I got asked this recently by a friend I was showing the website.
She had heard – that you need to chew the smoothie to mix it with saliva. I’ve also heard this before – and not thought much about it. It does seem a strange thing to do, but I do see the logic.
So I did some investigation…
Many people do report that chewing their smoothies helps with their digestion. When they forget they often end up feeling bloated. This seems to be a common thread in the forums.
I agree that glugging them down too quickly is not the best way to eat smoothies. Food is better when it’s savoured – and your smoothies should be worth savouring. If not then change your recipes!
It turns out it’s not just saliva that chewing affects. Relevant bit from whfoods.com:
“Additionally, research has shown how chewing, as well as the activation of taste receptors in the mouth, can prompt the nervous system to relay information to the gastrointestinal system to expedite the process of digestion. For example, stimulation of the taste receptors can signal the stomach lining to produce hydrochloric acid that helps in the breakdown of protein. Additionally, chewing signals the pancreas to prepare to secrete enzymes and bicarbonate into the lumen of the small intestines.”
I’ve never chewed any of my smoothies – and not suffered from any side effects. However, I also eat lemons – so maybe I’m not the best test case.
I’d suggest if you do suffer from any digestive issues – that you give it a try. It’s certainly can’t do any harm and you never know – it just might help.
If you want to go down the chewing route – then if you add some of the fruit, dried fruit, nuts or seeds near the end of the process – then you’ll have something to chew on.