Chew on this: Why thorough chewing of food is better for health

  • Living
  • Friday, 19 Apr 2024

You should eating mindfully and paying attention to the flavour and consistency of the food.— dpa

YOU’RE ravenous and on a quick lunch break – you’re hardly going to take the time to chew every single bite of food into a fine pulp. And yet this is precisely what health experts say all of us need to learn to do.

An awareness campaign led by dental technicians in Germany is calling on people to chew every bite of food up to 30 times, if possible – a habit that requires both mindful eating and self-discipline.

Why is thorough chewing so important? Research has shown that chewing food for longer relieves the digestive system and also helps keep teeth and gums healthy. The gums are literally massaged when hard foods such as raw vegetables or wholemeal bread are chewed thoroughly which in turn improves the blood circulation.

Dental hygiene specialists also say that chewing intensely can also prevent tooth decay as plaque is rubbed off and more saliva is secreted. That has health benefits as saliva protects the teeth from acids and contains minerals that keep the enamel strong and healthy.

What’s more, we taste our food better when it is thoroughly chewed because more saliva is secreted by the glands into the mouth, which lubricates our taste buds, making the flavours more intense.

But only if you take enough time for your meals can you get into the habit of chewing thoroughly. Health experts suggest eating mindfully and paying attention to the flavour and consistency of the food. The most important thing is to swallow only when the texture of the food has been broken down – ie when a pulp has formed in your mouth. – dpa

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