How Chewing Helps with Digestion

July 11, 2018
How Chewing Helps with Digestion


There seem to be two types of people in the world: one type scarfs down whatever food is placed in front of them. The second type savors every bite by chewing slowly.

Which one are you?

It’s understandable that when you are in a hurry, say during an office break, where you need to get back to work ASAP, you pick up speed while eating. But how about when you’re sitting at home on the couch and watching TV, and still eating as fast as you can?

Did you know that nutrient absorption and healthy digestion are improved by chewing your food slowly?

Your body works hard to get the nutrients out of the food you just ate, make the job a little easier by chewing well!

Why Chew Your Food?

When food is chewed properly, the brain gives signals to release several digestive enzymes that can help break down food in the stomach. This, of course, is essential to the process with which the body converts food into energy. When you don’t chew your food properly, you are more likely to experience indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, headaches and/or constipation.

When you chew food properly, large chunks get broken down and digestion has already begun. This eases the burden on your stomach and intestines and may allow your body to absorb more nutrition from the same amount of food. Natural foods tend to be more nutrient dense than processed foods, meaning that they may require more chewing to unlock their full nutritional potential. So even though it is tempting to chow down quickly on processed foods, doing so can cause weight gain as well as cause numerous health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart strokes.

Benefits of Chewing Your Food

• Your body absorbs a large amount of nutrients, which keeps your energy level up for longer
• You can more easily maintain a healthy body weight
• Food comes more into contact with your saliva, allowing it to easily pass through the esophagus
• It can improve your oral hygiene
• Reduces some of the burden on your digestive system
• Prevents bacteria from lingering in the intestine

According to a study published in “Obesity: A Research Journal” by the Obesity Society entitled “The Number of Chews and Meal Duration Affect Diet?Induced Thermogenesis and Splanchnic Circulation”, chewing your food until there are no lumps helps you burn more calories, which in turn improves digestion. Say, if you are eating a meal that has 300 calories, then you will be burning 10 extra calories, just by chewing your food properly.

Since this whole process increases the blood flow to your gut and stomach, you could theoretically be burning around 2,000 calories in a month.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved the relationship between chewing food slowly and increased levels of energy. The study contained both lean and obese participants. Each of them was told to chew their food 40 times, after which they reported high levels of satiation, even after eating less. Chewing more improved their gut hormones, which is how they were able to feel full after eating less than usual.

By chewing slowly, you can speed up your metabolism, improve your digestion, and enjoy more mindful eating habits for the rest of your life!