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8/19/11 9:00 A

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I often told my children to chew with their mouth closed, but I do not recall saying chew your food. Chewing food is something we do not often think about because it seems like an automatic thing to do when we eat.

Too often than not, we do not chew our food enough to gain the most benefit of the foods we eat. Did you know that chewing the food we eat actually begins the digestion process? We often associate digestion with the stomach but it actually begins in the mouth.

Digestion starts as we chew the food and it mixes with saliva as we break the food into tiny particles. If we eat dry food, the saliva will moisten it and make it so much easier to swallow.

Chewing our food will help us taste what we are eating. For me, I can recall saying, "I inhaled my food" meaning that I ate so quickly I was not aware of how it tasted nor how much I ate in a short period of time. "I inhaled my food" is just another way of saying, "I did not take the time to chew my food and think about what I am eating and enjoy the taste of it."

Chewing the food we eat is a way that we can tame our sweet tooth because it will cause us to slow down and eat mindfully. It will cause us to become aware of what we are eating. For instance, I love Lay's potato chips and it is often a snack of my choice. However, when I take time to actually chew the chips thoroughly I notice how greasy tasty they really are. I have stopped eating a lot of different candy bars just by taking a few extra chews and really noticing the taste and texture. In contrast, when I have done this with an orange or an apple I came to appreciate these foods in a new way.

So, take the time to chew, chew, and chew your food. It will cause you to slow down and begin the digestion process and who knows, you may even begin to feel full with less calories.


Sources used:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname
=george&dbid=36
http://macrobiotics.co.uk/chewwell.htm

Nancy

Team Leader For Taming The Sweet Tooth Team
teams.sparkpeople.com/TamingSweetToo
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