Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Basic guidelines for good digestion
Continued from last week

By: Chioma Umeha

Eat in a certain order
Eat raw fruits or vegetables with live enzymes first and then proteins before the starches. The enzymes in the fruits and or vegetables aid the digestive enzymes in the stomach in digesting the incoming proteins. Remember carbohydrates are not digested in the stomach except momentarily in the upper part of the stomach. If you swallow your starch first and chew your meat till it is liquid as we grew up to do in Nigeria, your protein which is now in liquid form will move to the bottom of the stomach and leave the stomach partly undigested as it flows out with the next batch of chyme.
Fruit and vegetables add bulk and force you to chew which prompts peristaltic movement and elimination time is shortened.

Eat several small portion meals
Know your portion sizes. Find out what a potion of certain foods look like. Eating large meals puts a burden on your digestive system. If you chew long you will eat less.

Restore the good gut bacteria with probiotics
Probiotics like yogurt helps restore gut bacteria especially if one has been taking antibiotics which kills off both the good and disease causing bacteria.

Boost digestion and aid digestive enzymes
Raw enzymes from fruits like pawpaw can assist your natural stomach enzymes digest protein. Especially if one is getting older or is having digestive problems.

Eat a variety of foods
Do not eat the same foods over and over e.g. (breakfast- branflakes, lunch-sandwich, dinner- macaroni) all wheat products. Doing that means you are getting the same kind of nutrients and no more.  This can lead to a deficiency in other nutrients in the body.

Get rid of margarine from your home
There is no naturally occurring margarine in nature. There is cocoa butter, shea butter and butter from milk. So hydrogenated oils have no place in your foods as our body cannot recognize it and so cannot digest it.

Take your own foods with you
You may not find your kind of healthy foods prepared commercially so as often as you can take your whole-organic foods with you to work or on your trips.

Do not overeat
The digestive system uses a lot of energy so eating too much at a time can put extra stress on your digestive system. You may have noticed that you feel sleepy aftereating a large meal.

Refrain from using antacids
Antacid just as the name implies neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and prevents a favourable environment for the stomach enzymes to function optimally in the digestion of proteins meant for repair and body building. Low acid engender the fermentation of carbohydrate foods and also allows bacteria access into the system.

Exercise
Any conscious increase in activity will certainly help bowel movement. It does not have to be a strenuous exercise program. Stretching will generally do.

Respond promptly to your body’s signal to move your bowel
The colon continuously reabsorbs water from the digested food and compresses waste matter into faeces ready for excretion.  The longer the faecal matter stays in the colon as a result of voluntary refusal to respond to body’s signals to move the bowel the more water and toxins are reabsorbed and the harder the stool will become. The more condense the faeces, the more difficult it will be to eventually pass stools.


This story was published in Newswatch Times on November 9,  2013.

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