Why chewing is important
There are many reasons why you should take care of your teeth. One of the most important reasons, and perhaps most vital uses for your teeth, is chewing. Chewing has an impact on more than just the food you are eating. Here are a few reasons why chewing is so important.
The way you chew affects the entire eating and digesting process from the time food is in your mouth to the time it gets to your lower stomach. Chewing can even enhance your sense of taste. If you want to get the most taste from your food, you have to chew it slowly and thoroughly. Chewing this way is beneficial because it breaks down your food into smaller pieces. According to researchers at OhioStateUniversity, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and more dense foods (meats/vegetables) up to 30 times before swallowing.
Chewing more also reduces the risk of bacterial overgrowth in the colon caused by food particles that are not broken down properly. This leads to indigestion, bloating, and constipation. The act of chewing sends messages from your brain to your stomach so it knows food is coming its way. This triggers the production of hydrochloric acid, which helps move through the digestive tract and speed up the digestive process. Lastly, chewing releases saliva, which relaxes your lower stomach and allows food to be channeled to the intestines.