The Importance of Chewing Your Food

added on: May 28, 2015

Of course, one of the most important reasons for good dental health is to be able to chew your food properly; you need the nutrition from foods to live well. With many people choosing to eat healthier – raw fruits and vegetables; nuts and grains, etc. – let’s review what it means to really chew your food.

Healthy digestion and nutrient absorption begins with the simple act of chewing food. When you chew your food properly, your body releases digestive enzymes in the stomach that help to break down food so that your body can convert it into energy. When food isn’t digested properly, you could suffer from digestive issues such as indigestion, heartburn, constipation, headache and low energy.

Why is Chewing Your Food So Important?

The physical process of chewing food with your teeth helps to break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. People who are missing many teeth, especially back teeth, are simply not chewing food well enough for proper nutrition. While they may be chewing and swallowing the food, without the proper number of teeth, it simply cannot get broken down into small enough particles for proper digestion.

Chewing food into small particles helps to reduce stress on the esophagus and helps the stomach metabolize your food.  When you chew each mouthful properly, you also release a lot of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes.  As you release these enzymes into the throat and stomach, you further improve the digestive process.

Throughout the chewing process, the body undergoes several processes that trigger digestion.  Digestion is one of the most energy-consuming processes of the body, so it’s essential that you help your body along by doing your part!  It is especially important that you avoid processed foods, as they require little or no chewing—for example, eat small pieces of apple instead of applesauce.

How Many Times Should You Chew Your Food?

The number of times you chew really depends on the type of food you consume.  Soft fruits and will break down more easily than raw vegetables, so you will need to make sure you chew your food as thoroughly as possible.  According to the experts at Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and more dense foods up to 30 times before swallowing.

Dental Health and Overall Health

Good dental health, with a mouthful of healthy teeth for chewing, is essential to good overall health and nutrition. If you want to eat nutritious foods for a long life, you must have enough solid teeth to chew these foods well.