All of us know what happens when we don’t chew sweetcorn properly – it’s not fully processed. The outer layer is resistant to the acid in the stomach. If not chewed, the inner parts cannot be reached so they are not digested.
The more we chew the more nutrients the body absorbs.
Anything that we put into our mouth is going to elicit a response in the brain. You’ll get responses from the taste, smell and texture and the brain will signal the gut to prepare for food.
The main role chewing plays is that it prepares the gut for digestion, releasing gastric secretions in the gut and enzymes in the saliva as well as stimulating the hormones that regulate hunger.
The mouth and brain are both equally important.
If you eat your food too fast and swallow it without chewing properly you can put pressure on the digestive system and negatively impact the amount of nutrients the body can absorb.
There needs to be enough time during eating for the brain to recognise that you have eaten. If you eat too quickly you may then eat too much for what the body needs. This is why the idea of slowing down the eating process as a weight-management strategy can work.
The food also needs to be in contact with the gut to stimulate the hormones that regulate hunger.
It’s better for us overall to eat mindfully, taking our time, chewing properly, appreciating the flavours, textures and smells, by doing this we’re aiding the bodies amazing ability to digest, absorb the nutrients and tell the brain when we’re full so that we don’t overeat.