Digestion takes up is one of the biggest stressors on the body. It is an incredibly expensive bodily function, meaning it takes a whole lot of our daily energy. This beautiful process starts in the mouth first, then the moves to the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, then to our toilets. It's important that you first understand this flow of digestion because there are different processes happening in different places of your body. Learning digestion helps you better understand what your symptoms are really telling you!
But today we are diving into the best tool we have to aid in digestion and defeat bloating: CHEWING.
1. Chewing helps your body create more digestive enzymes.
When I said digestion starts in the mouth, it begins with chewing. As you chew your food, you release enzymes in your saliva to begin the breakdown of those components. Quick, unintentional chewing means that we are also not producing enough saliva to give our body the digestive enzymes it needs.
You are also grinding food from a solid to a liquid, allowing it to move more efficiently into step 2 of digestion. In these following steps of digestion, this is where we actually extract nutrients from our food. Something as simple as chewing your food well can allow you to get more nutrients from their food!
Most people chew quickly and don't actually properly break down their food, causing their stomach to have to work WAY harder than it wants to, impairing their digestion and absolutely causing bloat.
2. Chewing gives you more energy.
Chewing your food well means that we do not have to use as much energy on digestion, allowing you to have more energy to do more important functions in the body. Your body is always functioning on a basis of what is most important to tend to first. If digestion is struggling, that means you have to use more energy in the GI tract, and less energy elsewhere: like in your brain, regulating hormones, having mental clarity, using it towards your next run, etc...
I have clients that have reported higher levels of energy throughout the day (and less bloating, gas, belching, etc...) when they started chewing their food more!
3. Chewing helps you slow down while eating.
The average American finishes their lunch in about 6-7 minutes. This is a big deal because it can take 20-30 minutes for the hormones in your stomach to signal to your brain that you are full. This means that it is possible that most people go every single meal of their lives without truly listening to their bodies, and eating past their own physiological cues. Bloating can come from eating fast, eating past satiety, and consuming too much air. every single one of these root causes can be remedied by slowing down and chewing your food more efficiently.
Go into this next meal and practice chewing well, trying to turn your food from a liquid to a solid. Do you actually enjoy your food more? Can you taste flavors that you normally miss? Does it allow you to maybe even be more thankful for your food?
4. Better chewed food can = healthier bowel movements.
Pooping is essential for overall health! Anytime I have a client that is not pooping consistently this becomes our NUMBER ONE priority. This is because regular (2-3 times per day) bowel movements mean that food is being moved through our system, nutrients are easily extracted, and toxins are not being built up in the body. Chewing food well allows it to glide easier through the GI tract and can increase our ability to have more consistent BM's.
Give it a try this week. Try and chew your food from solid to liquid form. Let me know if you notice changes in your digestion, energy, and bloat!
Is your gut something that needs extra attention? Reach out to a KYPO Coach today, we are here for you. Or look into the KYPO Program that teaches you personalized, sustainable Holistic Nutrition.