digestion

Nutrition thoughts to chew on

Get it chew?

I have known about nutrition for a long time. What is surprising is how much there is still left to learn. So much!

You know how sometimes you hear something in a different way and it just LANDS?

You now GET what you have known in a way that actually affects you?

Creates change?

With that in mind I want to share with you a two points.

I just want you to THINK about them.

Let them sink in and understand what they mean.

I am curious to know how you might be impacted.

Point 1: It takes A LOT to mess up a digestive system

Point 2: All of the structures and function of the human body are built from or run on nutrients - ALL OF THEM

I was just at an onsite workshop for nutrition there were around 50 people in the room and the question was asked "how many of you have digestive problems?" - almost all the hands went up.

Which really has me reflecting on point one. 

Cellulite is no fun

I just learned a new fact.

There is so much going on in digestion that it is literally blowing my mind. I KNEW having proper digestion was important, but I had no idea HOW big a deal it really really is. Soo many little pieces that can go sideways. 

My first post was about the importance of chewing.

My second post was about the importance of stomach acid. 

This post is mini-post on cellulite. 

What I just learned is that cellulite formation is a symptom of poorly digested fat. When your body is not digesting properly the signals are not working properly. Which means that you don't produce the proper enzymes you need and the gallbladder isn't triggered to release the appropriate amount of bile.

And you NEED bile to fully break down fat.

When this does not occur fat can build up in the lymph system which is where it appears as cellulite on the body. Ah-mazing.

When we start getting digestion back on track the lymph can CLEAR UP and reduce the appearance of cellulite on the body. 

What goes down, comes back up aka REFLUX

You know that feeling, that burning in your throat.

That feel of acid warming the base of your esophagus as if to say HI! HOW ARE YOU! I EXSIST!

mmmm... tasty nachos... 

mmmm... tasty nachos... 

You might chalk it up to some spicy food you overindulged in (nachos ARE delicious) or it might just be a pretty normal occurrence for you.

"I AM CURSED," you might think and just reach for some Pepto or Tums or some other type of calming agent. Calm the acid cure the symptom. Rinse repeat.

But did you know that burn is often because of TOO LITTLE stomach acid rather than TOO MUCH?

What? I know.

So here is the deal. Continuing from my post of CHEWING YOUR FOOD. The next step in digestion is the stomach.

The stomach is a powerhouse that crushes food into tiny food bits so that it can go through the rest of the system and be optimally digested and utlized. 

It is meant to be highly acidic in there so that it CAN break down your food. 

You chew your food, it goes down the esophagus where it encounters the esophageal sphincter which opens up to permit the food inside (I know, I know "sphincter" what a word).

The food is now in the stomach. The stomach goes into action releasing a ton of different gastric juices from tiny gastric glands in the its lining. This breaks down the food even more and turns everything into a paste we call chyme

When the chyme is acidic enough it triggers the pyloric sphincter to open up and allow the chyme through to the small intestines for further digestion (more on that later). 

When you have LOW stomach acid this whole process goes sideways. 

The food doesn't get fully digested from the acids so it sits in your stomach. What happens when you leave food in a warm place? Well. Not good things.

Proteins putrefy, fats go rancid, and carbs ferment.

This means that the mixture in your tummy starts to bubble up and though it IS NOT ACIDIC enough to trigger the lower sphincter to open it IS ACIDIC enough to burn your upper sphincter at the end of your esophagus.

Which is what you feel.

That burn. 

And then you take some sort of calming agent that DOES relieve the symptom, but doesn't help food to get to the level of acidity it needs to be to be in able to continue the digestive process.

This is bad news. The food eventually continues through the system, but not fully digested. Having protein putrefy produces acids that actually hurt the mucosal lining of your stomach which allows microorganisms such as h-pylori to exist.

This on a chronic level is terrible for your gut as h-pylori leads to ulcers. No one wants those.

Here is the thing. There are SOME people with legitimately too much stomach acid, but they are the anomaly. Much more common is to have too little.

I know! Crazy! But if you think about it, it really does make sense. You might want to check out this book "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" if you are interested in learning more.

Chew your food. No really chew it.

One of my LEAST favorite words is masticate, even writing it gives me chills of ewwww. 

That said. It is really important.

Digestion begins in the brain. You see the food. You smell the food. You want the food and your body is like YEA FOOD!

And it begins to produce saliva (another gross word). This is GREAT! Salvia is a special cocktail of electrolytes, hormones, and enzymes (with names like salivary amylase). 

We like the salvia because next up you put the food in your mouth. Which brings me to my earlier point.

CHEW.

This breaks down the food and it mixes with the salvia and the aforementioned salivary amylase which is fantastic at breaking down carbohydrates.

If you do not chew. You get big food chunks.

Big food chunks are bad because the rest of your system is not really meant to handle them.

And as your food chunks go down your system (next stop STOMACH) they are not fully being broken down. More enzymes are thrown at the chunks by the pancreas TO NO AVAIL!

Your chunks soldier on to your small intestine where the carbs (aka starch) are now UNDIGESTED and continue on to the colon that way (gross)

Why is this bad?

Well this bad because this type of starch FEEDS unwanted colon passengers like Candida (Yeast Overgrowth) and other kinds of dysbiosis.

The moral of the story. Pause, slow down, chew, and enjoy your food. For me. Because I wrote this post with words I hate. Because I love you. Because this is important.

MORE TO COME ON DIGESTION and ACID REFLUX... get excited.