Chewing your food is the first step in the digestive process. Powerful enzymes in your saliva go to work breaking down the food as soon as it enters your mouth. Also, swallowing large bites of food is dangerous, as they can easily become lodged in your throat, cutting off airflow. Thus it is important to learn how to properly chew your food, not only to aid in digestion, but also to avoid the risk of choking. Read on to learn how to properly chew your food.
Set aside an ample amount of time for each meal, so that you will be sure to have enough time to chew your food properly. Try not to eat while working, driving or when you are otherwise on the go.
Eat in a relaxed atmosphere whenever possible. Avoid stressful settings, loud music or heated discussions if you can. These kinds of settings can influence you to eat faster and less carefully.
Cut your food into small, manageable pieces. Half-inch squares are about right for meats, fish and other larger pieces of food.
Chew each mouthful of food thoroughly, chewing between 25 and 50 times. The number will vary with each person. Size, gender, age and other factors can all contribute to your saliva production and breakdown abilities.
Follow the rule of thumb: if you can still determine what kind of food is in your mouth by texture alone (not taste), you haven’t chewed it enough. For example, if you are eating a club sandwich and you can still tell the difference between the bread, lettuce, turkey and bacon by texture, keep on chewing.
Chew semi-liquid foods, such as yogurt, just as you would solids. While you might take slightly fewer chews, it is important to get the enzymes in your saliva working. This only happens through chewing.