T Nation

How Important is Chewing...

I was wondering about the importance of chewing your food (no, seriously).

Since our saliva contains enzymes that break down starches, it seems to make sense to chew bread and cereal toroughly…Now, while saliva has no enzymes to break down protein or fat, by chewing, aren’t a lot of chemical bonds broken? And shouldn’t this help in digestion? Since we have a limited amount of enzymes etc (no ranting about 30g of protein/meal, but then again, eat a cow at a meal and you’ll most certainly NOT digest all of it, right?), wouldn’t this breaking down (phisically) help and allow enzymes to do their work? Limited…say they can break a certain number of bonds etc. Now if by chewing you break some, then you should be digesting more (since more bonds were broken).
I’d like your input here.
Vlad

Well I can say for sure chewing aids in digestion by the simple fact you and breaking/tearing/chewing the food into smaller particles which gives a larger surface area for the acids etc of the gut to do their job.

CHEW YOUR FOOD!!

What about choking down cottage cheese?

haha

Chew it enough that you don’t choke on it… that will do it.

I don’t think there is any magic to chewing unless you have enzyme issues or something funky going on.

If I’m not mistaken, your stomach releases foods to the intestines when it is appropriate to do so.

Seriously, the body is not designed to let calories escape once they get down your gullet.

So, yeah, chew your food, but don’t be one of those anal retentive folks that chews every bite 100 times or some other dorky crap.

Paul Chek says you’re supposed to chew it thoroughly and swish water around in your mouth. This aids in the salivary and digestive processes.

When it comes out your backside, it should be brown, fluffy, not foul smelling, easy to pass and about 12 inches.

The action of chewing is a signal to release hormones responsible for satiety. Chewing also helps break up food, aiding in digestion. A lot of people who have gas or general intestinal problems can chew their food more thoroughly to alleviate many of the problems. As far as chemical digestions goes, amylase enzyme is released in the mouth to help break down carbohydrates. While this enzyme is deactivated in the stomach (at a pH<6.5), it does effectively break down ~50% of the ingested carbohydrates before being deactivated. I would imagine that if you swollowed your carbs fast you would lose out on some of this ‘pre-digestion’ if you will, leaving the small intestine with more work to do, possibly leading to gastric distress or gas issues.

JC

So…chewing is good.
I really wonder about that Horace Fletcher guy…