Did you know…not chewing your food properly can lead to allergies?

The word “allergy” is Greek for “altered reactivity”. This altered reactivity is another way to describe how the immune system overreacts when a foreign substance (ie/a food particle that is too big) enters the blood. A food particle might be too big because it wasn’t broken down into small enough particles during the various stages of digestion (ie/chewing).

First, you need to understand digestion: the first stage of digestion happens in the mouth, with chewing. Here, there are digestive enzymes that help to break down the food before it is passed down into the stomach and to the rest of the digestive organs (liver, pancreas, small intestine, gall bladder, large intestine/colon). If you don’t chew your food properly, you force the other organs to do extra work to break down food into the tiny particles our body needs. This puts extra stress on those other digestive organs and they already have enough work to do! The problem is that if your other digestive organs are not up to par or they are already overworked, they will not be able to break down the food either, meaning that the larger particles get into your blood. To the blood, these larger particles look like foreign substances, which causes an inflammatory response (which is how the body reacts or overreacts to a threat), otherwise known as an allergic reaction.

Your lesson here is to chew your food enough times that it becomes a liquid that can be easily swallowed and digested. It also means you likely need to pay more attention when you eat – avoid eating in the car, while watching TV or multi-tasking. Just sit down, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your food so it can actually work FOR you instead of AGAINST you. Getting this first stage of eating perfected means less stress on the digestive system, which means less stress on your body overall – and that’s a good thing!

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