Do You Chew Your Food Enough?
While this may seem like a strange question to ask, I promise there is a reason. But I have to start by making a confession. I am the epitome of a greedy gut. I love food, even if it doesn’t always feel like it loves me and my irritable gut back.
As I type this I’m currently making my way through an apple, sliced to perfection, to make it easier to pop in a chunk while I write. My husband has just returned from the shops waving a jam doughnut in my face that I hungrily devoured. And, I’m already dreaming about lunch and the pasta I plan on whipping up with the spinach, courgettes and asparagus leftover in my fridge. I’m basically always thinking or dreaming about food. And I like it that way.
I don't chew my food enough
But my problem when it comes to food, and to get back to my original question, is that I know I don’t chew enough. I’m far too interested in shoveling it in.
I am the equivalent of a hyena eyeing up her prey, waiting to pounce and go in for the kill, devouring it as quickly as possible. I straight up only have to look at the plate and it feels like I’ve inhaled the contents, barely stopping to take a breath.
And while I know this is wrong, I can’t help myself, much to my husband’s dismay.
Chew food for better digestion
You see, the entire digestive process starts in your mouth as you begin to chew. Chewing sends signals to the gut so it can start preparing itself, making stomach acid.
The more you chew, the smaller the pieces and the more saliva you produce which covers the food in enzymes, making it easier to digest. And when you have IBS you want to do everything you can to help ensure the digestive process runs as smoothly and easily as possible.
Tips for chewing food more
So, how many times should you chew each mouthful? Experts say anywhere from 30 times up, depending on the texture of the food. So, if it’s tougher meat, you may need to chew more.
These are the tips I’m going to apply to eating from now on:
- Take 30 minutes out to switch off and really enjoy my food
- Put smaller portions on my plate
- Try not to fully-load my fork
- Take fewer big bites
- Savour every mouthful
- Chew, chew, chew and then chew some more
- Remember to chew slowly
- Pace myself
- Don’t let myself down by acting like a hunger-craved animal
Now I’ll turn this over to you, how many times do you chew?
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?