1 Simple Way To Improve Nutrient Absorption Today
Was your mom right all along? (Funny how the answer to this increasingly becomes more yeses as we age!)
Should we chew our food 50 times before we swallow? Science seems to point to YES if we want better nutrient absorption. Ok, 40 times, but Mom was pretty darn close.
Scientists divided a group of people into 3 groups. They gave them almonds and asked them to chew each bite either 10x, 25x or 40x before they swallowed.
They found that those who chewed 40x- their bodies absorbed the tiny food particles at a faster rate than the other groups whose food was not broken down as much. Additionally, the larger food particles were eliminated without much further breakdown.
What's this mean? It means that you could be eating this beautiful array of food that is packed with all of the macro and micronutrients that your specific body needs, and only be benefiting from a fraction of it.
This means that even with all of the vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and healthy grains you're taking in, you may still be troubled by acne or other skin concerns like keratosis pilaris, hair loss, brittle/thin nails, muscle spasms, peripheral neuropathies (numbness and/or tingling in your extremities), and bleeding gums are among the common culprits.
Of course, there may be other considerations like food sensitivities, the health of your microbiome, or general inflammation levels. We certainly don't want to ignore those. However, CHEWING our food is a simple change we can make that is backed by science and is very likely to improve how our bodies absorb the fuel we give it.
Even better? Taking the time to chew each bite 40 times has a couple inherent benefits that will also directly impact our physiology in terms of stress and cortisol since we know that solely eating food in a stressed out state will cause our body to produce more cortisol and increase inflammation.
Instantly, by counting each bite, we are practicing mindfulness.
Even if the chew count is occurring in the background while you're feeding your kids, reading emails, or talking with co-workers, it's still bringing more attention to that present moment than there would be if you weren't counting, right?
Also, it takes TIME to chew each bite 40 times. This gives our brains more time to register that feeling of fullness, a signal from our bodies that it has what it needs. We also have a bit more time to connect feelings of indigestion or stomach pain with the food you just consumed.
Wouldn't you feel so much less stress treating yourself to a delicious treat if you went into the experience confidently knowing you'd only eat as much as your body really wanted (maybe only a bite or two!) AND your body would better be able to absorb any goodness from it and not have as much negative response to it?
Much better than the should-I-or-shouldn't-I mind wrestle that usually happens as you stare lovingly at your mom's famous pumpkin bread- only to be followed by the guilt, shame, or self-beratement you feel after you've scarfed down a huge slice or three?
It is possible to ENJOY food AND have vibrant health AND treat yourself once in a while. It might take a lot of hard work to get there, and some ladies by nature may have it easier than others. But, it just takes one step to start the process.
Teeny tiny changes can make BIG impacts, and often THESE are what gives us the confidence to continue on a healthy path.
Find ONE day, ONE meal, or ONE *bite* and try chewing 40 times.
How does it feel? Do you think you can move to TWO days, TWO meals, or TWO bites??
I *know* you can!