“One common piece of advice is to chew your food an estimated 32 times before swallowing,” says Healthline.com.

Not chewing enough, Healthline claims, can result in bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, nausea, and more. Why is 32 bites the magic number? Healthline doesn’t say.

While no studies have tested whether chewing each bite thoroughly—much less, 32 times—prevents GI discomfort, there is reason to make sure you chew your food sufficiently.

“Chewing your food thoroughly makes it easier for your stomach to process the food,” explains William Chey, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan.

“The stomach helps to prepare food to be digested in the small bowel by grinding it up, killing most of the bacteria, and liquefying it.”

The smaller the pieces of food, the easier the job for the stomach.

What’s more, Chey adds, “swallowing big chunks of solid food is likely to make you swallow more air, which can cause bloating and belching.”

Beyond that common-sense advice, there’s no evidence that a specific number of chews eases GI woes.

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