THE IMPORTANCE OF CHEWING
AND MASTICATING FOOD CORRECTLY

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHEWING
AND MASTICATING FOOD CORRECTLY

Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by
teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to
allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the
food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by the cheek and tongue. As
chewing continues, the food is made softer and warmer, and the enzymes in
saliva begin to break down carbohydrates in the food. After chewing, the food
(now called a bolus) is swallowed. It enters the esophagus and via peristalsis
continues on to the stomach, where the next step of digestion occurs.
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract, a series of hollow organs
joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus, as well as other organs
that help to break down and absorb what was originally the food.
Digestion, ideally, is the breaking down of food in the body, into a form that can
be absorbed and used or excreted. It is also the process by which the various
“tools” assist to break down food into smaller components and in a condition so
as to allow for the maximum number of nutritious elements being digested to be
easily absorbed by the blood stream.
You are not only what you eat. You are a combination of what you eat and how
you eat so that the maximum number of nutritious elements can be digested and
absorbed. A poor mismanaged Digestive System can and will have a negative
effect on every organ in the body.

“Let Us Turn Being Housebound into a Golden Opportunity!”

Eating Slowly and Mindfully for Good Health & Weight (Fat) Loss Whilst

Maintaining Muscle Mass

Food provides us with fuel to live, energy to work and play, and the raw materials to build new cells. All
the different varieties of food we eat are broken down and then absorbed by our digestive system, to
be transported to every part of our body by our circulatory system.

Following on from what you see and smell, is the Digestion process that begins in the mouth. We have
been given the perfect tools to ensure that we are able to chew our food to the maximum required for
the next stage of the digestive process – lips, cheeks, tongue, taste buds and different designed and
perfectly placed teeth.

It is essential to thoroughly chew every morsel of food so that it becomes mixed with saliva and
enzymes, in order to begin the process of digestion, working specifically on starches. Proper digestion
cannot occur if the food is swallowed in chunks, without proper chewing and mixing with saliva. An
adequate flow of saliva is produced by stimulation of the olfactory cells in the nose and taste cells on
the tongue, and is strongly affected by emotions.
The research is clear: Slowing down your meals, eating small mouthfuls and chewing to the maximum
does all sorts of good things for your body, including causing you to eat less. Biochemical changes will
make you less inclined to overeat. Dozens of well researched articles emphasize the importance of
chewing correctly as well as the ill effects by not adhering to this discipline. Quote - British Medical
Journal, October 21, 2008 - Eating until full, quickly and lack of adequate chewing triples your risk of
becoming overweight.
How Can Eating Slowly and Chewing Efficiently be so important?
When you eat quickly, your body doesn't have the time to go through its natural signaling process,
which involves a variety of hormones and feedback loops between your gut and your brain. SMALL
MOUTHFULS ARE THE KEY. Large mouthfuls cannot be chewed (masticated) sufficiently.
Hormones that signal to you when you've eaten adequately are produced while you're eating, but it
takes a while for this to occur. Scientists seem to agree that it takes your brain about 20 minutes to tell
your body when you have eaten enough. The hunger hormone Ghrelin encourages more, whilst the
opposing hormone Leptin suppresses hunger and helps prevent overeating.
Of course, if you suffer from Leptin Resistance, you may not be receiving those satiety signals. But if
you rush down your food without giving a thought to enjoying the experience and benefits, you will
definitely NOT receive those satiety signals until it is too late—which is why you may suddenly find

yourself feeling bloated. So, how do you optimize the process of the hungry hormones? Eat and chew
more efficiently.

Choosing nutritious whole foods and getting adequate regular **exercise or physical activity will
obviously help, more so if the chewing process has been well executed.
** Many varieties of home exercise and stretching routines are available on our website – free-of-
charge- all of which can be copied and printed at this link –
www.globalhealth-education.com to enter the home page, or http://www.globalhealth-
education.com/exercise_routines.php which opens the Exercise and Stretching routines.

Most people chew and swallow their food without thinking about it—it's almost an unconscious habit.
Inadequate chewing shortchanges the absorption of necessary nutrients in the small intestine.

Chewing is important in helping you maintain a healthy weight due to its natural "portion control"
properties. But chewing has other benefits as well:
 Signaling: Chewing sends vital signals to your body to start preparing for digestion; chewing starts
the secretion of hormones, activates taste receptors, prepares your stomach lining for secretion
of hydrochloric acid, and prepares your pancreas for secretion of enzymes and bicarbonate
 Digestion: Your food gets more exposure to your saliva, which contains digestive enzymes
necessary for the first phase of digestion; saliva also helps lubricate your food, which should
become soft and moist, which will ease its passage down your esophagus and allow for a more
efficient mix with the stomach juices
 Pylorus: Chewing relaxes the pylorus, a muscle at the base of your stomach that controls the
passage of food into your small intestine; saliva helps the pylorus to operate with ease and less
pressure
 Dental Health: Chewing strengthens your teeth and jaw, and helps prevent plaque buildup and
tooth decay
 Bacteria: Chewing discourages food-borne bacteria from entering your gut on oversized food
particles; overgrowth of detrimental bacteria in your gut may lead to gas, bloating, constipation,
diarrhea, cramping, and other digestive problems.
With knowledge of the digestive process and its needs and functions, mindful eating should be a rapidly
growing movement that not only focuses on slow eating, but turns food consumption into a
pleasurable experience. Large mouthfuls cannot be well chewed – most of that mouthful will be
swallowed causing havoc and a waste of nutrients that cannot be absorbed. Many of us give little
thought to what and how we handle the chewing process. The result will be digestive disorders, obesity
and diabetes amongst numerous other ailments.

Dr. Lionel H. Phillips D.O.