Jan 192012

Fruit and Vegetable statueIs your body absorbing our food properly?

Are toxins eliminated or re-absorbed?

What interferes with our Digestion?

What does our digestion tell us about our thoughts and attitude?

What can we do to help our body to have optimum digestion?


Understanding the Process of Digestion

(Assimilation and Elimination)

How is the food broken down for Absorption?

First the food needs to be broken down through:

  • chewing,
  • enzymes from the saliva
  • acids and enzymes in the stomach
  • bile from the liver (dissolving fats)
  • enzymes from the pancreas


The food then gets absorbed in the Small intestine covered by an area of 200 sq meters of villi. If these villi are clogged with ‘debris’ from refined food and/or not enough fiber, the absorption of the nutrients from the food is compromised.

Large Intestine

Over 300 different types of good bacteria (billions) break down the food so more nutrients can be absorbed.

Detoxification process

What kind of toxins?

  • Resulting from the metabolic process
  • Food additives,
  • Pollution
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Micro-organisms

Normal Elimination of Toxins:

  • the blood takes the toxins to the liver
  • bile carries them to the Gall bladder
  • taken out with solids left after assimilation

For the Detoxification the Liver needs nutrients,

some of them are:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin B, C, E
  • Carotenoids
  • Folic Acid
  • Amino acids
  • Phytochemicals (i.e. garlic, cruciferous vegetables)
  • Glutathione

Re-absorption of toxins

When food doesn’t contain enough fiber it moves too slowly through the bowel and toxins get re-absorbed.

What kind of Fiber do we need for optimum Digestion?

Insoluble Fiber:

  • Adds bulk to the food and absorbs water
  • Speeds transition time
  • Leaves you feeling fuller

Soluble Fiber:

Acts like a sponge attaches to toxins in the bowel and so they get carried out with the remaining bulk, hence no re-absorption.

Digestion and Feeling Good

Dr. Isaac Eliaz in his article:It’s All in Your Gut! How to Enhance Mood, Immunity and More Through Digestion says:

“The neuro-endocrine system (branches of the hormonal and nervous systems that work closely together) also plays an important role in digestive and overall health. Your gastrointestinal system is the most abundant source of regulatory neurotransmitters and neuro-peptides outside the brain. An example of this is the fact that serotonin, one of the brain’s chemicals that influences mood, actually has its highest concentrations in the gut.”

Gluten can interfere with absorption:

“When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system attacks the small intestine. The tiny, fingerlike protrusions (called “villi”) that line the small intestine are damaged or destroyed. The villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, regardless of the quantity of food eaten.”

From : National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

“However, in an animal study published in the February 1998 edition of the “Pediatric Allergy and Immunology” journal showed, damage to villi might begin as early as three hours after exposure to a food allergen, with atrophy occurring in as few as 24 hours.”

From: How fast does gluten destroy the villi?

What can we do to help digestion?

  • Add more fiber to our diet
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruit and little meat
  • Eat pro-biotic food (yoghurt, fermented food, i.e. sauerkraut
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 table spoon in a glass of water)
  • Add a high quality fiber to our regime
  • Re-populate the healthy bacteria with a good probiotic
  • Provide nutrients to assist the liver with de-toxing
  • Prevent re-absorption of toxins (soluble fibre)
  • Eat sweet potatoes (can help with eliminating heavy metals)
  • Avoid Gluten
  • Keep a positive attitude

Coconut flour is 61% fiber.

Gluten free on a Shoestring website


According to “The Body is the Barometer of your Soul” by Annette Noontil

the different part of our digestive system have the following correlations to Attitude:

Stomach – Understanding

Liver – Learning

Small Intestine – Positivity – Empathy Knowing Honesty in Business

Large Intestine – Loyalty to Self – Generosity, Openness, Relaxed

If you have these qualities for yourself you will then have them for others

There is so much more to digestion this post has only scratched the surface. Read more about digestion.

Photo Credit: Andrew on Flickr

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  19 Responses to “Healthy Digestion”

  1. Hi Yorinda,

    Thanks for sharing this interesting post.
    I have many problems with digestion and your article helped me to undestand what can be the reason and what I should do to solve this problem. Thanks!
    Edyta@Best Stress Relief recently posted…The 10 Vitamins for Stress ReliefMy Profile

  2. Hi Yorinda,
    This s an excellent post as most people are not aware of the importnatce of digestion!
    Drinking lot’s of water and sweating ( eliminating water) through exercise is crucial to allow even better digestion.
    Another thing I remind to my clients is that digesting is not only about food it’s also about digesting ” ideas”, old patterns must be replaced by new in the same way we allow our body to renew itself through nutrients and elimination.
    Awareness of waht we eat goes together with awarenss of who we are.
    Thanks for this post!

  3. Fascinating article Yorinda! I had no idea there was so much to learn about how we digest food … and really interesting information about the correlation with attitude. I’ve been steadily changing my eating habits over the last year and what I find is interesting is how our readily our bodies adapt. When I was slaving away working 15 hour days for someone else I ended up eating a lot of junk food because I was too tired to even think about cooking – now I can’t even make myself eat that stuff as an occasional “treat.” Thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald recently posted…The Key to Managing Major Life Change is to have a StrategyMy Profile

  4. Hi Yorinda! Very informative post, I say. I don’t think we realize how important digestion is to our daily wellbeing and mental/emotional health. This post is a must read for everyone interested in improving their digestive health. As a foodie, I’m fascinated both by food nutrition as well as the psychology of eating. I’m in awe of the wisdom built into our bodies. Your article touches on all these aspects. Thank you!
    Srinivas Reddy@The Prosperity Gospel recently posted…The Prosperity GospelMy Profile

  5. Yorinda, I cannot express how happy I am that you have written this post. Too many people don’t understand how food is digested and why they have stomach problems.
    Bringing this to people’s attention, especially those with children, is a true blessing. I love the “apple cider vinegar” It is the cure all and I take it every day along with fish oils, plenty of veggies, whole grains and even went to the extent of making my own pasta with different gluten free flours.
    I had gone off my regular diet – which is the one above- last year when I was care taking my father-in-law at hospice in my home. I felt my energy and body and even mind going down hill. He passed in the summer and now I’m back on track eating the way you suggested above.
    I did have to detox from caffiene, sugar and salt. Get back on track and now feeling so strong again.
    Everyone should see this information. It is something that is shoved under the carpet. But it is reality. My 80 year old mom has gotten back to this diet and does exercise 2 years ago. She went from hospital visits and walking with a walker to strutting down the street with balance and feeling good.
    We must take responsibility of our own bodies. Who else would.
    Keep on inspiring us!
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Find Your Passion | Key Lifecoach StrategiesMy Profile

  6. Excellent Yorinda! This type of information needs to be shared everywhere. Most of people’s health problems could be greatly helped if we followed this great advice about maintaining proper digestion. I did not know that sweet potatoes can help eliminate heavy metals…..which is a interesting topic all in itself. (heavy metals)
    A person feels soooo much better if digestion and elimination are functioning smoothly. :)
    Thanks! You’re the best!
    Lynn Jones recently posted…To Follow or Unfollow…That is the Question.My Profile

  7. I am a digestive wellness specialist. The following easy to implement tips may help with good digestion.

    1. Eat in order of digestibility.
    Eat foods that are easiest to digest first.
    •Water & Juices: 20-30 minutes
    •Fruits, Smoothies, Soups: 30-45 minutes
    •Vegetables: 30-45 minutes
    •Beans, Grains, Starches: 2-3 hours
    •Meat, Fish, Poultry: 3 or more hours
    2. Drink warm liquids with your meal.
    Warm liquids will encourage proper digestion.
    3. Eat at regular meals times.
    It has a regulating effect on your digestive system.
    4. Be conscious of what you eat and your portion sizes.
    The #1 cause of indigestion is over consumption.
    5. Chew your food completely and don’t talk while eating.
    Large pieces of food in the stomach can lead to digestive discomfort.

    • Thanks for the great suggestions, Kathy!

      I agree with most of the points you are making here.

      In regards to drinking warm liquids with a meal – I learned that liquids dilute the digestive juices,hence making digestion more difficult.

      Portion sizes are important, to gauge our own individual size we can go by the palm of our own hand.

  8. Very informative article, I think it’s the best text I’ve ever read in this topic. I have some bookmarks from lifestyle magazines, but they’re not so informative, they only speak some well.known things. Yours is much better, because it tells the medical background of the detoxication, but in a good way so I can understand it, too:)

  9. Hi Yorinda, I really enjoyed this post on digestion. How we digest and assimilate our nutrients makes a big difference in the health of our immune system and our overall health. Your pointers on what to do to are good. I would also suggest that you don’t drink water during a meal because it will dilute your digestive enzymes, relax while eating, and chew your foods completely since your stomach doesn’t have teeth!
    shelley alexander recently posted…Meyer Lemon Flax HummusMy Profile

  10. Hi Yorinda

    Thanks for all the good info it help a lot to know what the body needs.

    Sometime we think we eat healthy but we do not with all the fast foods on
    the market today.

    Ans yes if out mind set is set on negative, That will create a problem also even if we eat the right stuff

    Theuns recently posted…The Law of Giving — Giving with GratitudeMy Profile

  11. Hi Yorinda,

    Excellent post! I have always taught in my health practice that health begins and ends in the gut! Most health challenges can be connected to the gut at some point. We all suffer some form of dysfunction in the gut area even if it is not showing up in our daily life. However, it is certainly affecting our energy levels. When I put a client on a cleanse that starts in the intestinal tract, they are amazed at how their energy levels surge.

    Thanks for sharing this subject. We are not what we eat as is so often said, but we are what we absorb!

    clare@holistichealth recently posted…2012 Holistic Health Theme for ClareKelway.comMy Profile

  12. Thank you for sharing this valuable and healthy post Yorinda. This is very helpful for individuals having digestion problems…
    Rose78 recently posted…Oven repairs MelbourneMy Profile

  13. I used to say – bowels are the mirror of your mood and soul. I really enjoyed this article, Yorinda:)
    Anna recently posted…veneers before and afterMy Profile

  14. Wonderful information, Yorinda! From my perspective, anything that hinders great health also hinders one’s spiritual life. If our bodies are not well and working properly, our minds won’t be, either, and since God speaks to us through our minds, an illness or improperly functioning body — especially in the digestive tract — will cloud our minds and prevent us from hearing God’s message to us. Thanks for sharing this!
    Pastor Sherry recently posted…Spiritual Life: “Unloving” Blocks “Love”My Profile

  15. Oh, WOW!!!! I love this article. So thorough and informative! Two Questions: I’ve always heard that apple vinegar is good for you but I still don’t know why. Also, everyone says avoid gluten, BUT if you don’t have celiac disease, which I apparently do not, then how important is it to avoid gluten? Also do you recommend any herbs or tablets or anything for cleansing? Thanks for a great post!

    — Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim recently posted…The Proper Way to Paste MS Word Text into your WordPress Blog Post or PageMy Profile

    • Great Questions, Jim.

      In regards to gluten, my thought is that even if we don’t have it, avoid it as much as possible.

      I use a fiber product and pharmaceutical supplements (designed by scientist with the understanding of Cell Nutrition) which have herbs included.

      Feel free to contact me for more information.

  16. Great article! I never knew how our digestive system work actually. Is herbal tea also good for our body? I take 3 cups per day, is it good or bad?

  17. Wow, Yorinda. This is quite the extensive post. Thanks for the loads of information! My takeaway is to drink a bit of apple cider vinegar daily with some water. I think it has some other health benefits in addition to aiding with digestion.

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