Chewing, Digestion, Nutrient Absorption and Health
Digestion is the process of breaking down the food into smaller components so they can be absorbed and assimilated by the body; if the body cannot assimilate the micro and macro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals and protein, carbs, fats), eating is of no good.
Failure to fully digest the meals can lead to poor muscle growth, lack of energy and even bouts of depression corelated with weight gains.
For good digestion, chewing is the first mechanical process for breaking down food and preparing it for the next step. Saliva contains enzymes that breakdown carbs right there, before it even gets into the stomach; eating slowly helps to quickly digest the food and lead to achieve faster lifestyle goals (whether is fat loss or muscle growth), because if one can’t digest proteins, won’t have a positive nitrogen balance.
Then, there is a second phase of digestion - the gastric phase. It takes place in the stomach where we have an acidic environment. There the semi digested protein break into amino acids to be used by the metabolism for well functioning of the vital organs.
The acid in the stomach breaks down the food, yet lack of acidity makes it very hard to assimilate the proteins.
Some people abuse anti acid medication and they reduce their ability to digest food (and here are some signs of low acid: feeling bloated after a meal, belching after meals, bad breath, difficulty in putting on muscle mass); quick tip to alleviate the problem: removing gluten and dairy from the diet for a couple of weeks to see if the symptoms loosen or go away (if using acid neutralizer stop taking them).
People who eat fast risk having more fat deposited (because it actually correlates with eating more). More foods along with low absorption of nutrients leads to body starvation even when overeating. Also, fast eating doesn’t give enough time for hunger suppressing hormones (like ghrelin, hormone peptide or glucagon) to kick in, therefore more food ingested.
Eating slow and chewing well helps in getting full with less amount of food, digest well so nutrients get absorbed and used by the body properly.
Feeling light after eating and well nourished is the maximum satisfaction.
For more nutritional information and complete body assessment you can find me, Mehdi Ben Nasr - Personal Trainer and Nutritionist at :
Visionbody - Power Driven Gym (@visionbodykw/ 90088778).