Researchers are beginning to find that chewing more during meals can increase hormones associated with satiation and the feeling of being full. The main hormone called leptin, seems to increase at higher levels when we spend a longer time chewing our food.
Many people in today’s society will wolf down food with barely 10 chews, mostly because today’s processed food can be consumed relatively easily and quickly. Chewing less than we need to can result in an increase in the hormone grehlin, which is associated with being hungry (think “grehlin = growling (stomach)).
According to the study, as reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects who chewed their food 40 times, as compared to 15, ate 11.9% fewer calories. This practice, as applied over time, can result in a significant amount of weight loss if combined with an overall healthy eating and exercise plan.
Digestion Begins in the Mouth
Digestive enzymes are actually present in saliva that help break down food while chewing. If your not pre-digesting your food, then you will have difficulty digesting once it reaches your stomach. Amylase, a well known enzyme that breaks down starches, begins in the mouth. Chewing thoroughly can help prevent the gas, indigestion and heart burn experienced by improperly digested starches (from tube vegetables, legumes, vegetables).
Calories Aren’t Everything
Remember, calories aren’t everything, but they are units of energy. If you are desiring to release stored units of energy, this may be the trick you are looking for. Reducing stress, increasing raw foods and grass-fed animal products and regularly exercising can also increase the production of the hormone leptin, making you feel full and satisfied.
You can also copy the French. In “The French Don’t Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life“, author Dr. William Clower mentions that the French, who eat rich foods of raw cheeses and whole milk, real butter and eggs, tend to be very lean due to the fact that they increase the amount of time conversing with others at the dinner table. Turning off the television and talking, sharing stories, and putting the fork down in between bites is extremely helpful in reducing the amount you eat.
This is The Healthy Advocate.
P.S. Look out for a healthy recipe tomorrow – Gluten-Free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Brownies!