Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is mashed and crushed by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by the cheek and tongue. As chewing continues, the food is made softer and warmer, and the enzymes in saliva begin to break down carbohydrates in the food. After chewing, the food (now called a bolus) is swallowed. It enters the esophagus and continues on to the stomach, where the next step of digestion occurs.
It's good to get the food well chewed and mixed with the digestive juices in the mouth so we can be assured of good digestion and proper absorbtion of the nutrients we put in our mouths. What isn't properly chewed and broken down cannot be properly asimilated nor eliminated by the body. I read somewhere that all mouthfuls chould be chewed at least 35-45 times. How often do I gulp my food? How much soup goes thru' the goose, so to speak without a good mixing with the enzymes breaking down by saliva, or as my ex-husband used to call it salava [he was a Texan], I used to ask him if it erupted from the mouth?
What happens in the mouth?
Digestion begins in the mouth with the chewing of food (mastication). Mastication not only breaks down very large aggregates of food molecules into smaller particles and allows saliva and enzymes to enter inside the larger food complexes, but also sets off a signaling message to the body to start the entire digestive process. Research has shown that the activation of taste receptors in your mouth and the physical process of mastication signal the neural (nervous) system. For example, the taste of food can trigger the stomach lining to produce acid, a process called the cephalic phase of digestion; therefore, your stomach begins to respond to food even before any food leaves your mouth.
Saliva is secreted by the salivary glands in your mouth and moistens the food to improve the chewing and grinding. Saliva also contains some enzymes that begin the breakdown of starches and fats. For example, carbohydrate digestion begins with the salivary enzyme alpha-amylase, and fat digestion begins with the secretion of the enzyme lingual lipase by glands under your tongue.
The majority of food we eat is simply too big to breech the digestive tract wall. Before we can absorb our food, it generally needs to be broken down (digested) first. Chewing is important because it plays a starring role in the digestive process. During chewing, glands found in the cheeks, inside the lower jaw and under the tongue secrete saliva into the mouth. Saliva helps moisten and shape the food for easy swallowing. Saliva also contains an enzyme known as amylase that starts the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. During chewing, the tongue also secretes an enzyme called lipase that participates in the digestion of fat...
Eating bitter foods such as salad leaves helps stimulate digestive secretions, making them an ideal base for a starter. Chicory is especially good in this respect, and is renowned in herbal medicine for its ability to boost digestion.
...For acid, enzymes and bile to do their work, they need to able to penetrate the food we eat. One final function of chewing is to grind food up, which gives the digestive secretions a fighting chance of completing the digestive process. What is more, the smaller the food particles we swallow, the quicker and more efficient digestion tends to be. One very simple and very effective way of boosting the nutritional value of our diet is to ...chew each mouthful of food properly before swallowing.
The Importance of Proper Digestion and Food Assimilation
It has been observed that health is the result of what one assimilates,
not what one necessarily eats. We accept lots of food into our bodies,
but only that which has been properly assimilated can be utilized for
rebuilding and repairing cells and malfunction areas. Proper assimilation
is acquired by "drinking the solid foods and chewing the liquid food."
This is an old and true axiom. We should thoroughly chew the solid
foods, mixing saliva with them until the food becomes a liquid; then we drink
it. The liquid foods must be swished (or chewed) in the mouth, then
swallowed. The saliva thoroughly mixed with the foods is the key that
opens up the doors of digestion. Without mixing saliva with the food,
the balance of the digestive juices are not activated for good assimilation.
By gulping, "inhaling" or bolting the food down without properly mixing
saliva with it, we only get eight to ten percent of its value. By properly
chewing we can raise this to forty or forty-five percent. The balance
is generally cellulose or indigestible fiber.
We not only receive far better health, but also save money. Food is one
of our largest expenditures, and if we can get four to six times better
assimilation, this promises superior health and a happier life. With one
fourth or one third of the food we have been used to eating, we can receive
much more power and energy.
Another must for good health is to slow down the eating procedure, relax
and be happy. Discuss pleasant things during mealtime, even laugh a little.
Such foods as soups, gruels, porridges, and purees contain so little
solid matter that the bulk, considerable though it may be when the food
is eaten, is soon reduced to a very small volume. On this account liquid
foods are almost always constipating. The only exceptions are those liquid
foods which contain much sugar, acids, or fats.
CONCLUSION: It's important to spend time chewing our foods, soups and unchewed food can be constipating, good digestion begins in the mouth. So masticate, masticate, masticate, you won't go blind.
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-----THE GARDEN GNOME
~~~Jokes and Inspiration~~~
My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't
need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.
-- Henny Youngman
We can have facts without thinking but we cannot
have thinking without facts.
-- John Dewey
Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been
-- Jim Morrison
A man in a taxi cab taps the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. The driver screams bloody murder, loses control of the cab, and swerves onto the sidewalk before stopping just inches from a lamppost.
After checking to make sure the passenger is OK, the driver says "I'm sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me!"
"Sorry. I didn't realize a simple tap on the shoulder would freak you out so much," the passenger says.
"It's not your fault," replies the cabbie.
"Today is my first day on the job after 25 years of driving a hearse."
A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners.
At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door.
When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, Genesis 3:10."
Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.
Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, for I was naked."
What do you call 10 rabbits walking backwards?
... A receding hair line.
Top Ten Ways to Tell if Martha Stewart is Stalking Your Dog:
10. There's potpourri hanging from your pooch's collar.
9. The dog's nails have been trimmed with pinking shears.
8. The dog toys are all stored in McCoy crocks.
7. The pooper scooper has been decorated with raffia bows.
6. That telltale lemon slice in the new silver water bowl.
5. You find liver and whole wheat dog treats stamped out with copper cookie cutters and decorated with royal icing using a #2 rosette tip.
4. Dog hair has been collected and put into wire baskets for nesting material for the birds.
3. A seasonally appropriate grapevine wreath adorns the front of the doghouse.
2. Your dog goes outside naked and comes in wearing an apricot colored virgin wool hand-knitted sweater with matching boots.
AND THE NUMBER ONE WAY YOU KNOW THAT MARTHA STEWART IS STALKING YOUR DOG IS...
1. The dog droppings in your backyard have been sculpted into swans.
On that note, I wish you and yours a lovely day followed by a peaceful and joyful week and a terrifically blessed month.
Check out these sources for more valuable information.
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