Chewing Food

Growing up, I was always in a hurry. To avoid being late for school or tuition and later in life for a meeting or a phone call. Life has always been a swirl, talk about poor time management. One of the prices you end up paying is the attention you give to food, especially chewing food. Where was the time and isn’t your crepe meant to be swallowed whole?

Apparently not. Several things happen if you do not chew your food. The food breaks down in your mouth and mixes with digestive enzymes that help pre-process the food for its onward journey into your esophagus. Not chewing puts a more significant strain on your food pipe leaving food unbroken or undigested. Next, your stomach needs to break down this food. It does this by secreting hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride and sodium chloride (one more reason why sodium and potassium are essential). Depending on the complexity of the food, the stomach will have to generate different enzymes and more considerable amounts of acid to break the food down. If your stomach does a poor job, you will end up getting acidity or indigestion.

Indigestion is not even the beginning of your woes. Over the long term, you can end up suffering from malnutrition. Yes, malnutrition! Eating calories and consuming a balanced meal from which your body can absorb the nutrients that it needs is not the same thing. A lot of this starts in the mouth as many of the types of foods that you eat can only be absorbed by enzymes produced in saliva in your mouth. Skip the journey, and you just skipped the nutrition in your diet.

The world we live in feels like a treadmill. The pace of our lives makes us pay a hefty price; often our health is the currency. Pause, at least make your children chew their food.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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