Chew your smoothies

person holding blender cup

“Don’t worry, you’ll be back to having your healthy smoothies in no time,” the midwife said to me.

Say what now? I was pregnant with my first baby and throwing up several times a day. I had just told the midwife that sucking on Gingernut biscuits in the morning was helping a little bit. Apparently what she took from this statement was that I must be bothered because Gingernut biscuits aren’t healthy. She also assumed I must usually have a ‘healthy’ smoothie for breakfast.

She was wrong on both counts.

Smoothies have been sold to us as a health food. But if you think of everything you put in a smoothie, your fruit, milk, protein powder, oats, peanut butter, whatever, if you put it all on a plate, could you eat it?

Probably not.

Because if you ate the ingredients by themselves, you’ve have to chew them. And chewing is so underrated!

Chewing increases satiety

This is your feeling of fullness. That’s why skipping out on this step means you can drink a lot more than you can eat. This is great for some of my teen athletes who are struggling to eat enough food. But for your average Joe, it ain’t the best.

Chewing develops your face

For our little ones, having well developed facial muscles and bones is important for language development, and to create enough room for their teeth to come in. (This is just one of the reasons I detest those suckie pouch things, but that’s a blog for another day).

This is going to affect us in adulthood, too. The human jaw is actually getting smaller, and that’s probably down to eating soft, processed mushy food. But don’t think that you’re screwed because you’re an adult already. Our bones are not hard lifeless things our muscles attach to, they are living tissues and can grow in adulthood, too.

Chewing helps you breathe

Having those well developed facial muscles and bones opens your airway. The mouth, nose and sinuses all get more room, which helps with breathing. This is super important not just for your overall health, but for your sleep, too. If you sleep with your mouth open (hello, snorers) then chewing more is going to help.

Chewing makes you smart

Well, maybe not smart as such. But chewing increases blood flow to the brain, making cognitive tasks easier and warding off dementia.

Chewing helps mindful eating

Lastly, chewing real whole food helps you to really focus on it, taste it and appreciate it. These are all important aspects of mindful eating, which improves your overall health.

There’s nothing wrong with a smoothie every now and again, because they taste great. But don’t bust out the Nutri-Bullet as your go-to because you think it’s healthy. If you have a choice between a liquid version of a food and the whole, real food, go for the real thing most of the time. If you can chew it, chew it!

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