Food & Nutrition

Chewing Food Properly-Steps,How Many Times,Need Water, Tips

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What is the right way of chewing food properly? How do you chew food thoroughly? How long or how many times should you chew before swallow? Is water recommended for proper chewing? Are there any tips to chewing food properly?

Chewing food properly is an essential health eating habit. There are a couple of health benefits of chewing food thoroughly. Based on his recognition of the scientific evidence, Mahatma Gandhi  was once quoted saying, “Chew your drink and drink your food”.He already knew that chewing an essential facet of your diet. On the other hand if you ignore this simple task of chewing your food, there are effects of not chewing food properly that you probably won’t enjoy reading.

Survey results reveal that;

73% of the British public suffers from digestive complaints- and not chewing food properly is a major contributor.

The average person spends a mere 23 minutes every day chewing and eating their food

How to chew properly?

What are the steps for Chewing food properly? Below is a step by step guide to ensure that you are chewing your food properly.

Set time for every meal, whoever came up with breakfast, lunch, and supper was really never wrong. The step towards ensure that your food is chewed properly set generous amount of time for each meal. At least by setting time, you will be assured of sufficient time for chewing food properly

If possible eat in a relaxed atmosphere. Try not to eat in places with stressful settings, heated discussions, or loud music if you can. You don’t want to eat hurriedly with little care.

Small is manageable Compared to large pieces of food, small pieces of food can be chewed properly and with ease. Large pieces of food won’t even fit on your spoon. Slice or cut your food into small, manageable pieces. Half-inch squares are about right for, fish, meat and other larger pieces of food.  Avoid putting too much food in your mouth at once, as this makes it more difficult to chew the food thoroughly. The smaller the bites, the better.

Chew your food thoroughly –You have already set time, found convenient environment, cut you’re your food into manageable pieces. What next?  It is time for your mouth to do what it does best. Ensure to chew each mouthful of food thoroughly.

How many times should you chew before swallowing?

How long should you chew your food? The number of times , how long or thorough you should your chew your food depends on the type of food you consume. The number can vary with each person. Size, gender, age and other factors can all contribute to your saliva production and breakdown abilities.

Soft fruits and vegetables will break down more easily than chicken or steak; this is pretty easy to understand.  Simply chew your food as thoroughly as possible.  According to the experts at Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and harder foods up to 30 times before swallowing. [Source:]

How do you know if you have chewed enough?

Well, chewing food properly may sound such an obvious task it is but that is not the case. So, how can you tell that you have chewed thorough enough?

One suggestion is that you chew your food completely until it is small enough and dissolved enough to be swallowed with ease.

A good rule of thumb is as follows: if you can tell what kind of food you are eating from the texture of the food in your mouth (not the taste), then you haven’t chewed it enough. For example, if you are chewing broccoli and you run your tongue over the stalk and can tell that it is still a stalk or if you run your tongue over the floret and you can still tell that it is still a floret, don’t swallow. Keep on chewing…! You need to keep on chewing until a point you can’t tell. []

Is water needed for chewing food properly?

Cold water not recommended

Well, many studies have been published, not long ago, backing up the idea that drinking cold water makes you burn calories. Does drinking cold water burn calories? Yes, but to some extent but what happens is that your body does this by using energy to heat up the cold water to body temperature.– well this bit of wisdom is a double edged sword. While drinking cold water does speed up your metabolism (about 4 extra calories per 8 ounces of water), it does so by using energy to heat up the cold water to body temperature. This reroutes all energy that is meant to be used for the digestion process.  When you are chewing food, as we have already seen, you want all your energy pointed at smashing down food so your body can easily assimilate the nutrients and eliminate waste. Toxins which accumulate in your digestive organs as result of poor digestion can actually lead to weight gain. The accumulated toxins can inhibit the ability to breakdown fat, cause unsatsifiable cravings and interfere with your body’s ability to determine if you are full or not.

Secondly, drinking water or any other liquid during your meal may water down or dilute your naturally occurring digestive enzymes and stomach acids which makes it less easy to breakdown food thus slowing down digestion. Stomach acids are dissipated with the act of drinking fluids with solids since water is excreted faster than solids.   Chewing food properly or thoroughly creates enough saliva that should naturally allow you eat and swallow comfortably without lots of liquids.

Thirdly,  it has been argued there  is some little “science”  behind not drinking cold water during meals. It is claimed that cold liquids solidify fats in your stomach, which can cause digestive problems.

However, experts recommend that you drink your water or any other beverage 20-30 minutes before or after your meal to avoid dehydration the rest of the day.

Warm water for chewing food properly

Warm water or beverage of temperature closer to your body’s normal heat can ease digestion as opposed to disrupting it. If you have been to China or watched a Chinese movie, you must have noticed that meals come with tiny cups of hot water, or tea. May be they already know how important that is in terms of digestion.


 Tips for chewing food properly

  • Always drink sufficient water to enhance saliva production as this aids in the digestion process.
  • Chew semi-liquid foods, for instance yogurt, just as you would solids. Despite the fact this sort of foods might require slightly fewer chews, it is important to get the enzymes in your saliva working. This only happens through chewing.
  • Do not eat while driving, operating machinery, watching television, or otherwise occupying your brain in a way that can distract you from eating. When your brain is distracted, it is harder to control how you chew.
  • Be sure to chew thoroughly as this will help your body get more out of the food you eat.
  • Try not to consume a lot of alcohol just prior to eating. It both impairs your judgment and dries out your mouth, increasing your chances of choking.
  • Do not swallow large chunks of food. This increases of choking as well as making it harder for your body to go to work on the food in the stomach and intestines. Enzymes are more effective on smaller, ground-up pieces
  • Concentrate on the meal when eating:  Try not to eat while working, watching TV, driving or when you are otherwise on the go. You need to be calm and focused while eating your meal.  This also makes for a more enjoyable meal.

You might also be interested to learn more from the  following chewing-related articles



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