$28.50 (90 caps)
The maxim “You are what you eat” holds true, but only if our food is digested properly and incorporated into our body. Otherwise all our effort in watching what we eat and trying to stay on top of “healthy eating” may just be a misguided self-delusion. If the nutrients are not absorbed properly, no amount of calorie-counting on a piece of paper helps us achieve our dietary goals.
Eventually, we get discouraged, disillusioned, and give up trying. Proper digestion is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to healthy diet
Stage 1: Mouth The digestive system uses 2 ways to break down the food: mechanical and chemical. The mechanical breakdown begins during chewing as food is crushed, shredded, and ground into smaller bits. Chewing is also where chemical breakdown starts when food is mixed with saliva, which contains enzyme called amylase for carbohydrate digestion. This process releases sugar molecules from the food, which is why food rich in starch, such as rice, pasta, or potatoes, taste sweeter the more we chew them. Chewing is an important step in proper digestion because enzymes can work only on the surface of food particles. Inadequate chewing limits the available surface area and results in more stress on your stomach and intestines.
Stage 2: Stomach The food then travels down to your stomach, into a pool of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and gastric juice. The sphincter at the top of stomach closes to prevent stomach acid and foodstuff from refluxing back to the esophagus. The stomach works mechanically to churn food, and chemically to break down the food into its components. Additional HCl and gastric enzymes are released to assist this process. The main enzyme is called pepsin, and it breaks down proteins in the food. The resulting liquid mush is called chyme.
Stage 3: Small Intestine The chyme is then gradually expelled into the small intestine, triggering the release of sodium bicarbonate (to neutralize the stomach acid) and additional digestive enzymes from pancreas, as well as bile from gallbladder. In small intestine, lipase digests fat; amylase breaks down carbohydrates; and proteases (such as trypsin and chymotrypsin) continue to digest protein complexes. Enzymes found in the mucus layer lining the intestine complete the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins, and convert them into absorbable molecules glucose and amino acids, respectively.
Stage 4: Large Intestine What is not absorbed in the small intestine moves along to the large intestine, where water and sodium are absorbed. This is also where microflora (microorganisms living in the gut) facilitate the synthesis and absorption of some essential micronutrients. Finally, the leftover matter is formed into feces and excreted through a bowel movement Complications Many possible complications can lead to indigestions and other digestive disorders. With age, the body gradually produces fewer and less enzymes, and its ability to properly digest food diminishes. An estimated 30 to 50 million American adults are lactose intolerant, and suffer from abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas.
For those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity, consuming food containing even a small amount of gluten leads to abdominal pain. And our culture has moved from consuming food in order to satisfy the body’s basic need for fuel, to a tendency to over-consume or indulge. To make the matter worse, inour modern society, it is difficult to avoid eating processed foods high in calories and fat, which are harder to digest. We may not always feel it, but our poor eating habit is stressing our digestive system. So what can we do? When the body’s ability to produce enzymes is unable to meet its needs, enzyme supplements provide much needed assistance because it helps us digest meals more efficiently, while providing relief from bloating, gas, and heartburn. Only with proper digestion, we can truly say we are what we eat.