The adorable Star Wars character could use this advice given his enormous mouth and impulsive nature. However, chewing better rings true for me too after my studies in wellness and Ayurvedic Medicine. Not only is solid food better for you than juice, in spite of what the juice and smoothie market claim, but chewing slows down the eating process and ultimately helps you consume less and keep your weight in check.
Try this test: Take one bite of an apple and count how many times you chew it before swallowing. 10 – 15 times? Well, the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic Medicine suggests 32 is the magic number. Recently, one study showed that men who chewed 40 times per bite consumed almost 12 percent fewer calories than men who chewed 15 times per bite!
You will feel more satisfied after eating whole carrots rather than carrot juice partly due to the high amount of fiber included and the time it takes to mash each bite into a pulp. Additionally, chewing slows you down and triggers chemical reactions in the stomach, small intestine, pancreas and other organs. The more you chew, the more gut hormones are released that send messages of fullness to the brain. Your blood sugar can be better regulated, and in turn, diabetes may be held at bay.
So the next time you have a choice between a salad and a bottle of green juice, a breakfast shake and a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries, or some applesauce and an apple, choose well to help retrain your inner Chewbacca. Your body will thank you!