Here's Why You Want To Chew Your Smoothies

photo credit nancy s. mure

photo credit nancy s. mure

The ever popular smoothie is the most efficient and highly nourishing way to start your day. Not only are smoothies an excellent way to get a quick zap of nutrients, smoothies, especially if they contain fruit, contain the natural sugar your brain, muscles and liver need to function optimally. That being said, your smoothie must be enjoyed under one healthful condition: that it's eaten correctly. Yes, "eaten."  We don't think of a smoothie as something we eat or chew. Rather, we think of a smoothie as something we sip or drink, and in doing so, we lose out on assimilation of nutrients and bypass a very important part of digestion.

Digestion Begins In The Mouth

Here's how it works; the process of digestion begins in your mouth. As a rule, the more saliva you can incorporate into whatever you eat, the easier your digestive process will be. Thus, chewing your smoothies or at the very least, swishing them through the saliva in your mouth before swallowing, goes a long way toward increasing your food's absorption, assimilation and transit time through the intestine by ninety percent. On the whole, chewing your smoothie with saliva throughly gives the stomach a much needed break. 

Get A Higher Amount Of Nutrients When You Chew

Studies have shown that chewing food, your smoothie --- everything throughly, has other health benefits such as higher retention of nutrients. Dr. Richard Mattes (CQ), professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. has stated: "The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body." This is because when you eat food without chewing throughly you're sending food into the stomach partially broken down, giving the stomach the burden of having breaking it down. While the stomach does its best to break down your food, it can only do an incomplete job. This is the main cause of backup, putrefaction and permeability in the intestine. It is also a major cause of delay in transit time and the cause of chronic indigestion.

Cold Smoothies Cause Indigestion

Food temperature also factors into this equation. When ice or frozen fruits are used to prepare your smoothie, and they bypass being chewed in the mouth, the temperature of the smoothie remains quite cold. A cold smoothie entering the stomach without being warmed in saliva can contribute to hyperchorhydria (low stomach acid), which can also hinder the stomach's ability to break down food, resulting in heartburn, belching, hiccups, stomach cramps and other symptoms of indigestion.

Think Digestion!

Efficient digestion is the most important aspect of overall health. Unfortunately, we often don't give our digestion the thought it deserves until there are signs of discomfort such as bloating, gas, stomach pain or GERD. Chewing properly and throughly goes a long way toward assimilating nutrients and preventing any digestive burden, especially if your favorite quick meal is a smoothie.