Guidelines To Healthy Eating - Part 2
The phrase “You are what you eat” is only partly true. If you think of your body as a finely tuned engine and food as fuel, if you are not adequately digesting your food and absorbing the nutrients from it then you are not going to be sufficiently “fuelling” your body. You could be eating a very wholesome diet but if you are not able to absorb the nutrients from it you could end up with a variety of health problems.
The Start Of Digestion: Digestion starts before you even take a bite of food. Neurological and hormonal communications take place between the brain and digestive system. These signals triggered by the smell of food and the anticipation of eating as well as the sensation of hunger prepare the digestive system for work. If these communications become disturbed for example when eating under stress, when upset or even overexcited, digestion will be impaired. Stress triggers the production of adrenaline, which decreases all digestive functions by shunting blood circulation away from the gastrointestinal tract.
The next stage of digestion is chewing. It is extremely important to chew your food thoroughly. What is not broken down properly in the mouth has to be done so further down the digestive tract. The mouth secretes a variety of fluids that are essential for digestion and chewing further enhances the digestive process by stimulating the digestive organs to function.
Hydrochloric Acid And Digestive Enzymes:
Once food travels to your stomach, you need the right amount of hydrochloric acid to break up proteins, signal the pancreas to release digestive enzymes and killing digested bacteria and parasites. A surprising number of adults have insufficient hydrochloric acid secretion. Without enough, the whole of the digestive process can suffer and nutritional imbalances can develop particularly vitamin B12, calcium and iron. Nutrients in your food are absorbed into your bloodstream from both the small and large intestine. Food that is not digested completely will not be absorbed. Symptoms of digestive enzyme deficiencies mimic those of low hydrochloric acid.
The intestinal wall has a paradoxical function, to allow nutrients tp pass through into the bloodstream and to stop foreign substances found in chemicals, bacteria and other large molecules found in food. Stress, alcohol, some foodswe eat and medications can cause the intestinal wall to lose the ability to discern between nutrients and foreign substances. This problem is known as intestinal permeability or “leaky gut” syndrome and can led to health problems such as food intolerance’s, skin problems, headaches, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
The colon or large intestine is a muscular tube that acts as a temporary holding tank for what the small intestine does not ingest or assimilate. A thick liquid is moved through the colon by waves of muscular contraction until they are expelled. The time it takes for food to travel the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract is approximately eighteen to thirty six hours. You should be evacuating your bowels at the very least once a day. The colon is home for over four hundred strains of bacteria. It is completely normal to have trillions! Ideallyyou should have more “friendly” bacteria that help aid digestion, synthesise some vitamins and raise your immunity.
An inadequate amount of fibre in your diet can cause a decrease in the number of good bacteria and an increase in unfavourable ones. If this imbalance occurs it is called dysbiosis or toxic bowel. Symptoms can be within the gastrointestinal tract or elsewhere in the body. A bowel that is sluggish and inhabited by unfavourable bacteria, yeast’s or parasites can cause several problems. The longer a stool sits in the colon the more likely toxins will be produced that can bind to cell membranes disturbing metabolic functions and cause tissue damage. Digestive symptoms that can be caused by insufficient fibre include: constipation, excessive gas, very foul smelling stools, bloating or over fullness of the abdomen, diarrhoea, bad breath, coated tongue, nausea, haemorrhoids, divericulitis, colon and rectal cancer.
Symptoms Of Circulating Bowel Toxins
Offensive breath Coated tongue Body odour Nausea, headache. Mood disturbances. Fatigue. Acne, boils, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, itchy skin. Sallow complexion Muscle aches Autoimmune conditions. Arthritis
Factors That ContributeTo A Toxic Bowel.
Excess sugar Excess animal protein Constipation Food allergies Antibiotic overuse or contraceptive pill use Intestinal yeast/bacteria overgrowth Low thyroid function Inadequate digestion Intestinal parasites Lack of stomach acid
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