Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How To Get Sick: Part 7: Swallow Your Food Without Chewing Well (Or At All)

Now this is one way to get sick that you wouldn't normally think about. Most of us chew our food incredibly quickly, especially children and men! :) We are constantly telling Nathaniel, "Lots of chews!" Some guys eat so fast that they are done with a meal in less than 5 minutes. Or even 10! If you can eat a full meal in less than 10 minutes, you're not chewing enough.

Here's why it's important to chew your food:

# 7 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Swallow your food without chewing well (or at all) (p.91 of the Maker's Diet)

"Chewing is extremely important to proper digestion. The chewing reflex signals the body to release saliva containing the salivary enzyme ptyalin, a form of amylase, which begins to break down carbohydrates. Parotid glands behind the ears signal the thymus gland to produce T-cells just in case the food contains toxins or pathogens. The ultimate goal of the process is to deliver food to the stomach in a liquid state.

I'm convinced my habit of "wolfing down my food" in chunks contributed to the development of Crohn's disease in my body. Horace Fletcher, who lived in the early 1900's, had a wasting disease known as Addison's disease, which produced major digestive problems and weight loss. Mr. Fletcher allegedly cured himself by chewing each mouthful of food thirty-five to fifty times. His story inspired others who began chewing their food thoroughly; they called themselves "Fletcherizers."

Don't go calling yourself a "Rubinizer," but I do recommend chewing each bite twenty-five to fifty times as needed- especially when eating foods high in carbohydrates such as grains, sugars, and starches. Always eat sitting down, and avoid watching TV, arguing, or doing something that requires concentration."

I dare you to count how many times you are chewing each bite- I bet you will be surprised with how few times you chew your food! Remember, your food will get broken down into a liquid form at some point- but if you don't do the right job, you will tax your digestive system, feel less full and thereby eat more overall, and spend your body's energy on doing the job you didn't do, taking away from the mental energy and focus you need to make it through your day! So go and chew!

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