Properly Chewing our Food or What we say “Thorough mastication” has a great deal of benefits to offer as far as our health is concerned. And invariably, the improper chewing may do exactly the opposite.
Most of us eat too rapidly, whether it is from lack of hard foods, which require prolonged chewing, or from the hurry of fast moving modern life, or from other causes. The correction of this habit will go far toward reforming an individual’s diet in every way.
Thorough mastication never mean – Forcing the mouth to hold the food and counting the chews. It merely means to give up the habit of forcing food down. Thorough chewing – applies to all foods, but carbohydrates, especially the Starchy foods, demand special care and more thorough chewing.
Benefits of thorough Chewing:
The benefits of thorough mastication are many. Some are as follows:
- Improve the health of teeth and jaws: Teeth and Jaws are the opening players entering into the process of chewing and thorough chewing involve their significant participation. More actively they participate, stronger they will be. Thorough mastication is a very important to prevent dental decay as well as other and worse dental evils.
- Easy digestion of Starchy Foods: As already mentioned, digestion of starchy foods require their thorough mixing with saliva. Saliva production and mixing takes place only in the mouth. Thus, it is always advised to do thorough mastication while taking in the Starch foods. This requirement arises from the fact that starch is very slowly soluble in water in comparison to Sugar. And Saliva contains a Ferment or Digestive Substance (Ptyalin), which has the power of turning the Starch in our food into Sugar or glucose and this is the reason, why bread or cracker, after it has been well chewed, begins to taste sweetish.
- Sufficient subdivision of food by mastication: A thorough chewing converts the solid food taken into pulpy form. As the Stomach can take care only of fluid and pulpy materials, nature has incorporated a mill in the Mouth i.e. our teeth, which grind against each other and crush the food into a pulp. And if the food is not masticated properly it will come in stomach as it is, and remain lying there for hours, thus put undue strains on stomach. Make sure to use this Teeth Mill as efficiently as possible.
- Thorough chewing must accompany the enjoyment of the food: Slow eating is essential not merely as a matter of mastication, but also as a matter of taste and enjoyment. There are taste nerves present in our body which telegraph the massage to other organs to secret the kind and amount of digestive juices which aid in digestion, while we are chewing our food. And there are smell nerves, which do it even before we take our food in. So along with thorough chewing, you must enjoy your food. It is the enjoyment only which will keep these nerves in proper condition. And failure of these nerves will result in poor digestion thus poor health. Food must have a pleasing taste and good flavor and then must be enjoyed to get it most readily digested.
The habit of improper mastication is subtle, as it has become “second nature” with most of us. To get ourselves out of this habit, we must allow plenty of time for our meals and rid our minds of the thought of hurry. A rule should be followed that no member will leave the dining-table until a certain hour, even if someone has finished eating long before. Soon after, everyone will realize that there is nothing to be gained by fast eating, and, in fact, that the best way to spend the meal-time is to prolong the relish of the food. It would be very great for all of us to adopt a similar rule for ourselves.
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