Why is chewing so important?

While most of us think digestion all happens in the intestines/stomach, the truth is it starts in the mouth. Chewing in an essential part of the whole digestive process, not only does it increase absorption and get those vital nutrients and vitamins into the body; by breaking your food down into smaller pieces you allow the food to be exposed to saliva and the enzymes which activates digestion. Saliva is also a lubricant needed to aid the esophagus when swallowing, bonus! Another obvious benefit is tastes. The slower you eat the more you will taste and the more you will start to pay attention to your food. In time you will automatically notice yourself gravitating toward healthier foods. Why? Well try chewing a process potato chip for more than 15 seconds and you’ll have the answer. Heavily processed foods are carefully designed to taste great for the first few bites but soon enough it becomes bland. Natural foods on the other hand maintained their flavor and are interesting to chew for however long you wish.

So start chewing (aiming for a watery paste before swallowing) and in tern you will help your body receive the vitamins it requires to function and could possibly prevent a number of bodily discomforts like gas. An added benefit to chewing is your brain has more response time to letting you know when you are in fact full, which means you’ll eat less and never experience that heaviness that sometimes follows a meal.

Poorly digested food starves the body of the nutrients and so you’re likely to have less energy. Swallowing large mouthfuls also contributes to reflux, heartburn, flatulence, and bloating. It might take a bit of time to get used to, but making a conscious effort is beneficial in many ways.


  1. Wow Michelle! After reading this I have become conscious of how I chew and how little I actually do. Sheesh, it is a hard habit to change tho. Never even thought about it or noticed before. Thanks 🙂

      • Michelle on October 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

      It’s a very hard one to break. We’re all so on the go it really becomes a secondary thought, but it’s a vital factor when it comes to digestion. Keep it up and soon enough it will be automatic 🙂

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