Most of us have heard that we should all chew our food 32 times before we swallow, but who really counts? There are several reasons why chewing your food longer promotes weight loss while helping with general gastrointestinal issues.
Chewing your food longer helps break down the food particles so that it is easier to digest. Since the smaller food particles are more exposed to saliva, which contains digestive enzymes, the stomach does not require extra energy to continue the digestion process. Nutrients are also absorbed more effectively giving you a better source of energy.
Studies show that it takes the brain 20 minutes to realize when the stomach is considered full. This means that eating slower can prevent the feeling of over indulging into the common “food coma.” Individuals are shown to eat 10 percent less while feeling fuller when they eat at a slower pace.
Chewing gum also affects digestion. It encourages the secretion of digestive enzymes, saliva and stomach acids to prepare itself for digestion. The action of chewing suggests to the body that food is on its way. It has also been used to provide pain relief for individuals with acid reflux because of the stimulation of saliva. In healthy individuals this stimulation can cause abdominal discomfort and bloating as well as possibly compromising digestive secretions when you do eat. If you want to chew gum, it would be beneficial to do so before a meal as this is when the digestive secretions would be most useful.