Why is it so important to chew your food?
You might be surprised to learn how important chewing food properly really is and how many functions chewing affects. Chewing your food properly is essential for adequate digestion. Meals should be eaten sitting down, in a relaxed environment to ensure that food is sufficiently chewed.
Chewing is the first step in digestion. Chewing helps the stomach metabolise (process) food by breaking larger food particles into smaller fragments. Chewing also increases saliva production so that it can be swallowed without aggravating the oesophagus. If food is not chewed properly larger particles enter the digestive tract causing digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, food reactions, headaches and lowered energy levels.
As you chew your food more digestive enzymes are produced. These help to breakdown food further to assist digestion. The process of chewing also triggers the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, this further aids digestion, by regulating the pH to increase acidity levels assisting with food breakdown.
Breaking down food into smaller particles means that it is easier for your body to absorb a greater amount of nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals) from the food you are eating.
The more you chew your food, the longer it will take to finish your meal. In general it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that it is full. Therefore if you are eating slower, it is less likely that you will over-eat.
Nourish the gut lining
Chewing increases production of saliva which contains epithelial growth factor (EGF), a polypeptide that stimulates growth and repair of epithelial tissue. Thoroughly chewing your food increases production of this EGF, nourishing the gut.
Reduces the risk of bacterial overgrowth
Food particles that are not properly broken down can cause bacterial overgrowth and increased fermentation in the gut, leading to conditions such as indigestion, bloating, increased gas and constipation.
Chew on This!
So how many times should you chew your food for adequate digestion?
According to studies food should be chewed about 32 times, foods that are harder to chew, such as steak and nuts may need up to 40 chews per mouthful. For foods that are softer such as mashed potato and watermelon you can get away with chewing just 5-10 times.
Can you test how well you're chewing food?
Did you know that the Essential Digestive Stool Analysis can provide you with information on whether your food is being chewed well? This test can tell you whether there are sufficient levels of digestive enzymes to help with food breakdown into carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and whether your bowel acidity (bowel pH) is optimal for digestion. Any presence of bacterial overgrowth can also be monitored by this stool test.
Order an Essential Digestive Stool Analysis today and learn if your chewing may be affecting your overall gut health.
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It is your responsibility to ensure you carefully follow all steps provided to ensure the health and safety of the couriers, postage workers, specimen reception and laboratory workers.
There is no rebate offered through the Medicare Benefits Scheme for the kits available on the Intestinal Labs shopping cart. Some private health insurance companies may offer rebates, check with your health insurance provider for further details.
If your kit arrives through the mail damaged, contact us immediately for a replacement – do not use or send back this kit.
Intestinal Labs does issue refunds to unused tests for up to 6 months from purchase date, a cancellation fee of $30 applies to all kits. We do not issue refunds for kits purchased over 6 months prior to the refund request.
All kits to be returned are to have the referral form included with the samples. Without this form, there will be no patient allocated to the results and the test will take longer to process.
General Digestive Analysis
Recommended for monitoring treatment, identifying the presence of unfavourable organisms, gut infection, microbial imbalance, malabsorption or assessing whether probiotic supplementation is having a positive impact.
Analysis of your digestive function and gut microbial environment including an evaluation of microscopic and macroscopic markers, such as the presence of fibres, cells and food particles. In-depth analysis of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria including the presence of parasites or yeasts.
Essential Digestive Analysis
Our most popular test – Recommended if you have digestive function issues and require an in-depth analysis of your gut health.
All components of the General Digestive Analysis are included along with additional testing on biochemical markers, such as pH, breakdown and absorption of fats, carbohydrates and protein, pancreatic function and levels of short chain fatty acids (required to maintain normal bowel function).
Comprehensive Digestive Analysis
Select this test for a complete gut assessment and comprehensive parasitology screening.
Our most comprehensive digestive stool test includes all components within the General and Essential Digestive Analysis tests plus a 3-day parasitology test. This increases the probability of identifying parasites as they may not be present in every bowel motion as well as testing for antimicrobial sensitivities (if bacterial organisms are detected).