Q. My wife says that I may not get the most nutrition from my vegetables because I don’t chew them for long. Is this true?
A. Perhaps. It’s always best to chew your vegetables and other foods thoroughly to grind them into a soft form for optimal digestion. This is especially important for anyone who has gastroparesis (a condition that reduces the ability of the stomach to grind food and empty its contents) or any other gastrointestinal movement disorder. You need to break down the tough cell walls in vegetables so your body can absorb the flavonoids, polyphenols and other nutrients in the cells.
Studies show that up to 70% of the nutrients in raw vegetables are not absorbed by the body. If you have gastroparesis or just want to boost your nutrient intake, lightly steam or briefly microwave vegetables. Mixing them in a blender or juicer will also help the body absorb more of their nutrients.
Try to eat a variety of brightly colored vegetables, including red, orange and dark green.