The Importance of Good Digestion
Fact – Good health cannot exist without
Digestion is the most complex process in the body, if you
cannot digest food properly you will not absorb enough
nutrients to function properly, to build, to repair and protect –
to have good health in other words.
TLC for your digestion could be a Huge
investment in the future of your health.
In order to look after your health through better digestion you need to
understand the process of digestion and where it can go wrong.
How does digestion work?
Digestion starts with the senses of sight and smell, which trigger the brain to instruct
the salivary glands, the pancreas and other glands within the digestive tract to produce
digestive enzymes that act as keys to unlock nutrient potential, and change foods from
indigestible state that can do harm, to something the body can breakdown and utilize.
The stomach is also instructed to produce hydrochloric acid. Preparing fresh food and
cooking, or being near the kitchen where delicious smells are coming from, is the best
way to get digestion started.
Digestion of carbohydrates and simple sugars starts in the mouth when
salivary amylase (a carbohydrate digestive enzyme) comes in to contact with
foods like bread, pasta and other carbohydrates and sugars.
The digestion of proteins begins in the mouth by the
mechanical movement of chewing. Chewing well is
vital for good digestion of all foods especially protein,
it creates a bigger surface area for the digestive enzymes &
acid that the proteins will meet in the stomach and gut.
Fats are digested when bile is produced by the liver into the gall bladder and emulsifies the fat molecules so allowing the lipase enzyme to digest fat. Taking an emulsfiier like lecithin granules in your diet can really help with fat breakdown, especially as we get older.
Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach
to burn the foods to break them down. It is vital for
absorbing minerals and helping to break down protein.
It also acts as our main line of defense against bacteria,
parasites and infections that enter via the mouth (which
is where most invaders enter) It is here that a very strong
lining is needed to protect the stomach wall from severe
burn damage, as the acid is strong enough to burn holes
through the gut wall into the abdomen.
The stomach produces a thick mucus lining that acts as a
buffer to the digestive fire of the stomach. (Many
painkillers block the production of this protective lining and
over time can cause the stomach to become inflamed
and sensitive – hence more reactions to foods)
Protein needs a highly acidic environment to breakdown
properly. Many people as they get older do not produce enough acid, and to top that are given antacids
if they suffer from indigestion – which is caused by lack of acid in the first place! It also needs pepsin,
which is produced in the stomach when pepsinogen meets hydrochloric acid.
Stay with me – there’s more to go – I told you it was complex.