Friday, January 24, 2014

Chew Your Food for Better Digestion

My mom was a 'Macrobiotic' for a long time. She ate a strict clean vegan diet of fresh steamed veggies and grains and aduki beans. One of the most important parts of her diet was chewing each bite of food a minimum of thirty-five times.. "What?" I shouted when joining her for a Macrobiotic dinner. "Will there be any food left in my mouth after chewing that much?" I asked. I couldn't believe there was even such a thing as chewing your food THAT much. But after years of uncomfortable digestion issues including bloating, abdominal pains, and gas from above and below.. haha... Well, I thought I would give it a sincere try. 

If you suffer from any of the above issues- try more chewing at every meal (maybe even up to thirty-five times) and you will be astonished at how much easier digesting is. For fun do a count of your usual chewing and notice if you are swallowing huge portions of food at a time. If so, that will make it harder for your body to digest what your putting into it- causing uncomfortable bloating and gas. All of this said, some people have a high 'digestive fire' or a high metabolism naturally. These people can wolf down a hamburger, fries and a shake in two minutes and not even blink. Their bodies are churning so much energy, they can break it down easily.

Of course there may be times to supplement your meal with a couple digestive enzymes when eating a spicy curry or a plate of foreign beans, tofu, or even if there are onions or garlic in sight of a dish you will be eating. There is nothing worse than being all groomed for a lovely date out, only to be burping up garlic-onion flavor air all night and feeling uncomfortable in your gut. No Thanks. Remember, you can always request no onion or garlic at a restaurant- where possible they will do it for you.

 When you double or triple the amount you chew before swallowing, your saliva begins to break down foods in your mouth by way of offering enzymes to the mix. Enzymes help your body break down the proteins, fats and carbohydrates you take in and also help it to absorb their nutrients properly. Chewing helps your saliva not only prepare the food for its next stop, it lets the stomach and small intestine know you are sending down nutrients, so every part of your body is well prepared to receive your food offering and absorb its properties to the best of its ability. Even if you are a fast metabolism burner- consider chewing more and breaking down your foods in the mouth before swallowing, rather than shocking the digestive tract with huge chunks of food. Your body will enjoy an easier time digesting and receiving nutrients and you will have less of a food-baby gut too. 

Another tip is don't drink a lot of water with your meal. Especially if you have a slower burning metabolism. Sip small amounts of water or tea. A friend constantly complained about her slow buring metabolism and painful digestion. It ends up she was drinking a pint of ice water with each meal. That totally inhibited her digestive fire and body's ability to break down the food she ate. After switching to sipping very little water with meals, she has a much happier time digesting overall.

Enjoy more energy, sleep better and increase your body's ability to absorb the nutrients you put inside of it!

Lots of Love,

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.

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