How eating slowly helps better digestion

Hello and Thank you for joining me here. Just a simple question, Have ever happened  to you that you just ate something fast and then you found your stomach heavy , inflated and disturbed ? Well in the hustle and bustle of modern life, Rushing trough meals, Is an experience one can have. In this article we will explore how eating slowly, leads to better digestion, delve into the science behind it, and provide practical tips on how to incorporate this healthy habit into your daily routine. The simple practice of eating slowly can have profound effects on our digestive health and overall well-being.

Science behind digestion

To understand why eating slowly is crucial for digestion, It’s essential to grasp the basics of how our digestion system works. Digestion has different phases.

1.Cephalic phase of digestion

The cephalic phase is the preparatory stage of digestion that occurs in response to the anticipation of food. When we see, smell, or even think about food, our brain signals the release of digestive juices and enzymes. This physiological response readies the digestive system for the upcoming meal, optimizing its ability to break down and absorb nutrients. Salivation increases, gastric juices are secreted, and blood flow to the digestive organs intensifies. Importantly, the cephalic phase primes the body to efficiently extract nutrients from the food we consume. Here we go again with importance of mindfully observing our food , and how it involves paying full attention to the sensory experience of eating. By incorporating mindfulness into our meals, we can positively impact the cephalic phase of digestion.

Slow and mindful eating encourages us to engage all our senses during meals. When we savour the aroma, colours, and textures of our food, we stimulate the cephalic phase, to prepare for optimal digestion.

2.Oral Phase (Mouth)

The journey of digestion now is in the mouth, where mechanical and chemical processes work together. Chewing, a crucial aspect of the oral phase, breaks down food into smaller particles, creating a larger surface area for enzymes like amylase to start the process of digestion. When we eat slowly, we give our mouths the time they need to perform better mastication.

3.Esophageal Phase

Once food is sufficiently chewed, it travels down the esophagus through a coordinated muscular movement known as peristalsis. Eating slowly aids this process, reducing the risk of food particles getting lodged or causing discomfort along the way.

4.Gastric Phase (Stomach)

As food enters the stomach, it encounters a highly acidic environment that further breaks it down. Eating too quickly can overwhelm the stomach, leading to inefficient digestion. When we eat slowly, we allow the stomach to release gastric juices gradually, promoting optimal acid levels for digestion.

5.Intestinal Phase (Small Intestine)

The small intestine is where the majority of nutrient absorption takes place. Eating slowly ensures that the partially digested food entering the small intestine is of an ideal consistency for absorption. This phase is crucial for extracting vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients from the food we consume.

6.Colonic Phase (Large Intestine)

The final phase of digestion occurs in the large intestine, where water and electrolytes are absorbed, and the remaining indigestible material is formed into stool. A rushed eating pace can contribute to issues such as constipation, as the body may not have sufficient time to regulate the water balance in the colon.

The benefits of slow eating

  • Improved Nutrient Absorption: Taking the time to chew food thoroughly allows for better absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. This, in turn, ensures that your body can extract the maximum nutritional value from the food you consume.
  • Enhanced Digestive Enzyme Secretion: Eating slowly stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, aiding in the breakdown of food and easing the workload on your stomach and intestines. This can prevent common issues like bloating and indigestion.
  • Regulation of Appetite: Slow and Mindful eating gives your brain the necessary time to receive signals from your stomach that you’re full. This can prevent overeating, a common cause of digestive discomfort and weight gain.
  • Reduction of Acid Reflux: Eating too quickly can lead to an increased likelihood of acid reflux. When we slow down and savour our meals, we allow the stomach to process food more efficiently, reducing the risk of stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus.
  • Reduced Stress Response . Stress can negatively impact digestion. Mindful slow eating promotes relaxation by focusing on the present moment, reducing stress and allowing the body to enter a more conducive state for digestion. Slow eating helps you avoid taking lots of air to your stomach and it prevents inflating.
  • Conscious Food Choices . Being mindful of the food we choose to eat can positively influence the cephalic phase. Opting for nutrient-dense, whole foods sends signals to the body that it will be receiving valuable nutrients, further enhancing the preparatory digestive response.

Practical Tips for Eating Slowly

  • Chew Each Bite Thoroughly: Aim for at least 15 – 20 chews per bite. This may seem excessive, but it ensures that your food is well-masticated before it reaches your stomach.
  • Savour the Flavours: Take the time to appreciate the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. This not only enhances the dining experience but also allows your brain to register the satisfaction of each bite.
  • Set Aside Distractions: Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and focus solely on your meal. Distractions can lead to mindless eating, causing you to consume food quickly without realizing it.
  • Use Smaller Utensils: Switching to smaller utensils can naturally slow down your eating pace. This simple trick can be especially helpful for those accustomed to fast-paced meals.


By understanding and appreciating the intricacies of each phase of digestion, we gain insight into why eating slowly and mindfully is a holistic approach to digestive wellness. From the vital aspect of cephalic phase to meticulous process of chewing in the mouth to the breaking down phase in stomach ,then nutrient absorption in the small intestine and the water balance regulation in the large intestine, every stage benefits from a mindful ,slow and measured eating pace. Embracing the art of slow eating is not just a lifestyle choice; it’s a conscious investment in your digestive health and overall well-being. Try it and your body will thank you.

Thank you for your time, and please feel free to share your experience with me.Leave your comment and questions below it’s a pleasure to discuss the topic together.





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  1. Thank you for sharing this article.  As someone who works in a high stress environment, I have difficulty eating slowly.  How can I put my phone away to focus just on my eating?  Sometimes, it’s very hard to do it.  I have been trying to eat slowly.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  

    1. Hello Anshu and thank you for your comment.I understand it is not very easy thing to do at first .it needs some practice .I suggest you start when you are out of work .If you have time please check my article about “Fun mindfulness activities for everyone” and choose one or two activities as you like and start practicing in your free every thing else It needs a bit of patience .you are doing just well asking and wanting to be slower and more mindfully, Start small  and  keep practicing with ease. Soon you will be mindful eater even at work environment, as you see the brilliant  result of putting you in more ease. For now ,at work It is nice to  just take 3 deep and slow breath before starting your meal ,bring yourself in now moment and observe your plate. It is starting step that simple and easy and does not take lot of your time. it will highly help you. Please  let me know if you have any question .


  2. Thank you for reminding me of slow eating.  As a nurse I only have 30 mins of break and I think i only chew 5x then swallow. and I have terrible hyperacidity.  do you think if I chew enough it will help my hyperacidity?  we also took out the tv in our breakroom which we found helping but then again some are on their phones.  I know that chewing slowly is also good for digestion but i think the problem is we have adopted the fast pace lifestyle and most of us ignore the fact that we can relax and enjoy our food.  

    1. Hello Arlen and Thank you for your comment. I understand your situation very well as I was working in very busy hospital for 20 years ,Is not very easy to calm down at first I totally understand ,But it is also not impossible thing to do.when you have off days from work  and you have possibility to practice mindful slow eating do it. More than counting your chewing times , is  important that you observe your act of eating , be in present moment and engage your senses  with your food .By the time you will be able to do it even at work . For now start observing and just make your eating  a bit slower than usual ,do not force yourself, just knowing what is going on with your mind while you eating ,is the very good first step. If it’s possible I suggest start a small sessions of Yoga and meditation just once or twice a week ,It will help you a lot ,even for your hyperacidity. If you check my article about “fun  Mindfulness activities for everyone”  ,and start doing some of them as you like,That will help you too.


  3. Ela, thank you. I needed to be reminded of all the benefits of eating slower, especially with all the distractions and impatience we experience now. Your article is a great reference to put us all back on track to a healthier diet, a better feeling body and inevitably, a longer life.

    If I had one note, take another look at your intro paragraph for grammar and sentence structure. The rest of the article however, was super smooth.

    Lastly, I appreciate your explanation and reinforcement of all the great reasons you mentioned. They were easy to understand – now just to apply 🙂

    Great content overall – thanks again!

    1. Hello and thank you for your nice comment .I’m happy the article was a good  reminder for you. I must check that paragraph also .thank you.


  4. My main take aways from you post are the practical tips for eating slowly. These tips include chewing each bite thoroughly, savoring flavors, avoiding distractions, and using smaller utensils. Understanding and appreciating each phase of digestion highlights the holistic benefits of mindful, slow eating—a conscious investment in digestive health and overall well-being.

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