What?!? Instructions on how to eat???
YUP! There are do’s and dont’s for proper food digestion. Our ancestors didn’t need instructions on how to eat as it was a natural behaviour that was not assaulted by modern day distractions caused by lack of time. We need to relearn “mindful eating”. For many, ingesting food has become a rushed process of shoving whatever is edible down the pipe to refuel the body as a result of a growling stomach.
BUT, to get the most out of your food (the most bang for your buck!), you need to follow a few pointers that should become part of your eating habit:
- Consuming liquids with foods dilutes the digestive juices: best to drink 30 min before or after your meals
- Try to remove tension from your body by closing your eyes, take a few deep breathes until you feel a sense of calmness inside. Stress hormones produce excess digestive juices that lead to heartburn and stomach acid
- Try not to talk while eating. This interferes with the chewing process and food must be well chewed in order to be digested properly. Also, talking while eating causes you to ingest large amounts of air that then causes gas
- Take the time to chew each bite. Not only for the enjoyment aspect that can come with each mouthful, but the mastication process is what initiates the secretion of gastric juices. This is what prepares the stomach for proper digestion. Digestive enzymes react to the surface of food particles, so the most surface exposed as a result of chewing, the more area can be covered by gastric and intestinal secretions for most effective digestion.