Digestion begins in the mouth – we've all heard this expression before. When looked at in one way, it is indeed correct, but looked at another way, we find that it is not completely true. This might come as a surprise, but in reality digestion begins in the head.
Digestion doesn't actually start in the mouth; instead, it begins even before that. It begins in the head. What we mean here is that one has to be in the mood to eat, be free enough from stress to eat, and really focus on the food. In the past, people accomplished this with a prayer before eating, but in today's world of hustle and bustle such traditions are no more: pausing for a moment of reflection before eating, releasing any stress and avoiding thoughts about anything other than the meal on your plate.
Digestion begins in the head as shift your focus to the food you'll be eating
Why is this so important? The more stressed people are when it comes to their approach to consuming food, the faster their pulse rates and the higher their blood pressure. The result is simply less available energy for the process of digestion. Moreover, when we don't give sufficient focus to the food we're eating, we chew faster and chew less before swallowing. Oftentimes it happens that we no longer know what we ate, even just after finishing a meal.
Remove the stress from your meals and follow the tips below:
- Before you eat, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Image you meal in vibrant colour, and let yourself look forward to how good your food is going to taste.
- Next open your eyes, and enjoy putting the food into your mouth. Relish the taste on your tongue and in your whole mouth. Try to pay attention to individual aspects of the taste.
- Chew slowly and allow time for every bite to become quite fluid in your mouth.
- Then take your time with swallowing your food, and imagine it traveling to your stomach.
- Continue with the next bite, and if you notice that you are starting to eat more quickly again, simply take a moment to pause and concentrate on the taste.
If you set up your mealtimes in such an pleasant way, stomach and intestinal complaints will easily fade…or perhaps even disappear completely. The positive effects grows further if you combine this way of eating with a quality assortment of foods that you thoughtfully prepare.
Source: Dr. Dean Ornish & Anne Ornish, Undo it! How simple lifestyle changes can reverse most chronic diseases, Ballantine Books, 2019.
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