Are you the last one to leave the table at a family dinner? Do you like your meals without hurry, thoroughly chewing every bite? Do you hate it when you’re in a rush and have to gulp down your food?
If this description fits you well, good news: You are a slow eater! Eating slowly has been found to improve digestion because you take the time to chew your food properly. Also, you don’t eat as much because you gradually become full with less food, so your weight stays in check.
On the other hand, if you are a fast eater, you may be in for a digestive trouble. Eating in a rush means you’re not chewing your food properly, so your digestive system has to work harder to break down those larger food bits. As a result, you suffer from indigestion and even constipation.
When improperly chewed food enters the stomach it causes stomach distress. Because digestion begins once the food enters the mouth, if we don’t chew properly, those essential digestive enzymes and saliva don’t have enough time to start breaking down the food to make it easier for your stomach to process.
When the stomach can’t properly break down food, undigested food ends up in the small intestine. At this point in the digestive process, our body is having a hard time absorbing the nutrients from the food.
Additionally, eating food quickly triggers our body’s fight-or-flight response, which slows down digestion even further. As a result, the increased levels of adrenaline interrupt the production of serotonin – the “happy hormone” – which can then take a nasty toll on our moods, too.
As you can see, eating quickly can be quite problematic for our digestive system. So instead of finishing your meal in a hurry, take your time if you want to improve your digestion. Be mindful of the foods you eat, enjoy every bite, and allow your digestive system to work its magic by helping it out and eating slowly. You may find this simple trick is enough to improve your digestion and relieve your digestive woes.