I am going to share with you possibly the most important piece of
advice you will ever receive about nutrition. This piece of advice
is not about supplementation. It is not about what you should be eating.
However this piece of advice affects every other dietary choice that you make.
Are you ready?
Chew your food!
Chewing is the first step of the digestive process. The fancy word
for it is mastication. What it means is that what you put in your
mouth is ground up into smaller pieces and mixed with some digestive
enzymes to begin the digestive process.
What is the digestive process? To understand the process, it's best
to first understand the purpose. The purpose of digestion is to extract
beneficial materials from what you eat and expel the rest. This process
involves breaking down your food into smaller and smaller pieces.
When some of those pieces are small enough they are absorbed into your
bloodstream. Other components, like insoluble fiber, continue on through
your intestines and help to expel other waste products and to clean the
surfaces of your intestines.
So what does this have to do with chewing? If you do not properly to your
food, what you have eaten will go through your digestive system as large
pieces of food. You do not have teeth anywhere else in your body. After
you swallow your food, there are no other opportunities to break up large
pieces of food. The acid from your stomach and the enzymes from your small
intestine will only be able to act on the exposed surfaces. Chewing properly
is the only way to grind up your food so that it is small enough to allow
the rest of your digestive system to extract as many of the available
nutrients as possible.
So the next time you eat, put a little thought into the first step of
digestion. Chew your food.
Dave Saunders is a certified nutritional educator, wellness
coach and author. He is also the host of a weekly, nation-wide
telephone lecture on health and nutrition. For additional
information, please visit http://www.glycoboy.com or email Dave at