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How to Identify You're not Chewing Your Food Enough?
Are you always in a hurry while eating or multitask while chewing your food? Then it is highly probable that you don’t chew your food enough. A recent survey revealed that on an average people chew their food only 6 six times before swallowing, which is far less than enough. Chewing food for an adequate amount of time is necessary for a healthy digestive system and can help you avoid lots of health problems.
Here’s why you should chew your food properly.
So what happens to your body when you don’t chew your food enough?
Mastication is the name given to the process of chewing food. Mastication, if not done properly, can lead to various health problems like-
1. Incomplete digestion: Digestion starts in the mouth itself and chewing has a significant role in it. The salivary glands are stimulated to release an alkaline enzyme, called ptyalin, by chewing. This enzyme combines with carbohydrates to initiate the process of the conversion of food into simpler sugars by splitting. Not chewing food properly may be a causative agent for digestive problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhoea to name a few.
2. Increased threat of bacterial overgrowth: If food is not chewed properly it cannot be completely broken down by the digestive system. The partially digested portion of food may result in increased amount of bacteria in the colon, leading to stomach infections.
3. Bad oral health: If you don’t chew food enough, plaque build-up in your mouth may increase, which can further lead to tooth decay. This is because improper chewing means lesser amount of saliva secretion, and more chances of accumulation of unbroken food particles in the mouth, causing cavities.
4. Lesser nutrient absorption: When you don’t chew your food properly, larger food particles don’t break into smaller ones. This makes absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients difficult for your body when they pass through the intestines.
Indications that you don’t chew your food properly
If you don’t chew food for an adequate amount of time, your body begins to give warning signs. This can affect your health significantly, and the following symptoms show if you don’t do it properly.
1. Frequent digestive problems: If you are frequently experiencing digestive problems like acid reflux, constipation or heartburn then there are good chances that the problem is inadequate chewing of food.
2. Weight gain: One of the reasons behind weight gain may be consuming too many calories without realising. This can happen when you eat fast, which indicates that you don’t crush and grind your food properly inside your mouth.
3. Recurrent mood swings: Researchers are of the opinion that improper chewing of food gives rise to digestive problems, which in turn may often ruin your mood.
How many times should you chew each bite?
Researchers at Ohio State University are of the opinion that you should chew each mouthful of food for a minimum of 30 times. However, they mentioned that chewing softer food like potatoes for 5 to 10 times is enough.