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

Absorption:

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

Attitude:

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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