Digestion and the Body

The Problems Associated With Protein Digestion

You may be well aware that the Western diet predominantly consists of red meat and dairy products. Although these are good sources of protein, too much of these kind of proteins are not good for your health. Diets containing lots of red meat can increase your risk of cardiovascular conditions that include heart disease and stroke. There is also the added complication that proteins – particularly animal proteins – are difficult for our digestive system to break down. To digest food properly, especially proteins, it needs a good supply of digestive enzymes. Our body’s creates its own reserves of enzymes, however these need to be replenished by eating enzyme rich food such as raw fruit and vegetables. People who live on a diet that is high in protein but low in fiber will have enzyme deficiencies. An enzyme deficient body that is fed enzyme deficient food is a surefire recipe for indigestion, constipation and a multitude of other digestive disorders. Proteins need to be broken down into amino acids before they can be absorbed into the body. However, a lack of enzymes can mean undigested protein food molecules are only partially converted when entering the bloodstream. These half converted proteins are treated as foreign invaders by your white blood cells. This causes antibodies to be released in order to neutralize and remove them. However, this process causes ‘collateral damage’ to your healthy cells, resulting in inflammation, food allergies and premature aging. Undigested foods. Particularly animal proteins will ferment and rot in the gut. This fermentation releases toxins and increases acidity levels – creating the perfect breeding ground – for pathogenic microbes to grow and spread. As these microbes take hold you will soon experience bloating, excessive wind, diarrhea and the increase […]

Mango and Digestion

Mango known as “King of Fruit” is the most popular fruit in India. It is mango health benefits and nutrition facts widely available in India during the summer season. But now it is available worldwide. It is very sweet in taste and also provides a sweet aroma that refreshes the mind. Due to the pleasant and sweet taste mango has become most adorable fruit and everyone wait for the summer mango season. Apart from the taste, mango gives many more that makes it a super food. Mango fruit is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect from free radicals produced from oxidative stress. Mango is effective to protect from cancer, cataract, prevent early ageing and degenerative disease. It contains potassium that maintains body fluid and blood pressure. Also, it has many more health benefits that you should know. Mango contains a good amount of dietary fiber which makes it bulk laxative. Thus it improves digestion and prevents constipation. It contains enzymes that increase the breakdown of carbohydrate and protein. So it is effective to increase the energy level.

Improve Digestion Naturally

Do you eat on the run, gulp down a quick meal, then proceed with your day? An hour or two later, an upset stomach, heartburn, bloating or gas become your unwanted companions. Popping antacids as a regular habit only makes matters worse by removing important stomach acids that are meant to help digest foods. Digestion problems result. You can improve digestion naturally with a few simple changes. Change Poor Eating Habits 1. Make time to eat lunch. Choose wisely. Instead of gulping a pizza while driving, stop and eat a proper meal. Resist the urge of balancing the steering wheel of your car with one hand while chomping down fast food. Digestion starts with a calm demeanor. Either bring a brown bag lunch with a sandwich and some veggies and a piece of fruit from home or choose a healthy choice at a restaurant. Avoid food covered in creamy sauces or deep fried fare. Grilled chicken and vegetables, a tuna salad, or even a plain burger with a salad are better alternatives. 2. Don’t stuff yourself. Respect your body’s signals that tell that you’re full. Eating binges are a sure fire way to feel sick and bloated. 3. Notice if you have a private stash of food (like chocolate cookies, chocolate bars, bags of chips or other junk food). Work on eliminating those foods to improve digestion. 4. Try digestive aids such as lactobacillus acidophilus for digestion support. This friendly bacteria is found in yogurt. You can eat yogurt for breakfast or as snacks. You can also try taking acidophilus capsules once or twice a day to help the digestion process. These capsules can be found in most pharmacies or health food stores. A digestive enzyme complex taken with food […]

Signs of Poor Digestion

The most common and obvious signs of poor digestion and absorption include gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While these signs and symptoms may be very obvious to many people they are often ignored for long periods of time until they become severe. If you experience any of the above symptoms it is important to pursue appropriate diagnosis and treatment because they are warning signs for further complications in the future. Abdominal Pain The location and nature of abdominal pain can be helpful in diagnosing the problem in the digestive tract. Pain in the lower right abdominal quadrant associated with fever is likely an appendicitis. Severe flank pain that radiates to the back often involves the gall bladder. Pain and burning feeling radiating to the chest often involves the stomach and esophageal sphincter. Unfortunately, diagnosing solely based on the location and nature of abdominal pain is not accurate enough to rely on in many cases the pain receptors and nerves in the digestive tract are not very geographically accurate. There are over a dozen legitimate causes of abdominal pain in the lower left quadrant. The most likely culprit is diverticulosis but it is important to do a full investigation and not just rely on the most likely cause. Upper Digestive Tract The upper digestive tract includes the oral cavity, esophagus, and stomach. Problems in the upper digestive tract usually manifest immediately upon consumption of food in the oral cavity and upper esophagus to within 60 minutes in the lower esophagus and stomach. Severe problems in this area can cause black coffee ground-like components to the stool. Mid Digestive Tract The mid digestive tract includes the pyloric sphincter, the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum), the middle […]

Enzymes in Vegetables and Fruits

There are various enzymes that the body requires for its smooth functioning and maintaining health. Enzymes are nothing but the proteins that are designed to help in the process of digestion and enable other chemical processes in the body to be done in a smooth and easy way. The enzyme known as Amylase, actually helps breaking down carbohydrates and starches that we consume. There are certain enzymes that also help in prevention of certain health issues. For example, an enzyme known as Bromelain helps to reduce inflammatory conditions. While there are some enzymes that the body tends to produce on its own, there are some enzymes that we have to supply to our body through the foods that we consume. The enzymes in vegetables and fruits are known to be one of the best sources for this purpose. Yes, fruits and vegetables are a great source of enzymes that are required by our body to be healthy. But then, it also matters as to how you end up consuming them. It would be interesting for you to know that before 1930, when the phenomena known as digestive leukocytosis existed, it was noticed that there was a rapid increase in the white blood cell count after a person consumed cooked food. This increase in the number of white blood cells was considered to be normal back then, but it was still a concern as to why would the WBC’s increase because that happens only when the body perceives a threat or is under stress! A research was done by the Swiss researchers at the Institute of Chemical Chemistry in 1930 and it was then discovered that consuming foods in their natural form, doesn’t increase the white […]

Winter and the Digestive System

During winter, the natural instinct is to hibernate as we transition into a more restorative mode. While some animals can survive all winter long with no food during hibernation, humans still require nourishment, which is why we need to maintain active and healthy digestion! Ensuring adequate hydration is the number one step for healthy digestive function in winter. Drying winter winds and warm salty foods can often leave our bodies parched, although we may not always recognise signs and symptoms of dehydration. When you consume an insufficient amount of hydrating fluids, your stools may become hard and dry as a result, often leading to constipation. Fibre is another key factor that will help to fuel a strong digestive system during winter. Fibre not only adds bulk to ensure healthy stools, it also nourishes the good bacteria in our digestive systems. This means less digestive complaints such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea. Fibre can be easily included in our winter meals through sources including wholegrains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. To keep our digestive fires burning throughout winter, bitter foods may provide support by encouraging the secretion of gastric juices. Lemon juice in warm water is a popular remedy for supporting digestion, while bitter greens may Images_for_web_179__84365_1269579399_220_220have a similar effect. Ginger is another warming food source that can aid digestive function in the cooler months.   Keep these simple tips in mind during your hibernating days this winter and your digestive system will thank you!

Benefits of red Wine for Digestion

Red wine not only goes well with a nice meal, it helps the stomach convert potentially harmful chemicals into less dangerous molecules before they’re circulated in the body, according to a new study slated to be published in an upcoming journal of Toxicology. A team of Portuguese researchers found that specific polyphenols in red wine trigger the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes the stomach wall, helping to optimize digestion. According to co-author Dr. João Laranjinha, an associate professor at the Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, the research bucks current theory. Since the 1990s, many researchers have believed that many of wine’s observed health benefits are due to the antioxidative properties of polyphenols. Studies have found wine appears to counteract deleterious, oxidative injury to the body’s molecules and cells, as with chronic, inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. Many of these studies suggest that people would need to consume impossibly large amounts of red wine in order to see any antioxidative benefit, because polyphenols are extensively metabolized during absorption in the intestines, said Laranjinha. Estimates range anywhere from a couple of bottles per day, to 10,000 per week. While in large doses nitric oxide is a pollutant, in smaller amounts it can dilate arteries, helping blood flow. It also has the ability to “relax” the walls of the stomach, allowing nutrients to pass more freely into the bloodstream. In the earlier study, Laranjinha and his team noted that red wine showed a higher level of another chemical, called ethyl nitrite, when compared to non-alcoholic beverages and brandy. Ethyl nitrite, they found, reacts with potentially harmful free radicals, […]

Post-Holiday Bloat Digestion Diet Eating

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and then the New Year celebrations to contend with, even the least indulgent person must face the inevitable and expected bad news when stepping onto the bathroom scales for the first time in the New Year. For some, this brings a sudden realisation that the weight gained in a matter of weeks might take a concentrated effort over a much longer period to shed once again.   Everyone knows that this will happen. Some try their best to restrict the damage done. But there are few people that can boast that they really enjoyed the winter holday season, with all the splendid fayre, without putting on a single pound in weight. So now is the time to get your mind focussed, your plans laid out and your actions started to get rid of those extra pounds and rid your body of the post-holiday bloat once again.   Try to remember that you are not alone in this quest. Friends and family are just as likely to be suffering and even if they do not want to admit it, their tight clothing will be silently be betraying them and revealing the simple truth. Almost everyone in the northern hemisphere increases weight during the winter months. But all is not lost and here are some great ideas to help you rid yourself of those bloated, sluggish feelings.   1 No Alcohol January is the easiest month in the year for you to completely stop consuming alcohol. Everyone has had to far much of it over the last 5 weeks and January brings far less opportunity for social drinking. Take advantage of this and avoid any alcohol for the whole month if you can. If you do go out for drinks […]

Onion and Garlic Digestive Problems

Eating onions and garlic regularly may give you a wide array of health benefits, from preventing cancer and heart disease to treating infections, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. But if you let your excitement about these pungent vegetables’ benefits cause you to overindulge in them, you may suffer from some digestive problems. The key to enjoying onions and garlic is to eat them in moderation. You may experience gas and the flatulence associated with it from eating onions and garlic, says the Linus Pauling Institute, and eating raw onions and garlic may lead to more gas than eating cooked onions and garlic. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that you may feel bloated when you’re suffering from gas after eating garlic and other vegetables in the same family, such as onions. Raw garlic and onions contain lots of fiber that can cause gas, and onions contain a natural type of sugar called fructose that causes gas, according to ClevelandClinic.com, which recommends discussing your diet with your doctor, since the amount of gas produced by foods varies from person to person. Both onions and garlic may give you diarrhea if you eat too much of them, the Linus Pauling Institute says. If you eat foods that upset your digestive system, you may experience diarrhea that lasts between two and three days, reports ClevelandClinic.com, which recommends avoiding raw foods if you’re suffering from diarrhea. Choosing foods that don’t contain much fiber is best to get over diarrhea, and eating small portions of food is also a good idea while your digestive system is recovering from diarrhea. You may suffer digestive problems from eating large quantities of onions, so be creative about ways you can include onions in […]

Improve Your Digestion to Boost Your Metabolism

Are you suffering from heartburn or headaches? Just can’t get out of bed in the morning? Do you look as though you are never rested no matter how much sleep you get, or feel as bloated as the Pillsbury Doughboy because of relentless water retention? All of these symptoms can be caused by the foods you are eating. Many of us tend to consume the same foods day after day with little variety. This may lead to our bodies becoming “sensitized” to the foods (food sensitivities are also sometimes called food allergies, although they may not be true allergies like those that may induce an anaphylactic reaction). This may result in a myriad of symptoms that are surprisingly not always digestive in nature. The trouble is we tend to go on, gradually feeling worse and worse, chronically fatigued or under-functioning. Usually it is difficult to realize how badly you are feeling until the offending foods are removed and you begin to notice improvements in subtle ways such as improvements in energy levels, moods, concentration and focus, joint pain, headaches or sinus congestion. This is why removal of the most commonly allergenic food groups is the essential first step in every one of my patient’s personalized wellness plan. Through this process of removing certain foods from your diet will you realize that your digestive tract isn’t just about the process of digestion. There are less commonly recognized processes linked to your gastrointestinal tract and, ultimately, your foundation of health. These include: Immunity. Approximately 60% of your immune system is clustered around your digestive tract. This makes sense because if you eat something rotten, your immune system is close by to protect you. However, because of the close association […]