The digestive track starts at the mouth and ends with the anus.
We know to chew our food well and that this simple act helps digestion. The litre or more of saliva that our mouths produce every day also aids digestion. Chewing food well and allowing it to be coated with saliva can make it more easy to swallow and cause less damage to the oesophagus.
Chewing your food, even without the aid of saliva, begins the digestion.
Well-chewed bits of food are more easily coated with digestive juices once in the stomach. The body uses less of its energy to digest well-chewed food than hastily chewed and swallowed food. (net gain of food)
Chewing well also allows the molecules of nutrients from the chewed food to be more quickly released and assimilated.
Keeping a food in the mouth longer and chewing it well allows the food’s flavours to be recognized by the tongue. When the tongue recognizes the flavour it sends a message to the brain, which in turn sends messages to the digestive system resulting in the release of the correct digestive juices needed for that food.
The suggested consistency of food before it is swallowed should be that of liquid. Minimum 50 to 100 times every mouthful should be chewed.
This also gives your brain time to recognize when you are full, and can prevent overeating. It makes you eat smaller portions.
Saliva is Alkaline where the stomach juices is acid.
The combination of the saliva and chewing helps the body to fully digest raw vegetables and receive their nutrients.