Chewing.

25 06 2009

Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin, an enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble starches into simple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is impaired, the body is less able to extract the energy contained in our foods, while far worse from the point of view of the genesis of diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and into the gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden for the liver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.

As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continue to chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. [There is a very simple experiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this works. Get a plain piece of bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and without swallowing it or allowing much of it to pass down the throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve. Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how sweet the taste gets.]

Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with the importance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment on a military population in Canada. He required half his experimental group to chew thoroughly, and the other half to gulp things down as usual,. His study reports significant improvement in the overall health and performance of the group that persistently chewed. Fletcher’s report recommended that every mouthful be chewed 50 times for half a minute before being swallowed. Try it, you might be very surprised at what a beneficial effect such a simple change in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you have less intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself getting smaller because your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you are eating and thus your sense of hunger will go away sooner. If you are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight you may find that the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body more capable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.

A logical conclusion from this data is that anything that would prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food eaten when too hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen when food is seasoned with fresh Jalapeño or habaneo peppers. People with poor teeth should blend or mash starchy foods and then gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mind that even so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities of starches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested in the mouth.

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Food In The Order Of Digestive Difficulty.

24 06 2009

Hard To Digest: Meat, fish, chicken, eggs (if cooked), all legumes including soy products, peanuts and peanut butter, beans, split peas, lentils, chick peas, dairy products such as cheese, milk, butter milk, nuts and seeds and their butters.

Intermediate: all grains–quinoa, amaranth, millet, spelt, rye, wheat, oats, barley.

Fairly Easy: Brussels sprouts, green beans, green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, raw cultured milk products, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts especially bean sprouts, kale, other leafy greens.

Very Easy: fruits, vegetable juices, fruit juices, broth (clear).

No Effort: herb tea, water.





Advantages and Disadvantages of Certain Foods.

22 06 2009
Food Pros Cons
Refined Foods
(including sugars and flour)

  • Taste

  • Empty calories
  • Detrimental effect on blood sugar levels
  • Excess fat build up in the body
  • Fatigue
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Lowered sex drive
Meat
(from mammals only)

  • Taste

  • High in animal protine
  • High in heme-iron
  • Immune system
  • High in saturated fats
  • Heartburn
  • Halitosis
Fowl Meat

  • Taste

  • High in animal protine
  • High in heme-iron
  • High in saturated fat
  • Heartburn
  • Halitosis
Fish Meat

  • Taste
  • Low in saturated fat

  • High in animal protine
  • High in heme-iron
  • Depending on variety can be high in mercury and other harmful agents
Dairy Products

  • Taste

  • High in animal protine
  • Can be high in saturated fat
  • Immune system
  • With some exceptions, high in fat
  • Over 75% of the human population is lactose intolerant
Eggs

  • Taste
  • Vitamin B12
  • Low in saturated fat

  • High in animal protine
Fruits and Vegetables

  • High in vitamins
  • High in fiber
  • High in antioxidants
  • Immune system boosters
  • Heart health
  • Zero saturated fat
Nuts

  • High fiber
  • High in antioxidants
  • Good fats
  • Heart health
  • Zero saturated fat

  • Can be high calorie
Grains and Seeds

  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (i.e. flax)
  • Low fat
  • High fiber
  • Vitamins and minerals

  • Can be high calorie
  • Not part of human optimal diet (consumption coincides with onset of agriculture – can not be consumed in their raw state)
Legumes

  • High in vitamins
  • High in minerals
  • High in fiber
  • Good source of folate
  • High in antioxidants
  • Stabilize appetite

  • Flatulence
  • Not part of human optimal diet (consumption coincides with onset of agriculture – can not be consumed in their raw state)
Mushrooms

  • High in fiber
  • High in vitamins
  • High quality protein
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
Insects

  • High in quality protein
  • High in B12
  • Low fat

  • Lack of appeal in Western Countries (more than half of the world’s population consumes insects)