Smoothie’s are such a great way to get a lot of good ingredients into a glass. However, I maintain that chewing our food is the first and best choice of all. Having a smoothie once or twice a week is a real treat but not something we should rely on as a staple.
Chewing our food is important for a few reasons:
- Digestion begins in the mouth
Food should be chewed for long enough that it becomes difficult to identify what you are eating just by feeling around the inside of your mouth with your tongue. The mechanics of chewing allows for the food to be broken down into smaller particles, which produces a greater surface area, more compatible for swallowing, diminishing esophageal stress.
- Chewing our food well exposes the food particles to saliva for a longer period of time. Saliva is important!
Saliva helps to:
- Lubricate the food, in particular dry foods, which makes swallowing and passage through the esophagus smoother and easier.
- Saliva contain enzymes that contribute to the chemical process of digestion.
“Carbohydrate digestion begins with salivary alpha-amylase secreted by glands positioned near the mouth. This alpha-amylase helps break down some of the chemical bonds that connect the simple sugars that comprise starches. Additionally, the first stage of fat digestion also occurs in the mouth with the secretion of the enzyme lingual lipase by glands located at the root of the tongue.”
-The George Mateljan Foundation
- Incomplete Digestion occurs when food is not chewed well enough prior to swallowing. When food particles are too big they cannot be properly digested. The point of eating healthy wholesome food is to benefit from their nutrients, but when we don’t properly chew our food the body is unable to absorb nutrients. That’s kind of like eating just to excrete…the point lost!
- Also, undigested food becomes a target for bacterial growth in the colon! Bacterial growth in the colon can lead to bacterial overgrowth, flatulence and abdominal pain.
It is no wonder so many people suffer from indigestion and turn to medication to ease their pain. Besides making healthier food choices, consider how you introduce food into your body? Do you rush through your meals? Are they always or often in liquid form? Do remember to drink some water after each meal to assist in the digestion process?
Chew To your health!
- 3/4 – 1 Cup of Original Hemp Bliss Beverage
- 4 TBSP. (30g) Hemp Pro50 (Plant Based Protein Powder)
- 5-6 small frozen organic strawberries
- 1 ripe organic banana
- approximately 10 raw Lacinato Kale leaves (stems/spines removed) [could stuff the leaves to fit into a 1 Cup measure)
- 4 ice cubes
- Using a blender add ingredients in order listed above into the blender container, close lid tightly. Blend until well combined. 1 minute maximum.
Same recipe without Kale.
How do you fuel?