Daily Challenge Monday Jul. 02, 2012

Everyday Well-Being

Chew at least 5 bites of your next snack or meal 20 times each.

How to do it

When starting your next snack or meal, put small amount of food in your mouth and chew at least 20 times before you swallow. You'll notice your food is starting to feel like a liquid. Try to do this for at least five mouthfuls.

Why it matters

Your stomach isn't solely responsible for digesting food - the process actually starts up in your mouth! When food has enough time in the mouth, the tongue recognizes the flavors and sends a message to the brain. From here, the brain tells the stomach what kind of food to expect so it can have the right natural chemicals at the ready for digestion. Plus, saliva makes food easier to swallow and helps break down food molecules into a size your body can absorb. When the tiny pieces of food finally hit your stomach, they take less energy to digest. It's simply easier for the body to receive and use nutrients in tiny bits of food.

Fun fact

In a healthy adult, it takes between 24 and 72 hours for the digestion process to complete. The digestive tract is approximately 30 feet long - no wonder it takes so much time!


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