Saliva Production–The importance of it

Saliva – I feel is almost completely overlooked in its importance for our digestion and general health. More research is required to look at our salivation time. This is the time when eating that we are actually producing saliva and how much saliva are we producing. Naturally we are producing some saliva every time we put something in our mouth, but the amount we produce is directly related to

1] Type of food we eat: Less fibre = less chewing = lower saliva production = lower level of micro organism activity in our stomach/intestines = poorer digestion . More fibre = the reverse

2] Length of time we take to eat: Eat fast = less saliva and the same problems as above. Eat slow and you produce a greater volume of saliva. It is known that there is a direct connection between fast eaters and

a] Digestive problems – lower microbial activity = unhealthy gut

b] Bowel cancer – lower gut activity, decreased gut protection – increased disease

c] Weight gain – Fast eaters can eat more due to lower saliva production – feeling full is delayed

d] High protein foods: eating them will normally produce lower levels of saliva

e] You need to chew your food enough to produce good levels of saliva

When I was I child I was told that it was important to chew each mouthful 32 times – why you may ask? This is old time stuff. It wasn’t just to increase mashing your food – no it was to ensure you ingested a larger amount of saliva. People of past generations didn’t know why but they new the importance of getting enough saliva into your system

In the livestock industry we know the importance of ensuring we feed to get the ideal amount of saliva produced both for optimum health and production


What is saliva:

Saliva, although mainly water, contains many essential nutrients being essential for the well being of your total digestive system.

It contains bicarbonates – being essential to maintain a good stomach and gut environment.

It contains urea – urea is a natural stimulant for micro organisms

These two elements are essential for our total well being and we need to pay them more attention.

Breakfast Shakes: When I see these being promoted as a breakfast I just shake my head and ask why would someone be so silly to believe the advertising. Just think how much saliva are you going to produce when you swallow one of those. One or two is not going to hurt you, but just imagine how your intestines would fare if you had one daily.

The answer is to

1] Always eat fibrous foods

2] Eat slowly

3] Put your knife and fork/chop sticks down between each mouth full

4] Always eat fibrous foods (carbs) with high protein highly digestible foods





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