Teeth, Chewing and Digestive Health
Our teeth do more than help us smile and speak, they are there to chew our food and commence the process of digestion. Teeth are for chewing and their differing shapes help us tear off pieces of food and then break them down into smaller pieces as part of the digestive process.
In this blog, Dr Rachel Hall of Evolve Dental Kenmore discusses the importance of proper chewing for digestion and dental health.
How to get The Most of of What You Eat – Chew Like A Camel
To obtain the nutrients from your food your digestion needs to be in perfect working order. Otherwise, you can not breakdown the food that you eat properly so as to extract then absorb what your body requires.
Digestion Beings In Your Mouth
Chewing breaks your food down from large pieces into smaller particles that are more easily digested. This makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients and energy from the food.
It also prevents food that has not been properly digested from entering the bloodstream. Improperly digested food floating around in your blood can cause adverse health effects.
To start the process of digestion off you need to chew your food properly so that it gets coated in digestive enzymes from your saliva. Gulping down big chunks of food means you will already be limiting what you can obtain from each mouthful of food.
You could be eating the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet but if you don’t chew it properly you will not get the most out of it.
Chewing your food thoroughly allows you to absorb more nutrients from your food, helps you maintain a healthy weight, allows for easier digestion, and leads to fewer digestive issues like gas and bloating
Ideally, you should chew until the food in your mouth has lost its texture and is almost liquid.
Benefits of Chewing Properly and Slowly
Coats Food in Saliva – Saliva contains digestive enzymes. The more you chew, the more time these enzymes have to start breaking down your food, making digestion easier on your stomach and small intestine. After all your stomach doesn’t have teeth and isn’t designed to handle large chunks of food.
Easy Digestion – Chewing pre-digests your food into small pieces, making it easier for your stomach to digest. Digestion takes a lot of energy, especially when faced with partly chewed food.
Absorb Nutrients and Energy – Small pieces of food breakdown readily, releasing the stored nutrients.
Maintain Weight – More chewing equals more time to finish a meal. Eating slowly means you eat less. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that you’re full, so if you eat too fast you always tend to feel hungry and overeat.
Teeth Love It – Chewing gives your teeth and jaw bones a workout which just like going the gym keeps them strong. The extra saliva production helps bathe the teeth in protective minerals and enzymes and helps wash plaque bacteria away.
Less Bad Bacteria Hang Out in the Gut – Big pieces of food remain undigested when they pass from the stomach to intestines if not chewed properly. The food hangs around too long and it starts to rot due to bacterial build up. This can cause abdominal cramping and pain, gas, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
How to Chew Like a Camel
Gut Health and Teeth Chewing
If this all seems to hard remember you gut health depends on you breaking down those hunks of food before you swallow, as your stomach does not have teeth. Large pieces of food will start to rot in your gut, damaging your gut health and limiting your ability to uptake the key nutrients to have optimal health and strong teeth.
If you would like to book a consultation about your dental health with Dr Rachel Hall then contact us HERE today.