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The benefits of chewing well

  1. Juices and smoothies are an easy way to get a lot of healthy nutrients. However, that â € drinkingâ € ™ food also has a disadvantage: you chew much less. And let that also be very important for your health. Do you actually chew the rest of your food consciously or do you put most of it in your mouth thoughtlessly? Time to eat mindfully.

  1. Chewing is a movement of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw. The goal is to grind food. Four chewing muscles play an important role in this. Together these muscles provide a chewing force of about 15 kilograms. More is not necessary for most foods, but you can provide more strength. The maximum chewing force is about 75 kilograms. Chewing habits vary greatly from person to person, but generally you chew alternately left and right unless there are certain complaints or abnormalities.

Digestion

  1. First of all, chewing is the start of digestion. You chew food in your mouth and mix it with saliva using your teeth, molars and tongue. Chewing makes the food chunks small and accessible to the digestive enzymes from the saliva and later also to the bacteria in the intestines. You analyze the food while chewing: taste and structure are transmitted to your brain, which puts the digestive system in readiness.

Saliva production

  1. The salivary glands produce saliva as soon as you see, smell or taste food, but chewing also increases saliva production. Then, enzymes in saliva start digestion. Thanks to the saliva, the food mash becomes smooth and creamy, making it easy to swallow. Saliva also protects your mouth and teeth. If you don't chew properly, the saliva will mix less with the food. This reduces the breakdown of certain nutrients, leading to flatulence or bloating.

Saturation

  1. When you chew long and carefully, you spend longer on your meal. That way your brain has time to produce a satiety hormone. This takes about 15 to 20 minutes from your first bite. So if you eat slowly and chew well, your brain gets enough time and you automatically don't eat too much. That's a bonus, especially if you watch your weight.

A few more reasons to chew:

  1. Well-chewed food has a larger surface area which makes it easier for nutrients to be absorbed. Digesting small food chunks also costs less energy. If you chew too little, you run the risk of weakening your jaw muscles. This weakens the jaw and makes the teeth extra vulnerable. More and more research results indicate that chewing well improves memory. Chewing increases blood flow to certain areas of the brain.

Chew well?

  1. It is not easy to change your chewing style. It's unconscious behavior. That is why awareness is an important first step. Take your time and eat with care. Sit quietly at the table and avoid activities such as reading and watching television during meals. Also put your cutlery down regularly and don't take another bite until your mouth is empty again. Another thing that can help you is to count how often you chew and then try to increase the number of chews. Or take smaller bites. You can also chew liquid food. If you drink with food, you should be careful not to wash away your food. Do not drink until you have swallowed your food. A



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