A recent study showed how chewing your food more thoroughly can actually help to boost energy levels! At Purdue University, research participants were asked to chew almonds for various times. Scientists then measured the amount of fecal fat that was excreted from the body, to determine how much energy was lost in the process.
Three different groups of participants were used. One group chewed the almonds 10 times before swallowing, a second group chewed the almonds 25 times, and the third group chewed the almonds 40 times.
When the results were evaluated, they showed that the people who chewed the almonds the slowest and the most thoroughly absorbed more of the almonds, and at a quicker rate than those who chewed the almonds less. For people in the group chewing the almonds only 10 times, far larger particles of almonds were found to be eliminated from the body, suggesting that fewer nutrients and less energy was retained in the body.
One of the lead researchers, Richard Mattes, Ph.D., clarified the results by saying, "Particle size [affects the] bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed. The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body."
It is certainly true that people have different habits when it comes to chewing their food. Altering these habits does take some effort, but should certainly be considered when a person is trying to make healthier food choices and boost their energy levels.
Mattes further explains that for those people who are seeking to add foods to their diet that are healthy and enjoyable, and increase energy and vitamin intake, then opting for chopped almonds or almond butter may be desirable, as these foods require little chewing and are more easily absorbed by the body. Whole almonds are still a great source of protein, but it is important to chew them thoroughly, even if this means adopting new eating habits.
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains offer the best sources of energy because they contain mixed fibres. A higher fibre diet leads to more fat loss because fibre will bond with fatty acids, creating energy in the body and burning the fat.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to how efficient a person’s body is when it comes to burning fat and calories, and it seems that the rate and length of chewing may contribute. Chewing your food more thoroughly will help aid digestion and improve the efficiency of the body when processing nutrients and fats.
Further research is indicated to determine other factors that affect how digestible certain foods are, and this will help to clarify food labels and make choosing healthy foods even easier.
SOURCES: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263541.php;http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/can-the-secret-to-successful-weight-loss-be-as-simple-as-chewing-more.html; Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net