” As a man ought to eat in an half hour, they shallow in 3 minutes, gulping under the table, which when a chuck of meat is thrown to it, shallows it before you can twice” – Brigham Young (1801 -1877)
Food’s contact with saliva is not just important because it helps to lubricate the food. The saliva contains enzymes that contribute to the chemical process of digestion. Carbohydrate digestion begins with salivary alpha-amylase released by chewing motion as it breaks down some of the chemical bonds that connect the simple sugars that comprise starches.
Additionally, the first stage of fat digestion also occurs in the mouth with the secretion the enzyme lingual lipase by the glands that are located under the tongue. Protein digestion begins in the stomach. Gobbling down food quickly causes incomplete digestion which can lead to bacterial overgrowth. The undigested food becomes fodder for bacteria causing them to multiply in the colon. This can lead to an array of problems including flatulence, fatigue, stomach pains and other symptoms of indigestion like small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).
An important note to remember is all of us have a certain number of bacteria in the small and large intestines. They aid in the healthy digestion of the body. It’s only when there is an overgrowth in the small intestine that we start running into problems. If food fragments are too big there will be less surface area for the enzymes to extract vital nutrients. This leaves you with a lot of calories but little nutritional value.
Seeing is Believing
The poorly understood cephalic stage of digestion occurs when you first see, smell and taste food. This starts the digestion juices flowing even before food has entered the stomach. In clinical studies the enzymes chlecystokinn, somastostatin and nerotension all have been found to increase over 50% just by seeing and smelling certain foods. In addition, certain taste receptors can signal the stomach to release hydrochloric acid to aid in the absorption of animal meat. To prevent malnutrition, fatigue, obesity and symptoms of SIBO, take your time when eating your 5 smaller meals throughout the day.
Don’t Juice veggies or fruits….
I know you feel cool using a Vitamix blender but as I mentioned above, chewing releases salvia enzymes that help breakdown the fibrous material in all those greens and sweets. Again, if you are in a hurry of course blend them but in general for optimal nutrition it’s best to see, chew, swallow and enjoy….
You are what you eat or should I say you are what you chew….