“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 GMOs, make antioxidants, evaluate the glycemic index, and consider all factors related to food quality.
Why is that?
We are doing 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 at the table and eat peacefully with our family. We don’t enjoy the meal anymore, but we do not have time to swallow the food as we should.
It sounds awkward, but have you ever wondered how fast /slow you eat?
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, you may not be chewing food enough.
Good health begins with proper digestion
Most people don’t pay enough attention, forgetting that it substantially affects our health. The way we chew affects digestion, the teeth, and even the face shape, while the previous research in this area shows that chewing also affects our brain.
The problem with the modern diet today is that the meals, thanks to processed food, are more mechanical and do not require prolonged chewing. On the other hand, raw vegetables, fruits, and meat require more chewing. If we do not eat this kind of food enough, bigger pieces pass through the digestive system and aren’t entirely absorbed.
In this fast-chewing paste, even ecological food becomes unhealthy.
Many of us often do not think about the choices we make in eating, especially about the size of the portion. Yet, that’s precisely what leads to overeating and, ultimately, more pounds. So try to think about what and how much you are eating. Knowing how to stop when your stomach recognizes satisfaction will also bring in fewer calories.
The digestive system cannot quickly expel all you enter, so it is necessary to chew slowly.
Digest your food well – In your mouth
Most people think 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 starch into smaller molecules that the body cells use for energy.
However, when you don’t chew the food well, Alpha-amylase can’t break the starch into smaller particles, leaving the body cells without power.
Many people know how to manage their time, but the most productive people can control their attention and energy. For example, 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 vital enzyme in the saliva is Linguistic lipase. It comes from the glands under the tongue and helps your body to dissolve the fat. When you eat slower, it is easier to lose fat.
You will start to feel greater pleasure with less food. When you eat fast, it happens, and vice versa.
The food we adore, we want to eat fast as it is so delicious that it would be best to swallow it whole. But in reality, when we eat food slower, we won’t take joy 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: You will enjoy it twice as much when you eat twice as long.
Of all our foods, only mineral salts, water, vitamins, and glycosides can pass through the intestinal mucous membrane without previous digestion.
The cheese pie you ate for breakfast will be fully digested and extracted from your body the following day.
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. Finally, two hours later, what’s left of your pie comes into the colon, where the water and salt are extracted.
If you are sucking up food instead of chewing it, this process may take a lot longer. Not only will a multitude of nutrients that come through your body 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
Open your fridge and expose yourself to a stunning turn of events…
There is room for improvement, right?
Ayurveda health system gives us the Upayoga samsthu – eating skill with detailed quotations to eat. The digestion process starts when you see, sniff, or think about food. If you need clarification on this, remember the feeling when looking at the food you like. Then, 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 avoid eating in the car, walking, or standing. The body wants to avoid multitasking while you eat. Sitting ensures that all your energy is devoted to digestion.
2. Focus on food. It will taste better and be more enjoyable when you give it full attention. Avoid distractions such as TV, reading, or working. Determine how many times you will chew the bite. It 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 a slow eater, this habit needs time and work to overcome.
3. Take the time for food! Schedule your calendar for 20 to 30 minutes for a meal. Before swallowing, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times and harder foods up to 20-30 times. Food deserves your attention.
4. Eat when you are hungry. Hunger (a real sense of longing, not a mockery) is a natural urge 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 the right amount and chew, chew, chew… Big bites of inadequately chewed food will be harder to digest if your portion is small.
6. Eat in a calm and temperate atmosphere. A quiet environment encourages a peaceful mind. It has a direct impact on the physical body and the process of digestion.
7. Never eat when you feel shaken up. The whole food will lose value in the digestive tract if you eat in a negative state of mind. If you are upset or angry, postpone a meal until you feel better.
8. Wait until the next meal. Ayurveda teaches us that overeating is a major cause of the disease. It would help if you felt light, enthusiastic, hungry, and thirsty. Foods that are not adequately chewed may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances and other potential digestive 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 stuffed. Most of today’s meals last only a short time. If you do not believe it, watch the clock. Consider how many extra (unnecessary) calories you enter into yourself because you have yet to give the body time to register the food that is no longer needed.
If you eat three meals daily, each with up to a hundred extra calories because you devour food, that number is no longer negligible.
10. Sit for a few minutes after each meal. Do not just eat and run. Instead, 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
To speak correctly, it is essential that the muscles of the tongue, lips, and face can support movements that are necessary for the pronunciation of the voices, and oral practice is required. It is a prerequisite for proper articulation (pronunciation) of the voice. It 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 a good position for correctly pronouncing the voices. Maturation of oral practice follows the physiological development of the child.
Therefore, it is important not to mix food for your kid but to chop it with a fork or knife. The chewing process is crucial for bone development and teeth health. In addition, the child’s vulnerability is least expressed by two years of age. For this reason, the indicated 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 and the possibility of greater tongue mobility. This period is the optimal time to start the introduction of solid food. Early baby feeding is of great importance not only because of its nutritional value but because chewing such foods is crucial to the later development of the complete speech device.
It stimulates the muscles of all speech organs. Therefore, when introducing solid food, it is essential to know that chewing requires different oral motor skills that are of great importance to speech development. For example, chewing helps develop language use, which is an excellent exercise for pronouncing the voices T, D, K, and 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, and 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 a 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 your country, you will find a lot of salty and sweet dishes and unavoidable nuts, vegetables, and fruits. So 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 any way 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 and paper bags with plastic forks and drinking from plastic glasses, that level of people’s disinfection only reminds me of chickens in network cages that just need to eat and lay eggs.
Your kitchen is your world of taste. Small but endlessly imaginative and ingenious dishes are combined to bring us some unmatched flavors and reveal some new taste sensations.
While 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 entirely different in how we see our food and are not at all open to diversity. We do not appreciate the different types of tastes and beauty, but only those in a specific package.
There are so many international restaurants, spices, and cooking methods. 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 nature and God gave us so many senses of taste to suck up food and wash it with some drink to feel the sense of satiety?
Food is culture. When you sit for dinner in Italy (outstanding cuisine), you have the impression that it’s not about food but about spending time with friends, family, and guests.
Slow living means being able to experience, live, and enjoy life without hesitation and someone’s imposed pace. Allow the body to adapt and 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 and pick fruits. Doing this, you’ll meet yourself and draw your maximum.
Taste is the passage to understanding a pleasure. The lesson here implies that when we are kids, we develop and distinguish a wide range of flavors worldwide.
A taste arouses and stimulates all senses related to the mind and feelings, focusing on giving ourselves a moment and experiencing it fully. So if you want to enjoy your favorite food, let it be entirely 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 your example.
The next time when you are at the table, remember these tips and give yourself time to enjoy and chew properly and think about the following:
The gluttonous (greedy) 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 the chocolate frost and taste the finish inside their cheeks.
Which one are you?