Have you ever heard the sentiment that it’s healthier to chew your food at least 40 times on every bite? Well, it’s true. The longer you can chew one bite of food, the more pre-digestion takes place in the mouth and the fewer digestive problems of the belly and gut can take place. But how many of us take the time to chew our food so much? It is also common knowledge around natural health circles that it is wise to swish your drink around your mouth multiple time before swallowing, for the same reason, to get the digestive enzymes activated and digestion started. That’s right, it’s healthier to drink your food and chew your beverages.
We have become a society in such a hurry we hardly take time to pay attention to what we are eating, let alone chew it properly. We eat in the car, eat in front of the computer, eat with the television on, eat while socializing, eat while walking; even Burger King has come up with a hands-free burger holding device to prove how lazy we’ve become about giving eating its due attention. What happened to the good old days where everything stopped for meal time?
Chewing our food may well be one of the most important things we can do in order to maintain a healthy digestive system; at least it’s right up there. When we slow down and chew each bite repeatedly, we give our stomach a chance to create the proper digestive juices and enzymes so as to easily break down our food, no problem. However, when we chew only a few times, or close to inhale our food, like many of us do – it is like a shock to the belly to receive undigested food particles and have to figure out what to do with them. From these undigested particles, allergies can develop as well as other food intolerances now plaguing many people across the developing world.
Much of our digestive complaints would be solved by the simple act of literally drinking our food, or in other words, chewing until the food becomes like liquid in the mouth. This idea originally comes from a Taoist teaching in which Gandhi repeated saying “Chew your drink and drink your food.” Studies have proven that when people eat fast and don’t chew, they are more likely to gain weight. When we do not chew properly, we also do not absorb the nutrients in the food. Therefore, we stay hungry and attempt to fill the void again and again with more food. All the while, the only issue is the digestion we are accomplishing, or not accomplishing by poor chewing habits.
In Ayurvedic medicine it is also promoted to even chew your water. In other words, swish it around again and again in your mouth as if it were food that needed chewing. Saturate every molecule of liquid with saliva and get it fully ready for entrance into the digestive system, for the digestive system determines the health of the whole body.
Another reason it is important to keep food in the mouth longer is to affect the acid/alkaline balance and ensure that foods are entering at the right ph level for good health. Many foods we eat are overly acidic. If we swallow them too quickly, we are introducing this acidity to the body system, thereby exposing ourselves to cancer and other high acid conditions. Our saliva is alkaline, and by swishing around food and drink, we are changing the ph balance to one that is harmonious to our body, avoiding illness and disease.
It is a simple practice, drink your food and chew your beverages-you will be happy you did. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but then it is hard to go back to eating any other way. You will eat less, have more left overs and ultimately spend less on groceries because you will up the absorption of nutrients from the food you do eat.
If you don’t believe me, try it.
Here is Paul Chek briefly describing the miracle of this simple technique using Chinese terminology and common sense:
Written by: Stasia Bliss