Digestion begins in the mouth; saliva contains enzymes that help break down food particles before entering the digestive tract. The longer food is exposed to saliva (through chewing), the easier it moves through your intestines and the less gas it creates.


Try to chew each bite 20-30 times before you swallow. This will kick start the digestive process and allow proper absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which is essential for optimal health.



To get into the habit of chewing foods thoroughly, try counting the chews in each bite, aiming for minimum 15, ideally for 30 to 50 times. Try putting your utensils down between bites to help you better concentrate on chewing.


  • Chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times each, until the food becomes liquid.
  • Chewing breaks down food and makes it easier on the stomach and small intestine.
  • Saliva assists in the digestion of carbohydrates.


Saliva also makes the food more alkaline, which creates less gas.  If under pressure at meals, take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you. Taking the time to chew will help you to enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal. 

Before eating

  • Wash hands
  • Turn off the television
  • Do not read
  • Find a quiet place to eat
  • Before you eat or while you’re preparing your meal, do several rounds of diaphragmatic breathing (especially if you are feeling emotional or stressed). This relaxes the nervous system and enhances blood flow to the digestive organs.


During your meal

  • Did you know it takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to know that you have had enough food? Pausing between bites can facilitate a healthy habit of eating slowly.
  • Place a bite of food in your mouth
  • Put your utensil down
  • Begin chewing
  • Concentrate on what you’re doing


Milena Kaler is a is a qualified London Nutritionist, weight loss and digestive health specialist, trained in the principles of Functional Medicine. She practices in Central London, W1. Milena sees patients with chronic health conditions, as well as clients looking for support to optimise their health. Some of the areas Milena can help with include: weight loss, digestive, hormonal, immune and skin health. Scientific and holistic in approach, Milena looks at all aspects of a client’s health. She embraces a systems-oriented approach aiming to get to the root cause of health and weight issues instead of simply focusing on the symptoms. Milena sees every person as an individual with different problems and different goals. She takes time to listen to her clients’ specific concerns to develop customised nutrition and lifestyle plans, based on laboratory test results. Having overcome her own chronic health and weight loss issues, Milena really understands how it is to feel overwhelmed by poor health and can relate to her clients when they first come to see her.

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