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Chewing each bite of food at least 30 times can help fight illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, says an expert. Dr Peter Gartner recommends putting cutlery down while eating, claiming diners who rush their meals risk health damage due to under-digested food.
He said the gulping habit can cause inflammation of the gut and also destroy immunity cells stored within it.
Keeping the gut in good shape can prevent a protein linked to Parkinson’s passing from the gut to the brain. And Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression have also been linked to a poorly performing gut.
Dr Gartner said the average person chews their food for just 10 seconds. But he says chewing each bite meticulously can keep the gut healthy by “pre-digesting” food.
Each morsel is broken down by saliva and delivered in a more digestible form, without straining the intestine. Dr
Gartner’s practice, where he is director at Park Igls medical spa in Austria, is based on the theories of 20th-century medical pioneer Franz Mayr.
He even runs “chewing bootcamps” to teach slow eating.
Dr Gartner said: “This is one of the simple principles – the Mayr chewing technique. It’s not a trademark – just chewing.
“When you don’t chew properly, the intestine has to chew for you and there is more time for gas and alcohol to build up.
“With each bite you double the surface of your food, so when you chew 30 times you have a 1,000 times more surface and more chance of the saliva enzymes doing their job.”
Mayr was an Austrian doctor who believed good general health was linked to the gut and that patients could be treated by keeping it in good shape.
Dr Gartner said: “His idea was that the intestine is the centre of our body. It’s proven that he was right. Everything in our body is directly or indirectly connected with our gut.”
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