[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
It’s not all about eating well, balanced, organic or of good quality, seasonal…you still need to have good digestion. Good health always comes with a happy gut.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
All stages of digestion are important
More the 1st part of digestion will be efficient, the more absorption through the small intestine will be effective and there will be less fermentation bacteria.
First of all chewing with the teeth and saliva then stirring with the muscles then hydrochloric acid (HCL) and gastric enzymes, then kneading with the muscles with the help and pancreatic enzymes and biliary, etc.
We will never repeat it enough: chew, chew, masticate ! By grinding food, chewing allows the salivary enzymes to act. Digestion begins in the mouth. This will further lighten the work of the lower intestine.
The stomach takes over with a medium which must be sufficiently acidic to digest proteins. All mucosal secretions stomach participate.
More the pH is lower, the faster the food leaves the stomach to go towards the intestine to finish their degradation.
THE food bolus then reaches the duodenum aided by the secretions biliary and pancreatic which will raise the ph therefore alkalize the medium. Thanks to enzymes that catalyze digestion, chyme degrades more and more as it moves towards the intestine.
What happens if the balance is disturbed?
A poor degradation of proteins due to insufficient production Hydrochloric acid in the stomach can cause problems such as reflux, bloating, heartburn, bad shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and many others.
But the stomach also has a role in decontaminating food except if it is not acidic enough, candida can survive there, helicobacter pylori and other bacteria.
A deficiency of vitamins or trace elements may be due to poor absorption from the stomach.
A hypothyroidism can destabilize the production of HCL or pepsin through the stomach.
If we lack digestive enzymes, we can have problems such as bloating or flatulence, pale and soft stools, poor digestion, but also poor healing, skin diseases, metabolic disease, osteoporosis, but also fatigue, depression, cold extremities and of course, food intolerances.
The benefit of consuming a little raw vegetables
It is for this reason I advise starting a meal with raw vegetables (raw fruits or vegetables) on the one hand for the vitamins they contain (vitamin C being destroyed at 40°C), other part for the fibers which participate in good transit and whose degradation will feed the good bacteria of our flora intestinal. Fiber also contributes to the elimination of bad cholesterol and are beneficial in cases of diabetes.
But above all because raw vegetables or any raw food contains enzymes which will catalyze our digestion. Other foods also contain enzymes such as sprouted seeds, pineapple, papaya, Honey, sprouted cereals, nuts, raw milk cheeses (unpasteurized), kefir, kombucha.
We we have an endogenous capital of metabolic enzymes which decreases with age and from 20 years so it is up to us not to exhaust this capital too early by consuming foods rich in enzymes on a daily basis.
Several situations can alter the production of enzymes such as certain chronic illnesses, digestive disorders or diet imbalance.
THE people who never eat raw foods get older prematurely by wearing out their body without mentioning the risk occurrence of various diseases.
Malabsorption due to an inflammatory mucosa
It is in the small intestine that the majority of absorption of nutrients and vitamins. At this level also there can be have a lack of absorption due to lack of secreted enzymes more high.
We also sees malabsorption in people with alterations of the intestinal mucosa (hyper permeability intestinal) such as IBD: UC, Crohn’s, which are diseases chronic inflammatory bowel disease or disease celiac or patients must completely exclude gluten (at not to be confused with gluten intolerance).
Know how to combine foods to reduce bloating
A poor digestion can also be due to mixtures that are not not favorable, bad food combinations. For example if you are prone to bloating, it is better to avoid consuming fruit or dessert that is too sweet at the end of a meal or to consume lots of cereals with meat.
THE proteins (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, tofu, nuts, hazelnuts… ) are digested mainly by the stomach.
By example, a dessert ingested after meat, there will be competition so the sugar will have to wait its turn and ferment in the stomach while waiting, which will create sourness see bloating.
Of Furthermore, stomach juices must be sufficiently acidic to digest proteins.
If we eat with starches, their digestion will be stopped before end up in the intestine.
Excess consumption of animal proteins: cold meats, fatty meats, cheeses at all meals promotes putrefaction or bacterial overgrowth.
Fiber, yes, but not too much! Tips to make them more digestible
If we have a fragile intestine, it is better to avoid consuming too much insoluble fiber.
All right it’s interesting to eat bread or wholemeal pasta because we benefit from more minerals but in certain people, it can have an overly aggressive effect and cause problems digestive. In fact, certain fibers consumed in excess promote irritation of the intestine and worsens symptoms such as diarrhea, pain, bloating.
In In this case, you will have to choose semi-complete or white foods instead. the time of the crisis.
THE Soluble fibers are softer and form like a gel. What’s more they promote the reabsorption of water and sodium at the level of the colon. As a result, they increase satiety, allow less soft stools therefore improve constipation.
THE Foods rich in insoluble fiber are allowed but should be limited in case of trouble.
A tips for better assimilating certain foods is soaking and even better germination.
We can soak legumes but also seeds oilseeds: hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, etc. And the fruit dried: prunes, grapes, figs, dates, apricots…for wake up the enzymes.
Restrict potatoes with skin, whole grains, all bran, the bran of wheat.
Of from time to time psyllium can be useful with plenty of water, algae, mucilage.
During for some time, we will also limit so-called fermentable foods like the cabbage families(green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels), turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms.
If the intestine is fragile, limit raw vegetables but drink juices raw vegetables (except citrus fruits, which are too acidic) to keep at least vitamins (what I recommend in IBD.
We recommends between 20 and 30 g of fiber per day for a good balance.
The intestine 2nd brain
Today we know that the gut is strongly connected to the brain. By therefore all intestinal disorders can have consequences on our physical state (by causing fatigue), but also on our emotional and mental state. Today, everyone knows that the intestine produces serotonin, mood hormone!
And vice versa ! Chronic stress promotes hyper intestinal permeability.
SO let’s stay calm and think about pampering his intestine!