Posts tagged Digestion

Turmeric benefits for multiple sclerosis

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Turmeric benefits for multiple sclerosis is something that you should know. Turmeric as an antioxidant can be important for people with multiple sclerosis. That is why we stress on the use of turmeric benefits for multiple sclerosis as supplement in Dr Klenner's therapy for multiple sclerosis. We suggest you to read the following article on the Turmeric benefits concerning in several health conditions. (Taken from the Medical Center of the Universitiy of Maryland). You can also read this extremely helpful article concerning turmeric benefits.

See all natural liquid Turmeric supplements here

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems, and it has gotten a lot of press lately.

But remember several facts when you hear news reports about turmeric. First, many studies have taken place in test tubes and animals, and turmeric may not work as well in humans. Second, some studies have used an injectable form of curcumin, the active substance in turmeric. Finally, some of the studies show conflicting evidence.

Turmeric is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.

Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.

Research suggests that turmeric may be helpful for the following conditions:

Indigestion or Dyspepsia

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which some people think may help improve digestion. The German Commission E, which determines which herbs can be safely prescribed in Germany, has approved turmeric for digestive problems. And one double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion.

Ulcerative colitis

Turmeric may help people with ulcerative colitis stay in remission. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the digestive tract where symptoms tend to come and go. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people whose ulcerative colitis was in remission took either curcumin or placebo, along with conventional medical treatment, for 6 months. Those who took curcumin had a relapse rate much lower than those who took placebo.

Stomach Ulcers

Turmeric does not seem to help treat stomach ulcers. In fact, there is some evidence that it may increase stomach acid, making existing ulcers worse. (See "Precautions" section.)

Osteoarthritis

Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, researchers have wondered if turmeric may help relieve osteoarthritis pain. One study found that people using an Ayurvedic formula of herbs and minerals with turmeric, winter cherry (Withinia somnifera), boswellia (Boswellia serrata), and zinc had less pain and disability. But it' s impossible to know whether it was turmeric or one of the other supplements — or all of them together — that was responsible.

Heart Disease

Early studies suggested that turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. In animal studies, an extract of turmeric lowered cholesterol levels and kept LDL "bad" cholesterol from building up in blood vessels. Because it stops platelets from clumping together, turmeric may also prevent blood clots from building up along the walls of arteries. But a double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that taking curcumin, the active ingredient in turrmeric, at a dose of up to 4 g per day did not improve cholesterol levels.

Cancer

There has been a great deal of research on turmeric's anti-cancer properties, but results are still very early. Evidence from test tube and animal studies suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancer. Its preventive effects may be because it is a strong antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. More research is needed. Cancer should be treated with conventional medications. Don' t use alternative therapies alone to treat cancer. If you choose to use complementary therapies along with your cancer treatment, make sure you tell all your doctors.

Bacterial and Viral Infections

Test tube and animal studies suggest turmeric may kill bacteria and viruses. But researchers don' t know whether it would work in people.

Uveitis

A preliminary study suggests curcumin may help treat uveitis, an inflammation of the eye' s iris. In one study of 32 people with chronic anterior uveitis, curcumin was effective as corticosteroids, the type of medication usually prescribed. More research is needed.
Plant Description:

A relative of ginger, turmeric is a perennial plant that grows 5 – 6 feet high in the tropical regions of Southern Asia, with trumpet-shaped, dull yellow flowers. Its roots are bulbs that also produce rhizomes, which then produce stems and roots for new plants. Turmeric is fragrant and has a bitter, somewhat sharp taste. Although it grows in many tropical locations, the majority of turmeric is grown in India, where it is used as a main ingredient in curry.
Parts Used:

The roots, or rhizomes and bulbs, are used in medicine and food. They are generally boiled and then dried, turning into the familiar yellow powder. Curcumin, the active ingredient, has antioxidant properties. Other substances in this herb have antioxidant properties as well.
Available Forms:

Turmeric is available in the following forms:

Capsules containing powder
Fluid extract
Tincture

Because bromelain increases the absorption and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, it is often combined with turmeric products.
How to Take It:

Pediatric

Turmeric supplements haven' t been studied in children, so there is no recommended dose.

Adult

The following are doses recommended for adults:

Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

Precautions:

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Turmeric in food is considered safe.

Turmeric and curcumin supplements are considered safe when taken at the recommended doses. However, taking large amounts of turmeric for long periods of time may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers. People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should talk to their doctor before taking turmeric.

If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking turmeric supplements. Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, and when combined with medications for diabetes could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Although it is safe to eat foods with turmeric, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take turmeric supplements.

Because turmeric may act like a blood-thinner, you should stop taking it at least 2 weeks before surgery. Tell your doctor and surgeon that you have been taking turmeric.
Possible Interactions:

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use turmeric or curcumin in medicinal forms without first talking to your health care provider.

Blood-thinning Medications — Turmeric may make the effects of these drugs stronger, raising the risk of bleeding. Blood-thinners include warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin, among others.

Drugs that reduce stomach acid — Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs, increasing the production of stomach acid:

Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Famotidine (Pepcid)
Ranitidine (Zantac)
Esomeprazole (Nexium)
Omeprazole
Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

Diabetes Medications — Turmeric may make the effects of these drugs stronger, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

See all natural liquid Turmeric supplements here

Alternative Names: Curcuma longa

    Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

Supporting Research

Aggarwal BB, Sundaram C, Malani N, Ichikawa H. Curcumin: the Indian solid gold. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:1-75.

Asai A, Miyazawa T. Dietary curcuminoids prevent high-fat diet-induced lipid accumulation in rat liver and epididymal adipose tissue. J Nutr. 2001;131(11):2932-2935.

Baum L, et al. Curcumin effects on blood lipid profile in a 6-month human study. Pharmacol Res. 2007;56(6):509-14.

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:379-384.

Curcuma longa (turmeric). Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2001;6 Suppl:S62-S66.

Darvesh AS, Aggarwal BB, Bishayee A. Curcumin and Liver Cancer: A Review. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Apr 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Davis JM, Murphy EA, Carmichael MD, Zielinski MR, Groschwitz CM, Brown AS, Ghaffar A, Mayer EP. Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]

Dorai T, Cao YC, Dorai B, Buttyan R, Katz AE. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate. 2001;47(4):293-303.

Dorai T, Gehani N, Katz A. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. II. Curcumin inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of epidermal growth factor receptor and depletes the protein. Mol Urol. 2000;4(1):1-6.

Funk JL, Frye JB, Oyarzo JN, Kuscuoglu N, Wilson J, McCaffrey G, et al. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-64.

Gautam SC, Gao X, Dulchavsky S. Immunodilation by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:321-41.

Gescher A J, Sharma R A, Steward W P. Cancer chemoprevention by dietary constituents: a tale of failure and promise. Lancet Oncol. 2001;2(6):371-379.

Goel A, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin as "Curecumin": from kitchen to clinic. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008;75(4):787-809.

Hanai H, Iida T, Takeuchi K, Watanabe F, Maruyama Y, Andoh A, et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;4(12):1502-6.

Handler N, Jaeger W, Puschacher H, Leisser K, Erker T. Synthesis of novel curcumin analogues and their evaluation as selective cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) inhibitors. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2007 Jan;55(1):64-71.

Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000;57(13):1221-1227.

Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. "Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007;27(1):19-35.

Johnson JJ, Mukhtar H. Curcumin for chemoprevention of colon cancer. Cancer Lett. 2007 Apr 18; [Epub ahead of print]

Kim MS, Kang HJ, Moon A. Inhibition of invasion and induction of apoptosis by curcumin in H-ras-transformed MCF10A human breast epithelial cells. Arch Pharm Res. 2001;24(4):349-354.

Krishnaswamy K. Traditional Indian spices and their health significance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:265-8.

Pari L, Tewas D, Eckel J. Role of curcumin in health and disease. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008;114(2):127-49.

Phan TT, See P, Lee ST, Chan SY. Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing. J Trauma 2001;51(5):927-931.

Rakel D. Rakel: Integrative Medicine, 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008;80.

Rao CV. Regulation of COX and LOX by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:213-26.

Sharma RA, Ireson CR, Verschoyle RD. Effects of dietary curcumin on glutathione S-Transferase and Malondialdehyde-DNA adducts in rat liver and colon mucosa: relationship with drug levels. Clin Cancer Res. 2001;7:1452-1458.

Sharma RA, Steward WP, Gescher AJ. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:453-70.

Shehzad A, Khan S, Shehzad O, Lee YS. Curcumin therapeutic promises and bioavailability in colorectal cancer. Drugs Today (Barc). 2010 Jul;46(7):523-32. Review.

Shishodia S, Singh T, Chaturvedi MM. Modulation of transcription factors by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:127-48.

Su CC, Lin JG, Li TM, Chung JG, Yang JS, Ip SW, et al. Curcumin-induced apoptosis of human colon cancer colo 205 cells through the production of ROS, Ca2+ and the activation of caspase-3. Anticancer Res. 2006 Nov-Dec;26(6B):4379-89.

Suryanarayana P, Satyanarayana A, Balakrishna N, Kumar PU, Reddy GB. Effect of turmeric and curcumin on oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13(12):BR286-92.

White B, Judkins DZ. Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions? J Fam Pract. 2011 Mar;60(3):155-6. Review.

Zafir A, Banu N. Antioxidant potential of fluoxetine in comparison to Curcuma longa in restraint-stressed rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007;572(1):23-31.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/turmeric-000277.htm#ixzz2EvimAatB
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Calcium Magnesium benefits for Multiple Sclerosis

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Calcium Magnesium benefits for Multiple Sclerosis can be very important. Many patients have reported significant improvents with constipation problems, sleep disorders, improvements on spasticity and/or stiffness or several other myoskeletal problems can be very important. These two crucial minerals, can relieve people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Lately we have searched a lot about new types of vitamins in order to help patients with MS with absorption issues as well as bowel functioning. The more the absorption of a vitamin the less the digestive load. Even though  Calcium Magnesium benefits for multiple sclerosis helps constipation problems, sleep disorders, spasticity and/or stiffness, usually taken in tablets or pills results having a high loss passing through the stomach and reaching the bowel, especially when there is a bowel problem. Calcium and Magnesium are two major elements of the protocol. Even though there is a lot of information in this website about the use of Calcium and Magnesium many times patients find very difficult to succeed on the right dose for them. It takes some experimenting on this. Calcium can be constipating in bigger quantities and cannot be taken in the protocol without Magnesium (Vitamin D and K2 completes the right combination for taking these two minerals).

We have found Eidon Magnesium and Eidon Calcium to help you avoid capsules, tablets as well as sometimes dangerous additives these may contain. They come in liquid form and they are characterised as "ionic" forms of Calcium and Magnesium because of their high absorbability. This product is absorbed inside the body without having to reach the bowel.

This will not only help patients with bowel problems (constipation, Irritable Bowel disease etc) but every patient who wishes to improve digestion. Moreover one will avoid the experience of constipation after the use of Calcium. Another crucial advantage is that with much lower quantities you may experience the same results you get with a high number of tablets or capsules. One tablespoon of Eidon ionic Magnesium equals 80mg and we suggest you take it at night before bed because you will feel sleepy the soonest you get it! If more is needed then another teaspoon would be fine to try. Same goes for Calcium. 1 tablespoon would be enough unless there are other illness involved like arthritis, low bone mass etc. At any case consult your practitioner.

We remind you some tips concerning these two minerals from this website:

The Calcium dose we have suggested is 1000 mg especially for MS patients because almost every patient has been treated with cortisone, which leeches calcium out of the bones, causing osteoporosis at a very early age. This should be taken with magnesium because they work together generally but NOT AT THE SAME TIME because Calcium works in an antagonistic way towards magnesium. Suggested ways of taking are listed below. Obviously this amount of Calcium is referred to tablets or capsules and NOT in a liquid form like the one we suggest here. In case you can't find these products you may seek for a powder form which is also more absorbable. Check also: Multiple sclerosis nutritional supplements: Where to find them.

  • The body can only absorb 300 mg. of elemental calcium at a time, so it should be taken in the lower doses, spread through the day. This is something you may avoid if using the liquid form. Calcium should NOT be taken within the same time as all of the other vitamin. This can be achieved by taking calcium with snacks between meals, but avoid taking with dairy foods, bran , whole cereals, spinach or rhubarb. This affects absorption. Magnesium can and should be taken with meals and all other vitamins together, as it does not affect the absorption of other vitamins the way that calcium can.
  • For tablets and capsules we have stated: Although most people who don’t have MS are fine with a ratio of 2:1, due to the tremendous effects of both of these on nerve transmission, the effects on spasticity, smooth muscle control, bowel workings, they are extremely effective in stopping spasms. Begin with a 2:1.5 (Calcium to Magnesium), and if no bowel problems are encountered, increase magnesium to the level where the daily bowel cleanse is as perfect as possible. (if stool begins to get to soft, back off on magnesium, until dosage is one that works best for you). Adjust the magnesium/calcium ratio, until spasticity, bowel and sleep pattern is at the best possible ratio, since everybody has a different tolerance for the amount that is actually absorbed.  The best types of calcium to take, are citrate, carbonate, gluconate, and lactate. The best magnesium to look for are gluconate, carbonate, or citrate. In extreme cases of constipation, magnesium oxide can be used, but is very potent, and shouldn’t be used in your attempts to find the best dosage for daily use.
  • Do not use a combination tablet because of the reason mentioned above.
  • If an MS patient is having problems with spasticity,  calcium can be increased, always with the magnesium, (since both work to maintain electrical potential across nerve and muscle membranes and work to smooth muscle control) and if constipation is a problem you should increase your magnesium even more for a while. The bowel should be functioning at a  suggested two movements a day, since the build-up of toxins can actually bring on fatigue, tightness, an ill feeling and spasticity. Since there will be times during healing when the amounts needed may change (needed for bone building, or other important healing factors,diet,weather, stress, etc.) you may find that your usual dosage is not working as well with calming spasticity, etc., or bowel needs change, adjust according to need since the body is not always steady in it’s requirements for these important minerals and electrolytes.

*(1) Keep in mind that Calcium already included in some of the vitamins you take (such Vitamin C or Vitamin D) should NOT be calculated with the extra Calcium taken. If you eat regularly vegetables or sources rich in Calcium (such as legumes) you may consider reducing the dose of supplements according your needs.

*(2) Sometimes a 1:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is required to avoid constipation. This is mostly for people who are not on their feet, or wheelchair bound. For non active patients magnesium can be taken at this ratio, and if constipation is still a problem, magnesium can be raised. Magnesium oxide beginning with a dose at 75 mg. can be added until bowel function is achieved in very persistent cases, but is more potent, and shouldn’t be necessary as the regular type taken.

*(3) Some of Calcium-Magnesium products may also contain Vitamin D (usually not adequate doses). Remember you should have 2000IU to 5000IU daily.

Do you Soak your Nuts and Seeds? Start now and improve your digestion!

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People suffering with MS eat nuts. It is a quick and easy snack and they can enrich your protein intake. The problem is that occasional or continious consumption of unsoaked nuts can create or worsen digestion and bowel problems.
Nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid, that can put a strain on your digestive system. The reason these enzyme inhibitors are there in the first place is to make sure the nuts and seeds don’t prematurely sprout. Makes sense. They need to be in the right environment for their life giving properties to be activated. The plus for you? Soaking not only releases the enzyme inhibitors, it starts the germination process which releases the good enzymes and nutrients! If you soak your nuts, they are much easier to digest and their nutrients are easier to assimilate. With a little advanced effort, you can unlock the all of the wonderful gifts nuts an seeds have to offer.
So the benefits of soaking nuts and seeds are:
  • Enzyme inhibitors get neutralized.
  • The amount of vitamins your body can absorb increases.
  • Gluten breaks down so digestion is much easier.
  • Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is reduced.

You don’t have to follow these strictly unless you want to go deeper into the soaking issue).

Soak your nuts and seeds anywhere from 20 minutes, to 2 to 3 hours, even overnight at room temperatures. In general, harder nuts will take longer to soften. If your recipe calls for soaked nuts or seeds and you are low on time, try to squeeze in 20 minutes or just do a really good job rinsing them. Otherwise, plan ahead a bit and soak them overnight in your refrigerator in a glass container with an airtight lid. Soaking nuts in plastic is generally not recommended as plastic can leach into the water and into your food.

The procedure: Soaking Nuts and Seeds

  1. Gather your raw, organic nuts or seeds.
  2. Rinse them in purified or distilled water.
  3. Place them in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
  4. Cover with twice as much water as the nuts or seeds. (1 cup of nuts to 2 cups of water).
  5. Cover the bowl with something breathable like a cloth towel.
  6. Drain and rinse the nuts or seeds every 3 or 4 hours.

The soak water will contain the enzyme inhibitors which is very acidic to the body so make sure to rinse your nuts and seeds well.

There are numerous recipes and things you can do with Soaked Nuts. One book I recommend is this.

Soaked nuts can be eaten within 2 days right after soaking and should be refrigerated. You can enjoy them plain or prepare dressings for salads or in other delicious recipes.

She the “Parmezan recipe from cashews and “

Nut / Seed Dry Amount Soak Time
Alfalfa Seed 3 Tbsp 12 Hours
Almonds 3 Cups 8-12 Hours
Amaranth 1 Cup 3-5 Hours
Barley, Hulless 1 Cup 6 Hours
Broccoli Seed 2 Tbsp 8 Hours
Cabbage Seed 1 Tbsp 4-6 Hours
Cashews 3 Cups 2-3 Hours
Clover 3 Tbsp 5 Hours
Fenugreek 4 Tbsp 6 Hours
Flax Seeds 1 Cup 6 Hours
Garbanzo Beans
(Chick Pea)
1 Cup 12-48 Hours
Kale Seed 4 Tbsp 4-6 Hours
Lentil 3/4 Cup 8 Hours
Millet 1 Cup 5 Hours
Mung Beans 1/3 Cup 8 Hours
Mustard Seed 3 Tbsp 5 Hours
Oats, Hulled 1 Cup 8 Hours
Onion Seed 1 Tbsp 4-6 Hours
Pea 1 Cup 8 Hours
Pinto Bean 1 Cup 12 Hours
Pumpkin 1 Cup 6 Hours
Quinoa 1 Cup 3-4 Hours
Radish 3 Tbsp 6 Hours
Rye 1 Cup 6-8 Hours
Sesame Seed,
Hulled
1 Cup 8 Hours
Sesame Seed,
Unhulled
1 Cup 4-6 Hours
Spelt 1 Cup 6 Hours
Sunflower, Hulled 1 Cup 6-8 Hours
Teff 1 Cup 3-4 Hours
Walnuts 3 Cups 4 Hours
Wild Rice 1 Cup 12 Hours

Sources: http://www.rawmazing.com

FOOD COMBINING MAY BE THE KEY FOR YOUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH – PART I (THE THEORY)

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Have you ever thought that the way you combine your food may help or worsen your digestion?

Have you noticed that some meals creates you bloating, gass, delay in you digestion?

Are you constantly constipated?

Even if you are not having obvious signs of digestive impairment you should begin considering the way you combine your foods!

Especially those who face digestive problems should take seriously the idea of how to combine their foods in each meal.

But lets start explaining the idea behind food combining…

The food combining system, as a whole, is simple and easy to understand. It logically evolved from the study of gastric physiology and the actions of enzymes and digestive juices. It is not what we eat, but what we digest and assimilate, that determines the nourishment our bodies receive. Food combining is based on the discovery that certain combinations of food may be digested with greater ease and efficiency than others.

Correct food combinations result in an immediate improvement in health by lightening the load of the digestive organs. Better nutrition is assured, and there is better digestion, less fermentation and putrefaction, more comfort, less distress and less gas. So-called food allergies often disappear as a result of proper food combining.

Foods and our body

Food is any substance which is eventually convertible into such end-products as tissues, body fluids, etc., and can be utilized by the organism in the performance of its functions. Foods help you when you are oxidized, contribute decisively to growth, maintenance and repair. They are capable of being stored within the body and produce no nutritionally significant toxic effects.

Nutrients in foods are chemical substances of known composition and structure, classified as carbohydrates (such as sugar, starch and glycogen); lipids (fats); proteins (amino acids linked together); salts (minerals); and vitamins, needed in small quantities (or, traces) by the body. In addition, foods contain indigestible materials—cellulose (fiber).

Water, oxygen and vitamins, together with proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals, form the constituents of the body—the blood, tissue, bones, organs, muscles and so forth. Foods must be taken into the digestive tract and prepared for use by the organism before their constituents may be used by the body.

BASIC PHILOSOPHY IN FOOD COMBINATION

Food combination theory is based on the functioning of enzymes. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down foods into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body.

Each digestive enzyme is specific in its action. It acts only upon one class of food substance. Each stage in the digestion of food requires the action of a different enzyme, and the various enzymes can perform their work efficiently only if the preceding work has been properly performed.

Body chemistry is, to a large extent, determined by the the food we eat. When certain foods are eaten regularly, the digestive enzymes and secretions are of a character to handle those foods. When the diet is altered, more and more of the digestive juices secreted will be of a character to digest the foods in the new diet, and less and less of the digestive juices will be of the character to digest the foods in the old diet.

The type of digestive juice fitted for the digestion of one type of food is of no value in digesting another type of food. Therefore, it is essential that food be taken in combinations that do not interfere with enzymatic action.

When two foods are eaten that have different or even opposite, digestive needs, the precise adjustment of digestive juices to meet requirements becomes impossible.

Digestive speed and efficiency vary with individuals and circumstances. However, certain general statements can be made:

  • Simple carbs, or sugars, only require one step for digestion, which is why they digest faster. An enzyme in the lining of the small intestine transforms sucrose into glucose and fructose to then be absorbed in that one step. (eg Juices and Water: 20-30 minutes, Soups, Fruits, Vegetables or Smoothies: 30-45 minute)
  • Complex carbs, or starches, require more steps to digest, and therefore digest more slowly than simple carbs. Complex carbs include starchy vegetables, legumes, whole-grain breads and cereals. The enzymes in saliva break complex carb molecules into maltose, which is a smaller and simpler molecule. Next, an enzyme in the small intestine’s lining splits maltose molecules into glucose molecules, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The blood transports glucose to the liver, where is is either used for energy or stored for later use. (eg Grains, Starches: 2-3 hours)
  • Protein requires more digestion time in the stomach than carbs. Giant protein molecules are in foods like beans, eggs and meat. Because the molecules are so large, it takes a longer process to break them down before they can be used as fuel. An enzyme in the stomach begins to digest protein. Protein molecules then move into the small intestine, where several more enzymes break down the molecules into amino acids. The smaller amino acid molecules pass through the walls of the small intestine to get into the bloodstream. When you run out of the energy you got from glucose, which started as carbs, your body turns to protein or fats for energy. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. To make more glucose from protein, the body converts amino acids into glucose to use for fuel. (eg Beans, Poultry, Meat, or Fish: more than three hours)
  • Fats take more time to digest than carbs or proteins. Fats pass through the stomach and into the small intestine as other nutrients do. The body breaks fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerowhich the villi in the small intestine can absorb. The fatty acids and glycerol travel to areas of the body for storage in cells or for use as energy. Your body can only use about five percent of absorbed fat for fuel by converting it to glucose. Your liver absorbs the rest of the glycerol and uses it to assist in breaking down glucose for energy.
  • Some foods may take five or six hours or more to leave the stomach. Some examples are combination starch/protein foods like legumes (including beans), grains, cooked cabbage and flesh foods.

Most digestion occurs in the stomach and small intestine. Digestion, especially starch digestion, actually begins in the mouth, with mastication and insalivation of the food. This sends the proper signals for the release of the digestive juices suited to the character of the food eaten. Digestive juices are present in the saliva and in the gastric secretions of about five million microscopic glands in the walls of the stomach.

Food Sequencing Is also very important: Organize your meals

A well ordered meal allows your digestive system to handle digestion more smoothly, with less time and more absorption of nutrients. A well ordered meal is one in which you introduce different foods systematically.

You should start by introducing the easiest or quickest to digest foods first and work your way up to the more complex. By doing this you keep foods that digest more easily flowing through your digestive system and prevent a “food traffic jam”.

Denser and less liquid foods are harder to digest and take longer to pass completely through the digestive system.

Think of your digestive system as a highway; if the slower vehicles are allowed to go first, the result will be a traffic jam. If the slower vehicles follow the faster vehicles you’re highway will run smoothly and efficiently.

It is important to note that when choosing a beverage, milk products are hard to digest and should be taken alone. The easiest type of beverage to digest is water or one high in water content.

Sources:

  • http://www.puristat.com
  • http://www.livestrong.com
  • http://www.rawfoodexplained.com
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