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Do I need to chew my smoothie?

By Bridgette Clare, RHN on December 22, 2014, categorized in Plant-based Nutrition

Do I need to chew my smoothie?

I love smoothie bowls  and can definitely say I chew my smoothies. That isn’t limited to the ones that come in a bowl either. In fact, I chew all of my smoothies, even if I’m drinking it through a straw.

While I haven’t found research on this specific topic, in my personal experience I have found that chewing my smoothies enhances my digestion and satiety. Here’s why:

The ideal goal with chewing your food is to get it into a liquid state before swallowing. While you won’t need to chew your spinach smoothie as much as you would a spinach salad, chewing can help ensure proper digestion of the nutrient dense, healthy ingredients you’ve added to your morning (or afternoon, or evening) shake.

Chewing your smoothie allows the ingredients to mix with enzymes in your mouth (specifically salivary amylase, which is responsible for the first stage of carbohydrate digestion) which aids in the digestive process. Chewing your food aids in absorption and assimilation of nutrients by starting the digestive process.

You might say: “That’s all fine and well, but I don’t have enough time to chew my smoothie— I make smoothies to save time!”. Well, I ‘m here to let you know that you do have time. While sitting down to enjoy your smoothie and practicing mindful eating has its benefits, I understand that’s not always possible. But you can still chew your smoothie without taking time out of your already busy day. Simply make your smoothie as you normally would and with every sip, just put the cup down and chew your mouthful before taking your next sip.

As a nutritionist, I believe that everyone’s body is different and that you need to find what works for you, for your body, at this stage in your life. As you age, go through life changes or even with changes in weather, your dietary needs may change. I often recommend that if there’s something that interest you to try it and see if it works for your body. Chewing your smoothie won’t hurt—and it might help—so iIf chewing your smoothie intrigues you, I say go ahead and try it!

Will you try chewing your next smoothie? Let me know if you do and if you notice any difference in the comments below.