There is an epidemic of heartburn these days, and although on one hand, there is much to be upset about, the source of this health problem is found within. While there are many causes of acid reflux, the primary reason is that so many people swallow their food WITHOUT chewing. The mouth, specifically the teeth and saliva, begins the digestion process before the “foodstuff” (an actual nutrition term) is passed down into the stomach where the remainder of digestion primarily takes place. The stomach secretes hydrochloric acid to break down these food particles (particularly proteins), but if the food you consume is inhaled, whizzing gently by the teeth, then the stomach has to secrete much more acid and here is where problems ensue. Interestingly, when questioned, some people indicate that chewing in front of others doesn’t look “polite”. Others say that swallowing, rather than chewing, makes holding a conversation easier. Still others say they don’t have time! The consequence of repeated bouts of acid reflux can burn the lining of the throat and even the mouth. Speculation suggests that acid reflux may be a precursor to throat cancer. Stress is a precursor to poor eating habits. The take home message is this: Chew your food before swallowing (experts recommend 20 bites before swallowing). Chewing your food also allows you to actually taste it, something the Slow Food Movement highly recommends.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Do you suffer from heartburn, more commonly knows as acid reflux? Have you ever woken at night to a backwash of acid moving up from your stomach? If so, are you aware of how well you chew your food? Wolfing down food is just another symptom of a stressed society, where people feel they cannot afford the time to eat a relaxing meal. Instead they multitask, shortchanging their health! Not Good! Eating on the run (including inhaling your food) may seem convenient, but in the long run, it may be just one more factor leading to an early demise. There are also some foods to avoid like chocolate (see links worth noting below ). Even if you don’t suffer from acid reflux, it’s always a good idea to chew all the food you place in your mouth. Physicians are all too quick to write an Rx, but please consider some alternatives. In addition to chewing your food, there is a great herbal remedy (from Gaia Herbs) called Relfux Relief (I make no money promoting this product!)
Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Acid Reflux, obviously, is a lot more complicated than space here allows to explain, which is why I wanted to include some links with more information:
Quote for the Day:
“I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o clock in the morning. ” — John Barrymore
Photo for the Day:
Based on today’s theme it seemed only fitting today to have a photo of wolves. Wolves are great to look at, but please, don’t imitate their eating behaviors (wink).
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.