Mishelle Knuteson, M.H.

Dr. Christopher quotes Thomas Deschauer by saying, “We live, not by what we eat, but by what we digest, absorb and assimilate.” For our bodies to properly digest, absorb and assimilate what we put into our mouths we must pay attention more to our digestive process. “The first digestive mixing bowl is the mouth, the teeth and the salivary glands,” explains Dr. Christopher in the book Guide to Colon Health. At least 50% of our digestion begins in the mouth. The teeth act as grinders to pulverize, pummel, pound and masticate the food. As the food is being ground up it is mixed well with the slightly alkaline juices and enzymes of the saliva which prepares the food for digestion.
Insufficient chewing of food forces your stomach to break down your food with acids. This takes time and effort and leads to having rotting food sitting in the digestive track as the process continues. This in turn will sap a person’s energy. Sluggish digestion can lead to acid reflux, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and bloating to name the mildest of digestive issues. Proper chewing minimizes the amount of time the food sits in your stomach, so the acids won’t linger.
Proper chewing also increases the saliva output by 10 times. Saliva contains the digestive enzymes that start to break down your food right away, which is much better than any probiotic or digestive enzyme you can buy over the counter and definitely better than anything that can be prescribed to you. Saliva has many other benefits as well. Its antibodies flag toxins for the immune system to destroy. Its antiseptic nature kills unwanted and unnatural bacteria. In addition the hormones in saliva stimulate the peristaltic motion that moves food along the GI tract.
Your teeth are powerful bones that deliver 120 lbs. of pressure every square inch. They take hard chunks of food and liquefy it into a slushy paste if used properly. Dr. Christopher has been known to say, “Drink your solids and chew your liquids.” Keep chewing your food until it is completely liquefied and loses its flavor. If something is hard to chew then it will be hard to digest. Generally a person should chew one bite about 20 times.
All this chewing will take more time in your eating process, yet it will give you a chance to connect with your body and its reactions to the food that you are eating. So many times we put something in our mouths and swallow it down before we’ve really had a chance to taste and savor the food. Spending more time in this first mixing bowl process will naturally help in preventing you from overeating. You will become more aware of your body’s full signals. Another bonus is that you will become more aware of the types of foods that don’t agree with you therefore eliminating them from your diet.

Paying attention to meticulous mastication of food has a medical effect on the body and can result in improved vitality, strength and even thinking ability. Good digestion is the basis of health and healing. For more information on the other mixing bowls of digestion pick up Dr. Christopher’s book Guide to Colon Health from this link.
Mishelle Knuteson is certified in Rapid Eye Technology (RET) an emotional release therapy, teaches classes in The Art of Feminine Presence and a Master Herbalist ~ graduate of The School of Natural Healing. Mishelle currently works as an Educative Master Herbalist (MH) for The School of Natural Healing and as Office Manager of Christopher Publications.