Blog

The Process of Digestion

Posted: Saturday August 22nd, 2009 @ 3:07pm

Everyday life often focuses on tasks to be accomplished, responsibilities to fulfill, schedules to upkeep... food often becomes something we shovel into our mouths in order to keep going.

However, every meal is an opportunity to observe where we are at in our day &/or in our thoughts & emotions. This is also a time when we can slow down & take a break, contemplate that which we are eating through its characteristics: type of food (protein, fat, carb., etc), nutrients, enzymes, temperature (hot/cold, raw/cooked), colour(s), texture, pH balance (acidic/basic), taste, vibration, & on & on. It's endless & you can take it as far as you want to go depending on the day & the meal.

From a physiological point of view, each meal offers an opportunity to get the most out of your body. The fuel you put into the machine directly results in the performance obtained as does the maintenance of the machinery. The optimal performance rate of your machine is guided by the requirements or restrictions unique to you; such as allergies, medical conditions, digestive tendencies, season, mood, needed output, blood type, all kinds of things.

To keep it simple, the process of digestion is where it all begins:
CHEW YOUR FOOD because chewing mechanically grinds big pieces into useable bits, the longer you chew the more starch-splitting salivary enzymes you get into the mixture, & because your mom told you to.
After you swallow, your tasty mash travels to the first chamber of the stomach where the break down of starch continues for approximately one hour.
Gradually things move to the lower part of the stomach where accumulating gastric juices take over. This is an acidic environment of peptic digestion where the proteins start to unchain.
The pancreas throws down a mix of digestive enzymes & then evaluates what is required to finish the job.
The duodenum secretes three enzymes; one for each protein, fat, & carb.
Onwards to the liver; from which four enzymes to dismantle carbohydrates, two enzymes for protein, & one to tackle fat content are contributed.
The gallbladder lives under the right lobe of the liver & produces bile, which is very alkaline & whose main objective is to emulsify lipids (fats) prior to their digestion.
Broken down nutrients are now absorbed into your blood instantly as they pass over the villi (hairs) of the small intestine. The health of these hair-like reeds are crucial to successful absorption of the nutrients that we have just invested so much effort into extracting from our food.

 

The importance of enzymes is undeniable. The long tunnel that we put food into has all this going on just to keep us ticking as well as to derive enough energy to play.
Consider taking a good look at that which is coming out of the tunnel... it is the leftovers that the body couldn't use, bacteria, & metabolic excretions.

"Our goal for optimum health & longevity is to conserve the body's own enzymes for use in repairing & rebuilding rather than to deplete them during the process of digestion." Rita Romano.

Food Combining optimizes the process of digestion & prevents toxic build-up of harmful acids & fat deposits that limit our performance & health.
As we prepare our meals it is essential to understand that improperly digested foods cause many problems. Excess fat yields cholesterol & cellulite, excess sugar can be a precursor to diabetes, & excess calcium can lead to arthritic conditions. Undigested starch taxes the liver, kidneys, & skin; the players of elimination. Undigested protein rots, producing an incredible amount of toxic acids; which stress the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, & joints. Undigested fats lead to obesity, skin disorders, & heart disease. These undigested bits toxify any nutrition available & tilt the pH balance of the blood & lymph fluid to more acidic. The body then has to counterbalance & regulate, not an easy nor quick undertaking.

"High-fat, high-protein, highly refined carbs in cooked form create a body laden with toxic waste, dead cells, mucus, pain, poor elimination, overacidity, organ & capillary damage, poor absorption of nutrients, & fatigue; followed by formation of cysts & crystals, malnutrition & all associated spin-offs." Rita Romana

Food related diseases often originate from rich, overcooked food & poor choices in food combining. Age, constitution, & heredity somewhat decide our fate. Aging naturally reduces our production of enzymes, increasing our responsibility to incorporate enzymes into our diet. As life continues we accumulate metabolic waste, toxins from pesticides, hormones, & radiation. Periodic cleansing of the body really helps determine a higher quality of life.

Over-eating can lead to premature aging of the whole body, as eating more than we need creates unnecessary work in an already busy body.
"Understand that what each individual requires daily is in constant flux. As we grow older, our consumption of physical food should be kept to a minimum. Under-eat as a rule." Rita Romano
"Premature aging, degeneration, & disease begins when the body's enzyme reserves are being constantly over-taxed. The organ hit the hardest is the pancreas."

Sproating is an excellent way to increase the amount of enzymes in the system. Sproating beans & seeds before eating them deactivates their enzyme inhibitors, & begins the process of breaking-down proteins into their component amino acids. This releases available nutrients through an intense enzymatic hydrolysis. Sproats contain a magical anti-aging substance called auxinon (present in all embryos), & are full of anticarcinogenic properties.

Balancing the pH level of our internal environment is one of our main jobs. The kidneys work hard to neutralize the blood as do our lungs releasing the unwanted & inhaling oxygen.
An important point to remember is that an acidic body contains excess hydrogen, which must combine with oxygen. Other necessary metabolic processes need that oxygen to function properly.
Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, & iron all support the kidneys & neutralize acids.

Considering the content of energy in our food goes beyond the physical concepts of nutrition. "The life-force of food not only affects us on the physical & chemical level but also affects our minds & spirits. These energy forces are transferred to the human form & directly link together physical & spiritual health." Rita Romano.
Living foods contain the energy forces of sunlight & oxygen, & are said to heighten our abilities of intuition.

"Improving the digestive Qi (prana) of the spleen-pancreas is of priority to good health, clear mind, & ambition." Paul Pitchford

Given all the information you have consumed in reading this presentation, it is important not to become too overly compulsive about your eating habits & food choices, nor to indulge in righteous attitude. A certain amount of "being bad" is required to function in this world.
Practice enough self-awareness to understand proper balance in relation to your daily & long-term care.
Cultivate practices that harmonize the active portion of your life, simultaneously building receptive, yielding, compassionate qualities.
Make a point of eating in a relaxed environment.
Get plenty of fresh air, clean water, & be positive in your thoughts. This alone will encourage efficient digestion, cleansing & renewal.

Enjoy your body.
You are complicated & beautiful.

 

Tags:

« Return to the main blog page