Eating on the run or grabbing a quick bite is not uncommon in today’s fast-paced society. For many people, between kids in multiple activities, school, work, travel, and more, sitting down at the table for a relaxed meal is something of a pipe dream. If this sounds like you, take note: gulping down food quickly can have a negative impact on your overall wellbeing! In fact, there are some serious health benefits to slowing down so you can take the time to chew your food and eat it slowly.
Benefits of Slowly Chewing and Eating
What happens when you slow down and chew vs. hurrying up and gulping it down? Plenty of healthy, good things! Check out these easy-to-swallow reasons for slowly eating and chewing your food:
Meals are More Enjoyable
It seems like a small thing, but being satisfied with your meal is in fact a big deal. Eating slowly and chewing food allows you to actually taste what you’re consuming and enjoy the flavors, which makes it less of a chore you need to check off your list and more of a pleasant experience.
You Make Better Food Choices
Now that you can actually experience and taste your meal, you’re more likely to choose foods more wisely. When you take it slow, instead of high-calorie fast food or processed meals typically laden with sugar and sodium, you give yourself the time to choose nutritious, healthier options which brings us to the next benefit…
It’s Easier to Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you eat quickly, it’s hard for your body to recognize that it’s full — your brain can’t keep up and fools you into believing you’re still hungry. When you slow down and chew, on the other hand, your brain lets you know to stop eating sooner so you don’t overindulge. You’re also more satisfied when you finish, making you less likely to snack in between. See, more enjoyable meals are a big deal!
You Improve Your Digestion
Scarfing down your meal in a matter of minutes can often lead to indigestion, and that’s obviously no fun! Chewing your food longer breaks it down more which helps your stomach digest it. In addition, when you eat slowly, you give your brain a heads up to signal your stomach to let the digestion begin. So, not only is your appetite satisfied but so is your sense of multi-tasking and efficiency!
You Have Happier, Healthier Teeth
The more you chew, the more saliva you produce which not only helps with digestion but also your dental health! Saliva washes away food particles left on your teeth which otherwise would invite bacteria to your dinner party, encouraging another unwanted guest: tooth decay! So, the longer you chew, the more you protect your teeth and the better you balance the number of harmful minerals, sugars, and acids in your mouth. Now that’s something to smile about!
Tips to Help You Chew and Eat Slowly
When you have a hectic schedule, it can be tricky to find the time to chew and eat at a slower pace. Try these tips to help you slow down and enjoy not only your meal but also the health benefits that come with a slower approach.
- Avoid distractions like TV and phones so you can focus on your meal
- Sit down when you eat — this helps you relax as well as digest
- Put down your fork between bites
- Set a goal of chewing so many times before swallowing
- Eat at designated times and allow yourself at least 20-30 minutes
- Keep in mind that fresh fruit and veggies are high in fiber so they take more time to chew (hint, hint)
When you chew your food and eat slowly, you don’t just eat and stress less while enjoying your food more, but you also improve your overall health from head to toe — including your teeth! To keep those teeth happy, be sure to brush after your relaxed and enjoyable meal, and don’t forget to contact Mogren Dental for your biannual cleaning or dental checkup. Schedule your appointment today!