. Stay calm for a while for your digestive system to start working. These guidelines are simple but make all the difference.
When we eat fast, at the end of the day we eat more than we need. Which leads to poor digestion and excess weight.
When we eat slowly, digestion is better, easier to maintain or lose weight and we feel greater pleasure with less food.
The connection between chewing and speaking
In order to speak properly, it is important that the muscles of the tongue, lips, and face can support movements that are necessary for the pronunciation of the voices, oral practice is necessary. It is a prerequisite for proper articulation (pronunciation) of the voice and represents the ability to voluntarily initiate parts of the speech device (lips, cheeks, jaws, tongue, soft and hard palate). In this way, the vocal organs are in an adequate position necessary for the correct pronunciation of the voices. Maturation of oral practice follows the physiological development of the child.
Therefore, it is important not to mix food for your child, but to chop it with a fork or knife. The chewing process is very important for bone development and teeth health. The child’s vulnerability is least expressed up to two years of age. For this reason, this period is suitable for discovering new flavors and accepting varied foods with less resistance.
The baby has better control of the lips for 4 to 6 months, as well as the possibility of greater mobility of the tongue. This period is the optimal time to start the introduction of solid food. Early baby-feeding is of great importance not only because of the nutritional value but because the chewing of such foods is crucial to the later development of the complete speech device.
It stimulates the muscles of all the speech organs. When introducing solid food, it is important to know that chewing requires different oral motor skills that are of great importance to the development of speech.
For example, chewing helps in the development of language use, which is an excellent exercise to pronounce the voices T, D, K, G.
In addition to regular meals, the development of oral practice in older children can be stimulated with other foods such as bread crisps, dried fruits, muffins, cheese.
Maze – slow food
The Maze is a ritual of enjoyment in tiny snacks of various foods that were present in all the kitchens of the former Persian and Ottoman empires.
Nowadays if you find yourself in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Turkey or any of the countries of the Middle East, feel relaxed if your hosts invite you to a feast called maze.
This is the almost forgotten ritual that doesn’t only imply the enjoyment of tiny snacks of various foods, but also the gathering around the table with people who are dear and entertaining.
Depending on the country you are in, you will find a lot of salty and sweet dishes and unavoidable nuts, vegetables and fruits. Do not be surprised if you get a small plate.
The mosaic philosophy tells you to eat all but little and slowly. Food is there anyway as the initiator of the conversation.
The value of chewing slowly
Water should be chewed, and food should be drunk.
When I see people eating from paper plates, paper bags, with plastic forks, and drinking from plastic glasses, that level of people’s disinfection only reminds me of chickens in network cage that only need to eat and lay eggs.
Your kitchen is your world of taste. Small, but therefore endlessly imaginative and ingenious dishes are combined to bring us some unmatched flavors and reveal some new taste sensations.
While the cuisines from various parts of the world have become part of our menu, and you can see the variety and luxury on each plate, we are completely different in how we see our food and I must say we are not at all open to diversity. We do not appreciate the different types of tastes and beauty, but only those that are in a certain package.
There are so many foreign restaurants, spices and ways of cooking food. And why? So you can suck it in a few minutes and say you ate. No, you did not eat. You devour the food! You suck it like a vacuum cleaner.
Do you think that nature and God gave us so many senses of taste to suck up the food and wash it with some drink to feel the sense of satiety?
When you sit for dinner in Italy ( great cuisine), you have the impression that it’s not about food, but about spending time with friends, family, and guests. Food is culture.
Living slowly means being able to experience, live, and enjoy life, without hesitation and someone’s imposed pace. Allow the body to adapt, allowing the mind to ask what the environment offers. Don’t be restricted by other attitudes, learned phrases, imposed opinions, prejudices…
Enjoy the flavors of local dishes, picking fruits. By this way of living, you’ll meet yourself and draw your maximum.
Taste is the passage to understanding pleasure. The lesson on taste implies that when we are kids we learn to value and distinguish a wide range of flavors in the world and to properly eat at the table.
A taste lesson arouses and stimulates all senses that are related to the mind and feelings, focusing on giving ourselves a moment and experiencing it fully. If you want to enjoy your favorite food, let it be completely and without the guilt of conscience.
Observe the strength and distinguish the tastes of each comestible.
If you overestimate food at some point, your child will most likely follow this example.
The next time when you are at the table, remember these tips and give yourself a time to enjoy and chew properly and think about the following:
The gluttonous will swallow the cake in one or two bites.
The tasters will selfishly bite in small pieces as if it’s the last cake in the world.
The gourmets will dip it in boiling coffee to dissolve chocolate frost and taste the finish inside their cheeks.
Which one are you?