Ayurvedic Guidelines for Healthy Eating: Chew Your Food Well!

Ayurveda teaches that HOW you eat is even more important than WHAT you eat. What a bold statement! This is because how you eat your food determines how well your body will digest the food, and improperly digested food can lead to the formation of toxins (ama) within the body. What you eat is also important (so surprise there). Of course, eating quality food in a proper manner is best of all! 

In our ongoing series on HOW you eat your food, today we will explore the important of chewing your food well.

“If you are conscious (calm, quiet and present) while you eat your food, you will be able to chew your food well. Digestion of food begins with proper chewing. Chewing breaks down the food into small pieces and begins to separate the fiber (indigestible food matter) from the nutrient portion. Chewing food well also increases the surface area of the food, allowing enzymes to work more effectively as they convert the food into small molecules that can be absorbed. 

If you don’t chew your food well, the rest of the digestive process will be compromised. Some disciplines recommend counting the number of times that you chew your food. Ayurveda teaches that the number is not important. What is important is that the food be an even, porridge-like consistency before swallowing. To achieve this you have to be present and that means (also) avoiding distractions.” 

~ Excerpt from “Healing Your Life, Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder of the California College of Ayurveda.