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Health, or, How to Live

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    DRINK LESS WITH YOUR MEALS

    ONE great error, we drink too much at our meals. Before we have sufficiently masticated and insalivated our food, to enable us to swallow it, we force it down by taking water or warm drinks. This not only dilutes the saliva, but weakens the action of the gastric juice after the food gets into the stomach. Most persons take a swallow of fluid with almost every mouthful of food. Look along the side of the dinner-table in any of our hotels, and you will be surprised at the quantities which are drank during the meal: and, if your mind be not too much taken up with observing the errors of others, you may discover the same evil in yourself, and thus be led to correct it. This habit, sooner or later, ends in producing dyspepsia and constipation, than which there are no affections more destructive of comfort and health. When we are thirsty at our meals, or at other times, we should drink to allay such thirst only. All solid food should be thoroughly ground and mixed with saliva in the mouth, unaided and undiluted by water or other drinks. Rely upon it, this apparent necessity for drinking, is a mere habit, which we can correct at will; and all who prize health at its true value, will not consider its preservation or purchase too high at the cost of attention to so simple a matter.HHTL 358.1

    In this age of tobacco-smoking and chewing, the salivary glands seem to be turned to a new office — that of cleansing this filthy narcotic from the teeth and gums. Were they endowed with language, verily might they exclaim —HHTL 358.2

    “To what vile uses have we come at last.”HHTL 358.3

    Who can wonder at the hollow and wan cheeks of mankind, when such a continuous drain is established upon them — a kind of perpetual catarrh or lachrymosis of the mouth. Take warning by what we say. If you would have good digestion, proper action of the system, and full, ruddy cheeks, eat slow, masticate your food better, drink less at your meals, and you who smoke, if smoke you will, avoid spitting as much as possible. The latter have a two-fold reason for observing our last injunction; they will save, at the same time, their own health and the feelings of their friends. —Sel.HHTL 359.1

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