Masticate slowly

Mastication is the first step in the process of digestion. While you chew, saliva enzymes break down the food in your mouth before it travels through your esophagus. Once food enters your stomach, the remaining breakdown process relies on chemical reactions for the extraction of nutrients. Improper mastication not only places undue stress on the stomach to break down solid food, but also results in poor nutrient absorption. Additionally, rapid mastication is believed to influence weight gain, as hormones in your gastrointestinal tract are given inadequate time to signal your brain that your stomach is full.

Here’s how to chew your food properly. Begin by allotting adequate time to eat, and selecting an environment where you can fully savor the flavors and textures of your meal. Then sit upright and take small, poker chip-sized bites of food. Slowly chew each bite for 10-15 seconds, mixing it with your saliva. After you swallow, wait a few seconds for more saliva to secrete before taking another bite. Finally, do not drink water for twenty minutes before and after eating, excluding a few sips at the completion of your meal, as it disrupts your body’s natural chemistry.