Think about the last meal you ate today. What did this meal consist of? How long did it take you to eat it? Did you actually chew your food or mindlessly stuff your face?
When you take the time to Be with the food you are eating and truly enjoy it, you will get more out of your mealtime experience. Chewing your food is a first, major part of digestion that helps you to absorb the nutrients of the food better. The saliva released in the mouth helps to break down carbohydrate components of your meal; the mechanical action of chewing breaks the food down before it enters your stomach and the rest of the digestive tract. Improper chewing can lead to over-eating as well as bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.
Chewing also helps you to enjoy your food more. By noting the texture and colors on your plate, while mindfully tasting your meals, you will have a greater appreciation for your food.
Next time you sit down for a meal, count how many times you chew eat bite you take. Try to increase that number by 10 and once that feels normal, keep increasing. The slower you eat, the more benefits you will see!