How Food is Digested
And How Food Travels Through the Digestive System ~YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates
How food is digested is made up of a very complex system that provides the
fuel and power for your body! The body cannot use food that you eat until it is broken down into very small molecules like protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats. Then the body can absorb these molecules and process
them through the blood, liver, kidney, and of course the digestive system to get the good stuff + get rid of the bad stuff!
When you chew food, saliva begins breaking down food; this is why it is so important to chew the food well. The stomach is a very muscular organ
that produces strong acid killing bad bacteria, breaking food down + mixing it all up. If the valve of the stomach doesn't close properly when food is being processed, some acid can leak into the esophagus causing "heartburn".
Click on any of the small photos on this page to see the photo larger.
From the stomach, the small intestine,usually ~22 feet long + ~2 inches around, is the next stop for how food is digested. The small intestine is where the nutrients your body needs are absorbed. Here is where the liver, gallbladder and pancreas release digestive juices into the small intestine: the liver makes bile which helps absorb fat, the gallbladder stores extra bile, and the pancreas juices help digest proteins and fats; each essential in how food is digested. It is important to eat small frequent meals because some foods can take 4 hours for the small intestine to finish turning into a liquid that your body is then able to absorb the nutrients from.
The blood gathers these nutrients + flows through the liver-the body's main processing unit- where toxins + waste are removed. Our hearts are even affected by how food is digested. If we eat too much food too fast or too frequently, our bodies become overloaded + cause stress to our body + hearts, + is the reason there are so many heart attacks after big Thanksgiving meals.The liquefied waste then enters the large intestine, which is ~4 inches around + ~5.5 feet long + is where your body tries to absorb more water + minerals creating a firm stool. The large intestine -the colon- is composed of the cecum, then the ascending colon, next the transverse colon, down the descending colon and finally to the sigmoid colon prior to the rectum.The rectum is the holding place for stool until we need to go to the bathroom. Generally, if there is too much water left in the stool, this is diarrhea and if the body needed more water and fiber, the stool will be hard causing constipation. Understanding how food is digested helps explain why it is so important to eat healthy, nutrient foods that have plenty of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates along with fiber and good fats -like those in GOLDEN FLAX SEED. If you don't have good fats and fiber in your diet, you will not feel satiated + will continue to crave food. Knowing our bodies is important because our brain may get confused between thirst + hunger feeling hungry, when we are actually thirsty. Finally if your body doesn’t have enough fiber, then it will take more effort for the digestive system to push out toxins + waste. This pressure can cause diverticulosis + hemorrhoids. If we don't have regular bowel movements (generally defined as 1x per day)
then our body reabsorbs toxins, chemicals, + bad cholesterol!!With our busy lives + mostly unhealthy diets, we don't get enough nutrition to keep muscles + tissue of the bowel healthy. The bowel can lose strength + muscle tone making it difficult for hard stools to move out. If our diet doesn't have enough fiber + water to push stool out, the problem becomes a vicious cycle. It is easy to understand why so many struggle with constipation + use short-term solutions like stool softeners that aren't meant to be used continuously.We don't often talk about how to take care of our colon + how food is digested. Unfortunately, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, other bowel diseases, colon cancer (now the #2 cancer killer), etc are called Silent Killers in America. This is so terrible because colon diseases are preventable if we take care of our colon by learning how food is digested and by eating healthy foods and fiber.
The healthy colon is essential to a good functioning body by:
being able to absorb needed nutrients from healthy food
eliminate toxins by having enough fiber and water to move waste material out of the body
promoting a good immune system by having needed vitamins and minerals and getting rid of toxins and chemicals
There is better solution for everyone who suffers from constipation! A solution that simply includes adding 2-3 Tbs of ground flax seed to something we already do every day -EAT!! So much of our good fibers and whole grains have been stripped from our food and then re-added back in through numerous chemical and mechanical processes!
There are very few nutritional supplements that you can find for ~$6.00/month that will drastically add health and can even decrease your monthly food budget!
"Even at the full price the Cold Milled Flax is still cheaper than Metamucil or other fiber supplements that run about $12 for only 15 ounces! That's a great deal!" -K.A.
"Ellie, Thanks for your email. Just a short testament: Have been trying for years to get my cholesterol numbers to be on the healthy side. Got your flax at the farmers market this past summer and took your advice on consuming it. Had a blood test 2 weeks ago and my Cholesterol number is at 181, down from 262. Healthy eating and exercise: definitely the way to go. Thanks again."
-- Peter W.
"I have several health problems: Type 2 Diabetes + Constipation being my top complaints. When I was introduced to Golden Flax seed, I was drinking fiber daily + lived on Senna. I no longer have to buy Senna or fiber."
"My hot flashes were so bad and I had up to 3 or 4 times in the night. My sleep was interrupted, not to mention the embarrassment of breaking out in a sweat and a red face during conversations.... Oh boy, I have not had a hot flash for about 3 weeks."
"The best thing that happened is that it has really helped stabilize my blood sugar. When blood sugar is stable without a lot of peaks + valleys, it's easier to lose weight + I'm game for that."
-- Thanks, Sherrie