Understanding The Digestive Processes….If you have ever wondered about the food digestion process, here is a general overview of the steps involved.
Digestion starts as you chew your food. Saliva mixes with this food and starts the breakdown process. From here, the food goes down the esophagus and enters the stomach, where it is mixed with enzymes, mucus, and hydrochloric acid, which kills germs and softens the food.
The enzyme pepsin now breaks down proteins. The food ends up in the stomach as a watery substance known as chyme. This chyme then travels through the pyloric sphincter to the duodenum.
Here, alkali counteracts the acid quality of the chyme. Pepsin only works in an acid arena, so now its action halts. Enzymes of an alkaline nature now take charge.
Now we arrive at the pancreas and the gallbladder, which are connected by two tubes. Fat is emulsified in the chyme by bile. Enzymes from the pancreas go forth and work on this fat, while some work on breaking down proteins and carbohydrates. The hormone insulin is sent into the duodenum from the pancreas.
Insulin controls the sugar content of the bloodstream and cell utilization of energy. At this point, the ingested food has been broken down quite a bit, but no assimilation of nutrients into the body has taken place. When this material arrives at the small intestine, its rich blood supply and lymph start to ferry nutrients to the body as a whole.
The food now has been broken down into amino acids (protein), sugars (carbohydrates), and triglycerides (fats), which are generally sent through the lymphatic system’s lacteal ducts as opposed to the blood.
The amino acids and sugars are carried to the liver by the blood vessels, where some are used and some are stored.
Now, the eliminative process begins with the large intestine or the bowel. Note that you are only as healthy as your intestinal health. This is the main area for the forming of free radicals in the body.
The intestinal lining absorbs the mineral salts and water of the now mostly non-usable material. This material is now more solid, or condensed, and forms the feces, or stool, that is eliminated through the anus.
How Digestive Processes Help Your Diet
Your digestive system is a remarkable mechanism that allows you to eat whatever food you want whenever you want it. Chances are that you hardly ever give it much thought. Your system is just available to take handle whatever food you eat. Food is digested so that the nutrition it contains can be utilised by your metabolism to provide nourishment.
Take care of your system. On the one hand, you can tone up your digestion by eating plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain and high fibre products. Such foods will provide roughage that will keep your digestion working well. However, healthy as this may appear, you also need to ensure that you take in plenty of liquids. This should include between 6 and 8 glasses of water each day.
Fluids are important. The fluid content of your food could also be made up of soups or juices, which will also provide nourishment, apart from adding to the liquids you consume. Ultimately, it is these liquids and soft foods that will act like a balm on your digestion and keep it in good order. Of course, you may be tempted to go off the rails with your favourite foods once in a way. But do try to recall any episode of digestive distress you may have had and the discomfort that resulted.
Listen to your body. Remember that the symptoms you experienced were simply your body’s way of telling you that all was not well – and the best thing you could do would be to ease up instead of abusing your system. The food you choose to eat makes all the difference. So that is just what you must do – go easy on your digestion. In the long run, it will pay off to keep your food light.
Turn to nature. You could also make use of the natural curative properties of herbs such as ginger, mint, cinnamon and cardamom. These are just a few of the many herbs in nature that are used in food preparation and would have a healing effect on your digestion. The easier your food is to digest, the more smoothly your digestive processes will work. Take care of your digestive system and it will take care of you. Abuse it and you will live to regret it – the choice is yours!!
Geeta Sidhu-Robb is the author of the top selling “Food For All” Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Cookbook. To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips on Detox, Weight Loss, Diets like these, visit her site at http://www.noshdetoxdelivery.com