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The art of chewing

Dr. Adrian Weingart

The art of chewing

When it comes to digestion, we often only think of the stomach and intestines. However, we tend to forget that there are a number of other influences and mechanisms associated with this topic.

Our Dailybacs act specifically in the intestine, one of the most crucial steps in the digestive process. The small self-determined bacteria provide the necessary support locally and mostly very successfully. They bring the intestinal flora back into balance, can improve digestion and promote effective absorption of nutrients. In fact, digestion begins much earlier - with processes that we can specifically control. This means that we don't have to leave the work solely to the external mechanisms of our body and the hard-working probiotics. In addition, we can - in addition to healthy nutrition and exercise - actively contribute to improving digestion - and it's much easier than you think!

A rhythmic journey

Our digestion is a composition of different rhythms created by instruments that many may not even know play a role in it. Strictly speaking, our digestion begins with the eyes and nose. They direct the onset of the rhythm because as soon as the eyes perceive the food, it can trigger increased salivation (provided the food looks appealing). The olfactory nerves also have to give their consent before we even indulge in the meal.

“Well chewed is half digested”

The art of chewing begins here. With a steady, rhythmic movement of the jaw, the food is crushed and crushed. The more thorough, the better - because this is how the food is broken down into its individual parts. The increased production of saliva donates food-splitting enzymes, which chemically break down the food. The so-called amylases separate carbohydrates into simple sugar building blocks.

Try it yourself: if you chew bread long enough, it will eventually taste sweet!

We have already done a good job of preparing for the stomach and intestines. The small individual parts can thus be more easily absorbed and metabolized by the other "digestive instruments". This means that unpleasant symptoms such as flatulence, constipation, diarrhea or heartburn occur less frequently. This is simply because the stomach sometimes has a hard time breaking down larger pieces of food. Because these arrive in the intestine only halfway split and cause well-known problems. It is also crucial that energy and good nutrients cannot be extracted from large food particles so effectively. In fact, it can even be considered a real waste of food, as all the good nutrients just end up down the drain - these can also be local, seasonal, organic veggies. Such a "nutrient waste" would really be a shame and, above all, too expensive to sink everything directly back into the toilet.The doctor dr. Stossier put it in a nutshell in the book "Viva Mayr": "...it makes no sense to spend money on organic food if we don't chew it long enough. Then you might as well eat processed foods.“

Once the teeth and jaws have done their rhythmic work, the muscular movement of the esophagus pushes food past the heart and lungs toward the gastrointestinal tract. The rhythmic impulses of these organs, heartbeat and breathing, can also be seen as part of the process. Once in the stomach, the rhythm is mixed up again. The chyme continues to be liquefied, kneaded and broken down by gastric peristalsis, the movement of the stomach, while at the same time being sterilized by hydrochloric acid and directed further into the small intestine.

The small intestine never rests - like the heart, it works in a steady rhythm that neutralizes stomach acid. The pancreas and bile play a role, because their secretions provide important enzymes that digest the ingested food to the end. Sometimes there can be a disharmony of rhythm here - because potential incompatibilities become noticeable in this process. The remaining food components that our body does not need or cannot absorb are first thickened in the large intestine and then excreted. The large intestine also moves in a rhythm that, however, pulls the entire composition back a bit. This is because its pace is slower and it stops the chyme towards the end, in the opposite direction of movement of the small intestine.

Yes, digestion is a wonderful, rhythmic interplay! But unfortunately there are also things that can disrupt this rhythm. This is where chewing comes into play again. We often find ourselves in the situation of not being able to enjoy food properly. We are not present and not conscientious when eating, stuffing ourselves hastily, distracted by the many influences around us: whether mobile phone, television or a conversation with the other person. Food connects people and is known to bring friends, family and strangers together. Conversation is part of the beautiful experience, but thorough mechanical digestion should not be neglected.

Because if you chew properly and thoroughly, not only your stomach will be grateful, but also your taste buds. You can enjoy the different, varied layers of taste that a dish has to offer. Also, chewing properly can make you slimmer. Loss weight through conscientious chewing? That sounds somehow unrealistic, but it is proven. Those who chew more thoroughly automatically take more time to eat and become aware of their feeling of satiety at an earlier point in time. The brain is lagging behind and needs at least 15 minutes to tell the body that it is full. 15 minutes is quite a long time considering how much a "fast eater" can gobble down in that time. One is satisfied with smaller portions, which can have a positive effect on weight (provided one is overweight). Extensive chewing also means that less air is swallowed. This avoids a feeling of fullness after eating.

The classic everyday rhythm does not match the digestive rhythm:

Just pay attention to your own habits. You often want to be full as quickly as possible, a combination of nagging hunger pangs and the pressure to get back into your daily routine as quickly as possible. This also explains the increase in fast food restaurants in recent years. The faster, the better, and the question of quality often falls away. Our body is designed by nature to select the food in the mouth by chewing for a long time and to eliminate inedible or poisonous. Inedible things are often only revealed in the last nuance of taste! For example, unhealthy, refined food doesn't taste as good after chewing for a long time.

Anti-stress therapy

Taking the time for relaxed meals can act as a real anti-stress therapy in the stressful everyday life. Many people who have changed their chewing behavior report that the mechanical chewing movements have a relaxing effect on the entire body.

If this long list of benefits of extensive chewing still wasn't enough to convince you - brace yourself! Because we still have a lot of reasons to chew well that are guaranteed to make you fall off your chair:

Young, immune and light as a feather just by chewing!?

  1. radiate youth:

Chewing releases the hormone parotene into the mouth via the parotid glands. Parotene has been revealed by scientific research to be a regenerative miracle. Because it stimulates cell metabolism and is therefore responsible for the regeneration of the entire body. One study showed that subjects who received parotene treatments looked significantly younger.

  1. Defense Power:

Since the food we eat is anything but sterile, the saliva in the oral cavity takes care of it. It kills the first bacteria. This happens with the help of the protein histamine and an antibacterial enzyme called lysozyme. The increased saliva production when chewing can influence the immune system of the entire body and the digestive tract is also more effectively protected against invaders and the diseases that result from them!

  1. Feel light as a feather:

Feel light as a feather after eating? Most people don't know this experience. But by chewing properly, you avoid large chunks of food in your stomach, which can quickly start to ferment, leaving you feeling bloated and heavy. If the parts are smaller, the body has to expend less energy to break them up. This way you feel fit and light instead of sluggish, heavy and tired - because you can squander the energy you have absorbed on much better things!

  1. Hollywood Smile

To avoid unpleasant visits to the dentist, just chew properly. Because the chewing muscles and gums are better supplied with blood. This leads to a strengthening of the entire jaw. The saliva washes over the teeth. This has a disinfecting and caries-inhibiting effect. Nothing should stand in the way of your radiant smile!

But how do you chew "right"?

Experts recommend chewing 40 to 50 times per bite. Yes, that's quite a lot! If you just want to try it out, you can start with 20 repetitions and work your way up in small bites! Because then you usually notice how little conscientious the usual eating behavior was in the past. But maybe it also leads to you starting to get annoyed with yourself and the missed taste experiences.

Better start late than never! Your stomach and intestines will especially thank you and will probably quickly reward you with improved digestion, which can also affect your entire body and your well-being!


Herbivorous birds often have stomach stones, and with good reason. The so-called gastroliths are there to further process and crush the chyme in the stomach. Because grass and other plants are very difficult to digest. Gastroliths are also known to be associated with dinosaurs.







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