Most of our meals consist of a variety of ingredients. Chewing different types of food consciously presents an enigma for the brain and what a delight it is! Fresh foods produce juices, carbohydrates break down into sweetness, and oils coat.
The density and cohesiveness of meats will often require considerably more than 30 chews to fully bring each bite into a smooth enough consistency for the bolus to be swallowed comfortably and to meet the aims of this challenge. Luckily, we instinctively chew longer on meats to prevent choking.
As babies, we begin chewing with the onset of teeth coming in, usually on teethers and biscuits. Chewing is both instinctive and learned.
When it comes to whole grains, chewing on rice, millet, quinoa, barley, oats, and so on can present a challenge in and of itself. Here the tongue and cheek muscles present with dexterity in shifting crushed grains and keeping a rather even consistency. It is amazing what our mouths do without us even thinking about it.
Food for thought:
- What foods bring you particular pleasure to chew?