The Benefits of Eating Slowly for Better Health
When we eat slowly and chew our food properly it can help us to smell better in some surprisingly varied ways. Proper digestion affects not just issues with flatulence but also problems with bad breath and poor body odor in general.
The smaller and better we can chew up our meal, the easier we make proper digestion for our stomach. Which in turn, makes it easier for our small intestine to absorb more of our food and its nutrients. Which leaves less of it undigested for the bacteria in our large intestine to feed on.
It’s these bacteria that are a major cause of flatulence and, many believe, offensive body odor as well, through the waste products they emit.
Some health-care professionals recommend chewing each bite at least twenty times before swallowing it. I think it’s unrealistic and unsustainable to count the number of times you chew as a habit. A better way would be to simply eat slower and focus on savoring and enjoy the process of eating. Here are four good reasons why.
4 Health Benefits of Eating Slowly
1. When we rush down food we’re more likely to swallow air, which can cause stomach gas and abdominal bloating. Eating slowly and chewing food properly means less air is going into the stomach.
This is especially important in the evening, as when you lie down to sleep it’s harder for the stomach gas to escape with burping and it’s more likely to get sent in the other direction and end up as bloating and flatulence.
2. Savoring our meals and chewing for longer mixes more saliva with the food we are eating. Saliva is very important for digestion as it starts the enzymatic breakdown of the food.
Saliva also contains antibacterial agents and epidermal growth factor (EGF) that assists in the healing of any inflammation in the intestinal tissues. When you start eating more slowly, you may actually be giving your digestive system a chance to heal and prevent future problems.
3. Taking our time and chewing food properly also seems to help with signaling that feeling of fullness that tells us it’s time to stop eating. Using a smaller spoon or fork and taking smaller bites can also help with slowing down eating.
When we rush our meal, that signal is less likely to get triggered and, as a consequence, we often eat more than our body wants. For many people, this means storing some of the excess food as body fat. Simply slowing down when you’re eating and chewing your meals more can actually help with losing weight.
4. When they are fully present when eating and really taste the food in their mouths, many people find that the junk food they used to be addicted to doesn’t really taste that good anymore.
Fast food companies spend millions on researching how to make their products smell better and create flavors that hit our taste buds quickly, but then tend to fade away quite quickly as well.
When you actually slow down and really examine the taste of that fried chicken and french fries, it actually turns out to be all oil and salt. The same is true for those fatty burgers that are really pretty bland when you slow down and taste them properly after the initial hit of engineered flavor.
By setting aside a little more time to eat slower, there is no more need to rush out for junk and many people find themselves making healthier choices for meals. Not just because they feel better for it, but also for the better depth and complexity of tastes and flavors in higher quality natural food.
Slowing down, chewing food well and taking the time to enjoy eating and concentrating on the texture and flavors of our meals, leads to better digestion and much less stomach gas and bloating.
Better digestion also improves problems with bad breath, poor body odor and helps stop farting. It can even lead to losing weight and healthier food choices and therefore better health in general.
Isn’t it worth taking the time to try the benefits of eating slowly for a week or two and perhaps start really tasting and enjoying your food again?