Something To Chew On: Reasons Why Chewing Your Food Is So Important

Millions of Americans are plagued with digestive problems from chronic heartburn to irritable bowel syndrome.  There are endless reasons why digestive issues can occur.  Dietary choices like eating too many highly processed foods play a role for certain.  Always eating on the run can also cause digestive issues.  And factors that aren’t always directly related, like stress levels, can cause digestive problems that can be severe.  But there are simple things you can do to help your body digest food properly.  One of them is chewing your food well.

Rushing is a Problem

Digestive issues can stem from rushing through meals for a number of reasons, and one of the mistakes we make when we rush our meals is to not chew adequately.  Chewing food is the first step in digestion. Then the stomach and digestive enzymes take over.  Signals from the tongue and mouth indicate what kind of digestive enzymes will be necessary to break down foods and the more time the body has to assess what’s required, the better the digestion will be.  As foods enter the stomach, digestive enzymes are released from the pancreas, gallbladder and the lining of the stomach.

This complicated process is not helped by a rushed meal.  And when you rush your meals you can also induce the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which also cause you to digest differently and can cause digestive problems.

Digestion in the Intestines Causes Problems

If food isn’t chewed sufficiently, digestive enzymes in the stomach can’t do enough to break down food before it heads into the intestines.  Digestion in the intestines is where gas is produced and food that hasn’t been chewed properly causes more gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.  Focusing on chewing can help ensure that your digestive system works the way it’s supposed to.

Chewing Reduces Heartburn

Finally, when food isn’t chewed enough, the stomach beefs up acid production in the hopes of digesting food completely.  Eating fast and not chewing enough often causes digestive issues.  Digestive enzymes work well in balance with healthy eating habits, but if you don’t chew your food the slack has to be picked up elsewhere in the body.

By not chewing enough, we throw the digestive system out of balance.  The stomach requires more acid and digestive enzymes and the intestines have to do a bigger job than they’re designed to do.  So help yourself out and chew!

Going Natural – What is the Best Natural Detox Cleanse?

The best natural detox cleanse is going to be the one that you do with focus, intention and which you complete.  Detox diets have gotten a bit of a bad reputation with diet fanatics, but the truth is that a natural detox cleanse isn’t about losing a bunch of weight immediately.  A detox diet can be the gateway to healthy weight loss and a change in the way you treat your body – for the better.

Natural Detox Cleanse Options

Some of the most popular natural detox cleanses are juice cleanses – either with or without herbal detox supplements.  The best way to go forward with any of these options is to read as much as you can about the proper way to proceed.  All natural detox cleanses should start with a slow ramping down of food intake.  Start by dropping processed foods, then meat and then dairy from your diet.  Slowly reduce grains and then move to only raw fruits and vegetables.

No matter what kind of detox diet you choose to do, it’s critical that you proceed slowly and with intention.  Healthy weight loss is about changing habits and reducing the problematic foods from your diet.  This is where it starts.  You’ll also come off any natural detox cleanse slowly.  Reintroduce foods on the recommended schedule in order to allow your system to adjust to eating foods again.

Healthy Weight Loss as a Way of Life

Why do natural detox cleanses and diets work?  Because they break our eating patterns.  Food addictions are a major problem for people who are trying to lose weight.  A detox diet is the perfect way to break your habits surrounding food – from being addicted to sugary or salty snacks to having a psychological addiction to using food as an escape or comfort.

A detox diet itself may not cause you to lose a lot of weight, but after completing a natural detox cleanse, your body feels light, healthy, and clean.  You won’t want to put junk food into your body when you’ve just completed a detox. Your appetite will be reduced and your interest in healthy foods will be increased.  Healthy weight loss will be easier because you will have broken the unhealthy patterns in your life.

The Proof is NOT in the Pudding. Proven Weight Loss Plans That DON’T Involve Diets

When you compare weight loss programs, you start to see that they fall into different categories.  Some focus on reducing certain types of foods like low- or no-carb diets, sugar-free diets, or fat free diets.  Others focus on reducing all-around calorie intake.  And then there are the kind of crash diets that force you to change your habits dramatically in order to attempt to lose a lot of weight fast.  But fancy diets tend to come and go.  A natural detox cleanse may help with digestive issues but isn’t a permanent way to maintain your ideal weight. Here are some proven weight loss plans that aren’t all about a dramatic diet.

Calorie Counting

The basic problem for most people who battle with being overweight is too many calories.  Calorie counting weight loss programs work because they help people to look more closely at their day-to-day habits.  When you compare weight loss programs from some of the biggest names in the business, you’ll see that a lot of them break down to simply counting calories.  However, unless you’re also conscious of where those calories come from, you could cause or exacerbate digestive issues.

Whole Foods vs. Snacking

Another major hurdle is the quality of food that we eat on a regular basis.  It’s much healthier to cook your own meals so you can control what goes into your food.  But nobody has time for that! Processed foods are a major contributor to digestive issues and unhealthy weight gain.  If you cut out processed foods, make your own meals from whole foods, and stop snacking you’ll be changing your eating habits for the better – good for your body, mind, and waistline!

Natural Detox Cleanses

The major benefits of a natural detox cleanse are usually misunderstood.  A cleanse will reduce your weight while you do it, but you do need to eat again eventually and some weight will always come back.  However, when you cleanse your body, you can deal with digestive issues and any food addictions you may have.  (See our blog post on natural detox cleanses) After a natural detox cleanse, you may find it easier to stick to a weight loss plan that is more permanent and effective because you’re no longer craving junk foods and you feel great about being clean on the inside.

Compare weight loss programs, give yourself a break with a natural detox cleanse and then move forward with permanent, healthy changes to your eating habits.