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What is Digestion?
Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down the food we eat into usable components. Our bodies use food similarly as a car engine uses gas– and this gives us the energy needed to live. When we put food into our mouths digestion has already started – because digestion means breaking food down into smaller molecules!macho man
As we chew with our teeth, food is already broken into smaller amounts. Saliva helps to moisten the food and the tongue positions the food to move down the throat when we swallow. A tube called the esophagus then carries the food to the stomach.royal black mask efect
This tube is lined with muscles that squeeze and push the food into the stomach. Your stomach is a sack like structure located just below the heart that makes digestive juices (acids and enzymes) that work to break down our food into a thick liquid or paste called chyme.
Although we might not think of it as such, the stomach is a muscular organ that contracts and expands in order to mix the food with digestive juices. Food usually remains in the stomach for about two hours after which it enters the small intestine.
The most important part of digestion takes place in the small intestine, because as the liquid food paste travels through the small intestine, nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats) are absorbed and whisked off through your bloodstream and travel to all your body cells and body systems to keep you healthy and growing and to replenish the immune system!
Help for Digestion Problems
Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been formulated with specific ingredients to promote gentle food breakdown and support the digestive system. Filipendula ulmaria is a soothing digestive remedy which helps to protect the digestive tract and reduce excess stomach acid.
Matricaria recutita and Ulmus fulva are also helpful herbs in the treatment of digestive disorders helping to address post meal troubles such as heartburn, indigestion and flatulence. In this way, natural remedies can provide welcome relief to after-eating problems.
More Information on Digestion Problems
Tips for healthy digestion
The following are a few helpful tips you can use to support healthy digestion.
- Take smaller bites and put your fork down in between meals. Remember to thoroughly chew each bite of food. Eat in the moment and savor every bite!
- Get enough water: not enough water is a primary cause of constipation.
- Increase your dietary fiber: eat dried fruit such as dates, figs, and prunes
- Address food allergies: food sensitivities are behind many digestive disorders. Those who suffer with IBS often report having one or more food intolerances, resulting in stomach bloating, gas, and pain.
- Increase good bacteria in your gut: not all bacteria are bad. Probiotic bacteria can help to maintain intestinal health. Try good quality organic yogurt that add the active cultures after pasteurization, because this heat process destroys both good and bad bacteria.