Chew Your Way to Digestion ReliefBy Dr. Michael Cutler • Jul 15th, 2009 • Category: Digestive Health, Dr. Cutler's True Health Blog Archive, Health Articles
If you’ve ever suffered from the unpleasant experience of gas, heartburn, bloating or indigestion, then you know first-hand the misery inadequate digestion can cause you. Digestion problems can result when the foods you eat are not broken down efficiently in your mouth and stomach. And this prevents you from absorbing the nutrients into your bloodstream through the mucosa—the thin layer of cells in the wall of your small intestine that takes in nutrients.
Do you remember when your mother told you to chew your food? She certainly knew what she was talking about because the first step to digesting foods properly is to think like a cow… chew your food as thoroughly as a cow would chew its cud. Yes, I know this sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people wolf down their food too quickly and then wonder why they’re suffering digestive woes.
Also, the older you are the more you should chew each bite carefully. My advice is to chew 25 times or more—that’s what I try to do. In a study published in Gastroenterology, researchers found that chewing increased the amount of protective components in saliva that can help with digestion issues.
Check out even more reasons why you should slow down and chew well: Chewing…
- Produces saliva and the saliva layers the food with the enzyme known as amylase.
- Allows the food to mix with the saliva and soften for its journey through the esophagus to the stomach to help prevent problems with swallowing and allow for quicker digestion.
- Gives your body time to prepare for the food… and you’re less likely to overeat.
- Stimulates the part of the immune system known as the parotid glands located in front of each ear, providing you with an overall health boost.
- Keeps the food in your mouth longer which allows time for the taste on your tongue to prompt the release of hormones, gastric juices and digestive enzymes geared toward the particular food you’re enjoying.
- Helps prevent big chunks of rotting, undigested food from settling inside your stomach for the bacteria in your digestive tract to feed on. This feeding frenzy spells trouble in the form of gas, indigestion and heartburn.
Since only microscopic-sized food particles can be absorbed into your bloodstream, by perfecting your chewing technique—and with the aid of digestive enzymes in your mouth and stomach as well as adequate hydrochloric stomach acid—you can help break down these particles. Through this healthy digestive process, food gets into your bloodstream and is absorbed into your body’s cells to promote a healthy life.
To help your digestive process even more, add quality supplements containing natural aids such as gentian root—which helps increase saliva production in your mouth—and digestive enzymes such as amylases, proteases and lipases.
Dr. Michael Cutler
is a graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif. Dr. Cutler is a board-certified family physician with more than 18 years experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder and editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients. He is also a Medical Advisor for True Health™—America's #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal.
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