What To Know About Digestion And Food Combination?

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Find out here how digestion works and how food combination affects the digestion process.

Importance of Digestion

Most digested molecules of food are absorbed through the small intestine.

They may either have been mechanically digested (food is chewed, mashed and broken down into smaller pieces) or chemically digested (enzymes change food into simpler substances).

So what makes digestion so important?

Digestion is the breaking of food into smaller pieces so that it could be absorbed and utilized by our body.

The smaller pieces that were broken down are then absorbed into the small intestine where they will be transported to the different body parts.

The body in return utilizes for the nourishment of the cells and be an energy source.

Like tiny building blocks, they work together to form every part of you. Cells make up the skin, bones, muscles, and organs.

Our body uses nutrients to fix damaged cells and make new ones. Nutrients give cells what they need to work, grow, and divide.

Consider the foods we eat at the raw materials or ingredients of a dish.

In order for us to be able to make a certain dish, the ingredients must be chopped and processed so that they will fully utilize and cook. The same way goes with digestion.

Improper digestion results from the different digestive problems. This could also come from the mal-absorption of the different nutrients.

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Let us not forget that our digestive system support our body. As small as we think that system is, we cannot overlook the fact its importance.

It is composed of a series of organs that break down and absorb the food we eat so that the nutrients can be transported into the bloodstream and delivered to cells throughout the body. Most of us ignore our digestive system unless there’s a problem.

We never or if not, rarely consider the role it plays in our overall health. To think, move, work, and learn, we need our digestive system to process your food and help utilize the nutrients.

Our skin, hair, and even sleep can be affected by whether or not everything is working correctly.

One expert says that people with poor digestive health might struggle with their weight, experience irregularity, nausea, bloating, constipation, stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, or gas on a routine basis.

Poor digestive health also can prevent people from sleeping, working, exercising, or socializing with friends.

So bear in mind that our digestive system affects our whole body when it is not well taken care of.

abdomen-digestion process

How The Digestive System Works

The foods we eat are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment.

Food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body.

Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy.

Digestion involves mixing food with digestive juices, moving it through the digestive tract, and breaking down large molecules of food into smaller molecules.

The process begins in the mouth, when we chew and swallow, and is completed in the small intestine.

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So how does digestion work?

Well, the large, hollow organs of the digestive tract contain a layer of muscle that enables their walls to move.

The movement of organ walls can propel food and liquid through the system and also can mix the contents within each organ.

Food moves from one organ to the next through muscle action called peristalsis. Peristalsis looks like an ocean wave traveling through the muscle.

The muscle of the organ contracts to create a narrowing and then propels the narrowed portion slowly down the length of the organ.

These waves of narrowing push the food and fluid in front of them through each hollow organ.

The first major muscle movement occurs when food or liquid is swallowed. Although we are able to start swallowing by choice, once the swallow begins, it becomes involuntary and proceeds under the control of the nerves.

Swallowed food is pushed into the esophagus, which connects the throat above with the stomach below.

At the junction of the esophagus and stomach, there is a ring-like muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter, closing the passage between the two organs.

As food approaches the closed sphincter, the sphincter relaxes and allows the food to pass through to the stomach.

The stomach has three mechanical tasks.

First, it stores the swallowed food and liquid. To do this, the muscle of the upper part of the stomach relaxes to accept large volumes of swallowed material.

The second job is to mix up the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach. The lower part of the stomach mixes these materials by its muscle action.

The third task of the stomach is to empty its contents slowly into the small intestine.

Several factors affect emptying of the stomach, including the kind of food and the degree of muscle action of the emptying stomach and the small intestine.

Carbohydrates, for example, spend the least amount of time in the stomach, while protein stays in the stomach longer, and fats the longest.

As the food dissolves into the juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, the contents of the intestine are mixed and pushed forward to allow further digestion.

Finally, the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported throughout the body.

The waste products of this process include undigested parts of the food, known as fiber, and older cells that have been shed from the mucous.

These materials are pushed into the colon, where they remain until the feces are expelled by a bowel movement.

chicken-food combination

Food Combination – Digestion Pairing

Writer Carly Schuna shares her thoughts about the topic. In her article, she discusses the relation of food combining and digestion.

We must remember however that what might work for one person, may not hold true to another.

“Food combining involves eating foods in certain combinations or sequences with the goal of aiding digestion and minimizing stomach discomfort.

People who advocate food combining follow guidelines that dictate how to combine foods at meals and in what sequence to eat each food.

They feel that improperly combined meals can result in digestive discomfort, a build-up of food in the stomach and even more serious health problems.

Digestion

A basic principle of food combining is to only combine foods that have similar digestion times.

According to the nutritionist and food-combining advocate Dr. Stanley Bass, water, juice, fruits and vegetables have generally short digestion times of under 45 minutes, and whole grains, dairy products, proteins, nuts, seeds and complex carbohydrates take more than one hour and sometimes as long as several hours to digest.

Proponents of food combining believe that the stomach overworks when it digests a variety of foods at a single meal, and it’s healthiest for the stomach to handle similar types of food at once.

When the stomach has completed the majority of digestion for one group of items and is mostly empty, it’s permissible to eat again.

Good Combinations

Combine foods that have similar digestion times or that are in the same food group (with the exception of proteins, which should be limited to one type at each meal).

Alder Brooke Healing Arts recommend combining vegetables with buttery or fatty foods, carbohydrates or proteins.

Other good combinations include starches with carbohydrates or proteins and fatty foods with carbohydrates.

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Bad Combinations

Avoid combining starches and carbohydrates with proteins. Acidic foods and basic (alkaline) foods should be eaten separately as well.

Fruits and most juices are composed largely of simple carbohydrates and take only a short time to digest; therefore, it’s best to avoid consuming them with any other foods.

Finally, desserts don’t combine well with any meal. They are heavy in sugar, and food-combining advocates believe that they ferment in the stomach rather than digest easily.

Chewing

People who follow the principles of food combining believe that it’s important to completely chew all foods at all meals.

Healing Daily also stresses the importance of chewing all foods thoroughly before swallowing them, almost to the point of liquidizing them.

The organization notes that partially chewed food is almost always only partially digested and can pass through the body without fully dispersing its vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.”

Food Combination vs. Weight Gain

The most common concern of almost every person is their weight as they age. They have tried almost all the diet plans around and yet most are still disappointed with the results.

Some people offer weight loss programs at gyms and at yoga classes. However, not everyone has the luxury or time to do both.

So what makes food combining so promising when it comes to weight loss?

Several studies have shown that increased intake of fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, vitamins C and B6, beta-carotene and folate can help in reducing weight in a population of overweight adults and as supported by a study published in Nutrition Research.

The rules are pretty simple and if followed will ensure the success of the much-wanted shedding of unwanted weight.

Remember, fruits maybe nourishing and jam-packed with the vital vitamins and minerals but it is digested so quickly, so it doesn’t mix well with starches and proteins.

It’s been said that yogurt is also very quick and easy to digest. Yogurt and all kinds of fruit go well together.

Acidic fruits such as apples and oranges can be a particular problem if they are eaten too close to a starchy meal. Banana is the only really flexible fruit.

It’s quite starchy so banana is good with porridge and cereals but it is also easy to digest so goes well with yogurt.

Eat fruit as a snack between meals or as a starter to the main course. In other words, on an empty stomach. Or leave a gap between courses.

Some have tried doing the practice of food combining to lose weight by following some simple rules.
  • Eat starches and proteins apart
  • Eat fruit separately
  • Try and leave 15 to 30 minutes between main course and dessert
  • Don’t worry about food combining seven day every week, five is fine

There are still some who try to lose weight by losing their body fat. It is a fact that our body is seventy percent water. Little is known by many that having enough water in our body could help us lose weight.

Water effectively flushes out the toxins that are in our body and thus a reduction in body fat.

When one is bloated with excess water, it is said that drinking more water helps ease the bloat by helping to run the body more efficiently and thereby eventually lose that weight.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Importance of Digestion

  • Digestion is the breaking of food into smaller pieces so that it could be absorbed and utilized by the body.
  • Your digestive system affects your whole body when it is not well taken care of.

How Digestive System Works

  • Swallowed food is pushed into the esophagus,
  • As food approaches the closed sphincter, the sphincter relaxes and allows the food to pass through to the stomach.

3 Mechanical Tasks of the Stomach

  • First, it stores the swallowed food and liquid
  • The second job is to mix up the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach.
  • The third task of the stomach is to empty its contents slowly into the small intestine.
  • Finally, the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported throughout the body.

Food Combination – Digestion Pairing
Digestion
A basic principle of food combining is to only combine foods that have similar digestion times.

Good Combinations
Combine foods that have similar digestion times or that are in the same food group (with the exception of proteins

Bad Combinations
Avoid combining starches and carbohydrates with proteins. Acidic foods and basic (alkaline) foods should be eaten separately as well.

Chewing
It’s important to completely chew all foods at all meals.

Food Combination Vs. Weight Gain

  • Several studies have shown that increased intake of fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, vitamins C and B6, beta-carotene and folate can help in reducing weight in a population of overweight adults and as supported by a study published in Nutrition Research.
Simple Rules to Follow:
  • Eat starches and proteins apart
  • Eat fruit separately
  • Try and leave 15 to 30 minutes between main course and dessert
  • Don’t worry about food combining seven day every week, five is fine

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you aware of the importance of digestion?

– Do you have any idea how the food digested inside your stomach?

– Are you familiar with the good food combinations?

– Does proper food combination helps in losing weight?


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