This is how a typical person chews her food - 10 times of chewing before swallowing. Is that enough? How many times should you chew your food before swallowing?
We have eye for seeing, ear for hearing, nose for smelling and breathing, and mouth for eating and talking.
How about our teeth? Teeth are our hardest body part. We need teeth to cut, crush, tear, shred and grind food. This is so important we even have different types of teeth for different functions.
The lazy teeth
Most people don't chew thoroughly before swallowing it. Some teenager even stuffs their mouth with food and swallows every 5 seconds. Imagine that.
When a mouthful of food not chewed completely goes into your stomach, your stomach cries, "My master, why don't you ask Teeth to chew the food completely before passing to me? Teeth are the hardest body part. Teeth's job is to chew food completely. Do you know there are no teeth in your stomach? Why must you let me do this unnecessary and torturing job?"
Let's do an experiment. Next time when you're having a meal, chew your food as usual. When you are about to swallow, spit out all food from your mouth. Yes, spit it out on the table just once. Look at it. If you see large chunks of food, think of how your stomach can ever digest it.
When your stomach receives food still in large pieces, it can only produce more gastric acid to dissolve it. Your stomach will use more peristaltic movement to further break down the food.
The results? Longer digestion time and often incomplete digestion. For long term, you stomach may lose its elasticity sooner.
The swallowed food only moves to small intestine after all are fully processed by stomach. If your stomach still contains large pieces of food, other swallowed food must also stay in the stomach even though it is ready to move to small intestine. This slows down digestion of other easily digested food such as fruits and vegetables.
And this eventually leads to other stomach problems such as gaseous stomach and burping.
How many times should you chew?
Well, it depends on what you eat. If you take porridge, you may chew for less than 10 times. But if you eat meat, you may need to chew for 40 times.
However, these are only basic guidelines. Please don't count how many times you chew while eating. This definitely prevents you from enjoying your food. Basically, you can swallow after all food in your mouth is broken to tiny pieces.
The more you can chew the better. Your stomach surely loves it.
Another advantage of chewing slowly is that you can take time to enjoy your meal. Do not rush. Eat slowly. Enjoy the feeling of chewing your food and enjoy the taste.
Those who often have their meal in a hurry will eventually get all sorts of stomach and digestion problem. This may also lead to gastric pain.
What you shouldn't do while eating
Never watch television while eating. It definitely affects your digestion because your brain directly controls stomach's gastric juice production. For the same reason, do not talk about anything stressful such as company or family problem.
Actually, it's much better if you can keep your mouth shut all the time while eating. This prevents air from mixing with your food and gets swallowed into your stomach. With this, you get less burping.
Eating is what most people take for granted. Chew thoroughly and eat slowly to ensure a proper digestion.
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