Digestion: The #1 Priority
The body considers digestion a top priority. Other processes, including the immune system, energy production and even brain function all wait while the body digest food. When digestion is functioning properly, food is broken down and nutrients are made available by the body itself for repair, metabolism, and healing without undue stress. Unfortunately, the way our foods are grown and processed, toxins in the environment, and even stress, anger and many other factors wreak havoc on digestion. The result is that up to 70 million Americans experience a whole range of digestive problems from ongoing symptoms of bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.
* If food is not digested properly, it ferments in the stomach (Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition), creating acids and gases, which are factors in bloating, heartburn, and more.2
* Cooked and processed foods rob the body of enzymes and other nutrients needed for complete digestion and absorption.
* Fatigue, weight gain, premature aging, lactose intolerance and food allergies have been linked to incomplete digestion and may indicate a need for enzymes, flora and specific minerals.
There are three stages of Digestion
Stage 1: Most often, digestive problems are linked to the first stage of digestion where enzymes are first utilized. Enzymes are not only crucial to digestion; they are the catalysts, which allow the body to breathe, reproduce, and generate energy. Nothing in the body works without enzymes. Life itself depends on enzymes.3 Yet, virtually every individual is deficient in these vital protein molecules. Stress, caffeine, alcohol and even extreme weather conditions all destroy enzymes.
The most serious threat to our enzyme supply is cooked and processed foods.4 Raw foods contain enzymes, helping break them down in the digestive system. However, the cooked foods that make up the bulk of the modern diet are lacking enzymes, so the body must constantly draw from its limited supply of digestive enzymes. As this supply is depleted, in order to accomplish digestion, the body must rely on metabolic enzymes. When this occurs, other bodily processes are compromised, and aging can be more pronounced.
Dr. Edward Howell, who spent over forty years studying the effects of enzymes on health said, "Humans eating an enzymeless diet use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in lavish secretions of the pancreas and other digestive organs. The result is shortened life span (65 years or less as compared with 100 years or more), illness and lowered resistance to stress of all types, psychological and environmental."5
When we eat cooked and processed foods that are void of enzymes, we no longer break the foods down for the next step of digestion and we put stress on our systems that age and degenerate our bodies.
Stage 2: The next stage of digestion deals with helping the food assimilate out of the gut into the blood stream. This occurs with the help of friendly bacteria (probiotics). Probiotics line the intestines and not only help with the assimilation of foods but they also help create enzymes and vitamins that further break down foods.7
Stage 3: The third and final stage of digestion occurs when the food substrate is finally utilized in the cell. This happens in part by specific minerals.
Proper digestion, the absorption and assimilation of nutrients which results in health and vitality, begins by supplying the enzymes, minerals and probiotics necessary to ensure that foods are completely broken down and that your body gets the nourishment it needs. Proper digestion of your foods can be one of the most health promoting things you can do for your body.
View more random threads: