Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

12 Days of Fitness 2015: Day 1 – Chew Your Food

December 9, 2015 0 Comments

(This is Part 1 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful blurbs and tips to keep your fitness in focus over the holiday season.)

A beautiful young woman biting a fresh green apple.

A beautiful young woman biting a fresh green apple.

When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder we eat way too much before our stomach can tell our brains we’ve eaten enough and that many people have eaten too much or worse, developed digestive problems.

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food.

  • Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food.
  • More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
  • It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
  • Chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and stabilize weight.

Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control. So use the holiday season as a chance to eat slower, not necessarily more healthy. In time, I guarantee you’ll not only eat less but you’ll want to eat and really appreciate healthier food making “crap” seem less enjoyable and not the best way spent chewing. Bon apetite!

See you tomorrow for Day 2 of the 12 Days of Fitness!

 

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

 

Filed in: Nutrition, Wellness • Tags: , ,

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

Leave a Reply

css.php