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Chew, Chew, Chew!

In today's busy world, many of us are racing through our meals and eating on the run. Few of us have given a thought to what this rapid pace is doing to our bodies. Fortunately, there is one simple change in your eating habits that can make a world of difference. Chewing is one activity that most of us just take for granted. We put food in our month, chew a few times and swallow. Many of us have heard the saying "drink your solids and eat your liquids", but what does that really mean?

The digestion process actually begins in the mouth. Here we begin the process of breaking down our food into a liquid form before swallowing. Saliva is released and helps in the first stage of digestion and is essential for all foods especially complex carbohydrates and fats. Food that is swallowed in chunks makes our stomach work harder and therefore uses a lot of more of our bodies energy. Think about it - your stomach has no teeth! Many people with digestive disorders can find relief in just this simple modification to their eating routine. Pay attention the next time you put food in your mouth and become aware if you are swallowing chunks of food. Remember, food should be in a liquid state before swallowing - "drink your solids"?.

I myself found that when I first started paying attention to this simple act that I was only averaging four chews before swallowing. No wonder I had so many problems with my stomach for most of my life! Even though I was eating a healthy diet, without that proper chewing, I was not reaping the benefits of my good food choices. I admit that at first this habit was really hard to break, so be patient with yourself and over time it will become routine. Now, I chew a lot! Because of this, I eat less, have more energy and have better digestion than I have ever had before in my life.

A simple way to improve your health, chew, chew, chew!

-Jeanne