I'm guilty of this and I know most of you are too: inhaling our food.
Digestion starts in the mouth. Mastication (chewing) helps to increase the surface area, so that enzymes in saliva (alpha-amylase and lingual lipase) can start to break down starch (carbohydrate) and fat. The more you chew, the easier it is for your digestive system:
- less stress is placed on the esophagus with smaller portions vs big chunks
- stimulates hydrochloric acid production in the stomach
- allows food to move more easily from the stomach to the small intestine
- stimulates secretion of digestive enzymes & bicarbonate from the pancreas into the small intestine -- all needed for healthy digestion and eventually absorption
- maintains a healthy probiotic population in your colon