Best Foods Digestion
Learning best foods digestion is one of the most important factors in your overall health. It is estimated that one of three Americans experience some form of stomach distress. Companies that provide Prilosec, Tums, and Rolaids, makers of antacids, are worth billions of dollars.
There is an epidemic of chronic illness in our country. At the turn of the 20th century, around the year 1900, less than 4% of the country was chronically ill. Today, 2017, some 53% of the American population is chronically ill. We can attribute most of that figure to our poor diet, and our inability to digest our food.
Some of the many diseases or conditions that can be caused by poor digestion are:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chrones Disease
- Chronic Obesity
There are 3 key components to the digestive process:
1. Hydrochloric acid levels Hydrochloric acid plays a key role in digestion in the stomach. As food enters the stomach the HCL breaks it down, kills any pathogens, and allows the nutrients to be sent to the blood stream and then to the cells of the body.
As we age, the levels of HCL decrease due to the amount of cooked, processed food we ingest. Usually around the age of 40, the HCL levels in the stomach have decreased enough to where some of the food we eat sits in the stomach instead of being digested, and rots, turning into lactic acid.
This is the acid that can force open the esophageal sphincter, and cause heartburn, indigestion, and GERD, gastric esophageal reflux disease. In severe cases esophageal cancer can be caused. Without adequate levels of hydrochloric acid, we are opening ourselves up to many potential health problems.
There are both good and bad bacteria in the gut. The good bacteria, also known as probiotics help aid digestion, and absorption of food. They also help sweeten the breath, and eliminate gas problems.
They normalize bowel movements, and acidify the colon. They also assist in the ability to digest dairy products, especially those dairy products that have not been aged sufficiently.
3. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are also a key player in the digestive process. These catalytic enzymes are found in the pancreas, the mouth, the stomach, and the small intestine.
As we age, due to stress, and because we eat large amounts of cooked food, we spend these important enzymes, and eventually are in an enzyme deficit situation.
These enzymes break down proteins, sugars, carbohydrates, and fats primarily in the small intestine, speed the digestive process, and allow it to complete.
Whole, raw fruits and vegetables have their own enzymes, and don’t require supplementation in order to be digested properly., and are truly best foods digestion. Cooked foods, on the other hand, are either low in enzymes or completely deficient in them, and do require enzyme supplements to do the job of aiding digestion.
Foods that aid digestion
There are many foods that can actually help with digestion.
Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes. These raw foods contain their own digestive enzymes that catalyze the digestive process, and don’t deplete your stomach’s stores of precious hydrochloric acid, or digestive enzymes such as pepsin.
Best foods digestion also includes fermented foods. Fermented foods aid in digestion, and boost immunity. The most common fermented foods are yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, natto, kefir, tempeh, miso, cacao, sourdough, apple cider vinegar, and various other vegetables.
It is relatively easy, and inexpensive to ferment your own foods. As an example, sauerkraut is quite easy to make.
You will need a cabbage, preferably organic, a large mason jar, a cutting board, sharp knife, some sun dried sea salt, and some filtered or distilled water, about a half a liter for this batch.
Do not use chlorinated water. Simply take a cabbage, cut it up into small pieces. Place the cabbage into your bowl, save a few good size pieces dry to place on top of the mixture in the jar to help give it an air tight seal. In your jar, pour a half liter of filtered or distilled water, and about a tablespoon of your sun dried sea salt.
Stir the sea salt in the jar’s water, and pour it into the bowl with your cut up cabbage. Massage the mixture in the bowl with your hands.
With your hands, take out the cabbage and place in the jar, pressing down as you go to keep the air out. Once you have the jar almost full, add the water from the bowl into the jar.
Fill it close to the top, about 90% full, and then add the dry pieces of cabbage that you saved to give it an air tight seal, or as close as you can get it. Seal the jar tightly, but not too tightly, and some pressure will build with time, and expand the mixture.
Be sure to place a plastic bag or something else underneath the jar to catch any water that may seep out. Leave on your counter for about 5 to 7 days.
Once you open the jar, you can place it in the refrigerator, or a cellar that is approximately 55 degrees fahrenheit. This will halt the fermentation process. Many other vegetables can be fermented in a similar fashion.
If you don’t want to ferment your own food, or only on occasion, no problem. Fermented foods are available at most supermarkets, but best to buy them at markets that specialize in organic products such as Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, Trader Joe’s and many others.
It is a good idea to eat at least one fermented food with each meal.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, many of these products have been adulterated with chemicals, preservatives, and much of the ingredients are from GMO, genetically modified organisms which render many of these drinks as ineffective, and may even be harmful for you.
If you can create these drinks yourself, you can assure yourself that the result will be pure, and it is your best bet. If not, try to buy organic, non GMO products from health food, or organic stores. Fermented foods and drinks qualify as best foods digestion.
Some foods help coat the inside of your colon, and are soothing to your intestines, such as raw aloe vera, slippery elm bark, raw eggs, Irish moss, and chia seeds.
Easily digestible foods
Some foods will not necessarily aid in digestion, but they will at least not create a burden to your digestive processes. Fresh non farm raised fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon, free of antibiotics, and hormones that is either prepared raw, or baked can be easily digested.
Free range chicken, free of antibiotics and hormones that is not fried, and ideally baked, is easy on your tummy.
Lean meats that are free of antibiotics, and hormones, grass fed, and not fried, are much easier to digest than typical fatty red meats that are so common in our American diet. More best foods digestion.
Coconut oil: expeller pressed, unrefined, organic coconut oil contains fatty acids and anti microbial properties that aid digestion.
Ghee or clarified butter: unlike regular butter, at room temperature, ghee won’t spoil and rancidify. In fact, ghee retains it freshness and flavor for as long as a year. Ghee aids in digestion by stimulating the secretion of acid in the stomach that help break down food.
Bone broth: bone broth contains a gelatanious substance that attracts and holds moisture that helps seal and heal the gut. which supports optimum digestion. Bones from organically raised, grass fed, anti biotic free, and hormone free animals should be used.
Zucchini: zucchini is high in fiber, and provides an effective cleansing on the entire digestive tract, especially the intestines. It prevents cancer causing toxins to settle in the colon, and it acts as a mild laxative, and cleans the walls of the colon. The majority of nutrients are found in the skin, so it is best not to remove it.
Ginger: ginger helps produce, saliva, gastric juice, and bile to assist in digestion. As a tea, it’s phenolic compounds like gingerol, and other volatile oils, are the reason why it provides such a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
These are the best foods digestion. You will gain many health benefits by including some or all of these foods in your diet.
Fixing your digestion is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Digestion is foundational for a healthy body.