I am submitting as a blog an article I had sent out a couple of years ago in a newsletter about the digestive system.
It’s a great tool, which a client of mine recently labeled that I use “nutrition as a weapon” in my arsenal of knowledge. Before even me telling you HOW to eat, it is important to understand HOW the digestive system works, because when a client comes to me and asks me for a lazy, easy way out, I explain that I do not call the shots and do not have God-like powers to change the human chemistry and physiology. I can only change your physique by working with how we’re “engineered”, but I cannot change the engineering. You can NEVER cheat your way thin, as some crazy diets may have you believe…
First, a little comparison between meat-eating animals and grass-chewers is necessary before getting down to Humans 🙂
CARNIVORE VS HERBIVORE
Carnivore: strong stomach acid, small stomach, short large intestine (colon) and fast transit time (i.e. quick excretion).
Herbivore: salivary carbohydrate enzymes (chewing/ruminating, like cows vs. no chewing like lions), weak stomach acid, large stomach, long large intestine where the food is held and broken down, using bacteria to break down indigestible fiber, slow transit time.
The human system is closer to that of a primate, who have a slightly longer large intestine and shorter small intestine. But both share attributes of both systems:
-Salivary enzymes (to start digesting carbs) herbivore trait.
-Strong stomach acid (to digest meat), carnivore trait.
-Short large intestine carnivore trait.
-Fast transit time carnivore trait.
-Use bacteria to breakdown indigestible fiber in the large intestine (herbivore trait).
In our modern environment, STRESS can affect your digestion in the following ways:
-Reduction of saliva production, thus, less breakdown of carbs in your mouth.
-Reduction of stomach acid production, leading to heartburn/GERD (thus you don’t have too much acid, but rather NOT ENOUGH to break food down).
-Reduction of protective mucus in your small intestine, leading to ulcers.
-Reduction of protective mucus promotes alkaline bowel, leading to an inflamed colon, (irritable bowel syndrome, colitis).
Now you know. Next post: WHAT TO EAT AND WHEN.
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