Being a native English-speaker and having studied only Spanish, I am having trouble associating anything with this word for "eat". The only thing I can think of that helps at all is, mandible, which is the jawbone.
I'm not a native English-speaker, but if it helps, I thought about the word "munch".
It might be helpful since it's pronounced vaguely similarly given that, phonetically, both words start out the same and then have a fricative consonant (/tʃ/ vs. /dʒ/, if I'm not mistaken). So... hope I haven't screwed up and that helps a bit with the association.
And that's not a coincidence. Essentially all Esperanto words were taken from some European language, many of them from French (or the common Romance word-stock common to e.g. French, Spanish, Italian).
it is universal because it is easy to learn, the grammar is simple and everyone can learn