Remember that foods begin to be digested in the mouth. Judging by the way most people eat whom I have observed eating in the various restaurants, this is a discovery to most of you.
A great many people seem to think digestion begins in the stomach, that is, if they take the trouble to think about it at all.
Chew your food:
You must chew your food thoroughly, not merely until it becomes soft enough to be swallowed without choking you, but until you have chewed it to a liquid and have extracted all the flavor from it.
And chew liquid foods the same way; that applies to everything but water. Macfadden says: “Chew your food; your stomach has no teeth! And he might have added: “Taste your food; your stomach has no taste buds!” Why do you suppose you so enjoy eating? Because in eating, the sense of taste is pleased.
That the sense of taste is pleased is probably a wise provision on the part of nature to see that man did not let his natural laziness cause his extermination from starvation. The sense of taste, then, is evidently a most useful and necessary one.
Sense of taste:
So much for the sense of taste. Of what use is the flavor of food, and why do we seek to impart a flavor to it when it has none, or to give it a pleasing flavor when it has a displeasing one? To please the sense of taste! And where is this sense of taste found? In the mouth. Has the stomach a sense of taste? No. Then food cannot be tasted in the stomach.
You must taste food in the mouth where it can be tasted! After it leaves the mouth it is too late to taste it—except it has an echo (as garlic, or onions, or hamburger steak, or other fried foods). But you do have this sense of taste in your mouth and it gives you pleasure.
And you also have foods that have flavor. Therefore, since your stomach has no taste buds, and your mouth has, why not use this pleasure-giving sense and the flavor of foods for all they are worth, by tasting all the flavor out of all the food you eat? Taste it until no flavor is left in it before swallowing it.
Importance of mastication:
Thorough mastication will result in six different benefits:
First: It will give us more pleasure from eating.
Second: We shall naturally eat much less.
Third: We shall get much better from what we do eat, and therefore, shall need less.
Fourth: We shall immeasurably lighten the work of the other digestive organs and thus preserve them in good health, thereby benefiting the whole body and working a great economy in the matter of doctor bills.
Fifth: We shall not be troubled with heavy-headedness after meals, nor will we have foul breaths, coated tongues, nor be bothered with gas in the intestines, nor the belching of bad flavored gases after meals.
Sixth: We shall preserve our teeth, for the exercise thus afforded our jaws will cause an increased flow of blood to the jaws and teeth, which is a prime requisite for the health and preservation of the teeth as of any other part of the body.
Never Eat Unless Hungry
To sum up, then, in a few words, we shall reap immense physical and decided financial gains from the process, not to mention the happiness and joy resulting from these gains and the general sense of freedom and well-being that comes from an unbefouled digestive tract.
Another rule that is almost, if not equally, as important as the foregoing rule about chewing the food is the rule: Never Eat Unless Hungry!
Do not eat just because it is meal time. If not hungry at your regular mealtime, do not eat until the next regular mealtime that you are hungry. No matter if it is a week, wait! No one ever yet died waiting for a normal desire for food, but hosts have cut their lives short by eating without normal hunger.
When the body needs food it will make its needs known by signs unmistakable. To eat food when the body does not need it is not only a waste of food, but a crime against the body as well. No animal but man will eat when not hungry. Food that is not needed is very likely not to be digested, and whether it is or not, it is harmful.
If it is not digested it must be excreted, and the chances are ninety-nine in one hundred that it will decompose before it can be gotten rid of. If it is digested it can only result in accumulation of superfluous flesh and a general clogging of the body with the excess nutriment.
If you are not hungry at the regular mealtime, the quickest way of getting a normal appetite is to go without eating—and to take open-air exercise. If this course is persisted in, not only will a normal hunger for food soon return, but the digestive organs will be relieved of a totally unnecessary burden, the excretory organs will also escape much unnecessary work, and the whole body will benefit immensely thereby.
Another thing, if you cannot make up your mind what you want to eat, you are not hungry. If you are really hungry you will desire plain, wholesome food; you will not need fancy dishes to tempt you to eat.