How to have an efficient and unstressed digestive system.
This is far more important than most people realise because a system that struggles to cope will have a detrimental effect on other parts of the body even those seemingly not linked to digestion, lower back pains for example.
There are two main considerations to the digestive process and they run in tandem.
The first one involves what it is that is being digested. To illustrate, say you put a carrot in the blender and take a sample of this juice to a chemist and asked him to analyze it. He will take a look at it and assume from its appearance that it might be carrot juice and test the sample against what is known to be in a carrot, very quickly therefore coming up with an analysis - vitamin A, fiber, iron etc.
Next you might put half a carrot, a tomato, an onion, some celery and a few herbs in the blender. Take a sample of this juice to the chemist for an analysis and he will say "What on earth is this, it will take weeks to check for everything."
Well, the little chemist in your digestive tract faces the same difficulties every day. He needs to analyze what you are eating in order to be able to direct the right enzymes, acids or alkalines to your chewed up meal so as to break it down into its constituent parts enabling them to be assimilated as required. The problem is, he probably has less than an hour to do it so digestion will have time to complete before the next meal arrives. When it does and the current one's digestion hasn't completed, it either gets moved on prematurely or mixed in with the incoming one – neither is a good option. The former results in undigested matter moving into the colon where it decomposes and releases toxins, some of which get into the bloodstream. The latter means the previous food spends too much time being bombarded with acids, now most likely the wrong ones because what is being eaten this meal may be radically different from the previous meal, again toxin production will be the result.
The other consideration involves the elapsed time that is required to digest certain foods. Fruit, the food we are perfectly adapted to eat can take as little as ½ an hour to be analyzed, broken down, absorbed and begin moving on from the stomach. By fruit I am referring to fruit that has been picked ripe from the tree. Store bought fruit that was picked way too green and/or has spent weeks/months in a cold room is going to take a few hours, perhaps it may pass though hardly being digested at all because it was picked so green that the sugars just weren’t able to form.
The next group are the vegetables and nuts which contain proteins and these take minimum 4 hours. Nuts will break down completely but vegetables won’t. The walls of the cells of vegetable matter is made of the protein cellulose and unlike grazing animals mankind does not produce the enzyme cellulase which is necessary to break it down. “Eat your veggies, you need the fiber” is true enough, for fiber passing through is mostly what you get.
Then there are the grains, the food of rodents, many species of birds and some insects. There is a large amount of data on the internet outlining why grains are not a suitable food for humans. For instance, they contain naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients one of which is phytic acid which can induce mineral deficiencies. The likes of wheat, rye and barley contain gluten, a protein which we find very hard to digest even if we aren’t gluten intolerant. That’s only the beginning of a long list detrimental attributes.
Finally there’s meat, dead animal parts in other words. This is carnivore food. The digestion of meat results in a flood of uric acid, true carnivores produce the uricase enzyme whose purpose is to oxidize uric acid so it can be flushed out of their system. Mankind doesn’t have this enzyme either so we rely on the kidneys to filter this out but they are unable to deal with all of it. The rest is stored around the body, in the joints is a preferred place which invariably leads to arthritic conditions. Meat is rarely completely digested in our system so by eating it we finish up with raw proteins in our colon that putrefy and have a preponderancy to encourage the growth of cancerous cells.
Apart from the above, sugars and fats should not be eaten together.
Dairy products should never be part of our diet under any circumstances.
Complex carbohydrates (starchy foods) and animal protein especially red meat should never be eaten together. YES, that means the combination of Steak and Chips (French Fries) or Roast Beef, Pork or Lamb with roast potatoes should NEVER EVER be on anyone's menu. Nor should Hamburgers, Hot dogs or protein filled sandwiches.
Those combinations of consumables bring on extra heavy work-loads for the liver, kidneys and prostrate gland. The higher phosphate to calcium ratio in the meats accentuates the work-load of the liver when complex carbohydrates are consumed at the same meal.
Bearing in mind all the above, what can we do to make out digestive system as efficient as possible and keep its workload to a minimum? To begin with we must drastically revise our eating habits. We must no longer eat, at the same meal, food that takes half an hour to digest along with food that needs four hours to digest. That also means if carbohydrates and/or proteins are the main part of a meal then having fruit as a desert afterwards is adding insult and injury to your digestive system.
To make the most of partaking of mixed component meals one needs to learn about ‘food combining’, this is seemingly a relatively new ‘science’ of what goes with which without detrimentally effecting one’s digestive organs. The Chinese sages have known about it for millenia, see the book "The Tao of Health, Sex and Longetivity". To comply will be complicated, time consuming and an inconvenience so is unlikely to be practiced by other than the totally dedicated. However there is another option that is easy quick and convenient (except at restaurants who wouldn’t dream of offering it.)
The answer is to mono diet, eat only the one thing for a meal, ideally that same thing for every meal of the day. Next day, if you choose, eat some other one thing as a meal, again preferably for all meals that day. This is what all other creatures on the planet do and it is absurd to think that it would not be anything but beneficial for mankind. For beginners it will be very difficult to achieve an all day mono diet every day of the month, old habits die very hard. It’s not too difficult though to mono diet one’s individual meals so then the main thing to watch for is that you allow an hour or so after a fruit meal (depending on the fruit quality) before you eat another fruit meal or something else entirely. Make a ‘no eating’ space of at least 5 hours after a meal containing proteins, carbohydrates, nuts etc - in fact any meal not being fresh fruit.
To illustrate the point there are numerous diets that have conferred great improvements to those with seemingly irreversible poor health. The ‘Grape Diet’ originated by Johanna Brandt in the 1920s and published as a book advocated eating grapes only, for months which successfully reversed the ravages of cancer. There are numerous juice diets, banana diets, wheat grass diets and at the far extreme there’s the Atkins meat only diet. All of these have had success in restoring the health of thousands of people, even the Atkins one (but that diet can only be good over a short to medium term.) What they all have in common is that they are MONO DIETS.
Modern mankind’s eating habits can only be described as utterly dreadful, misguided, disease promoting and life shortening.
Mono diets are easy on the digestive system and give the body a bit of space to carry out the removal of toxins that have been stored in the body for years. Beware though, if mono dieting on fruit (the great cleanser) one needs to monitor one’s blood pressure and pulse rate as, especially in the initial stages, the body can get overly enthusiastic with the toxin removal process. Dumping too many toxins into the bloodstream at once can be very debilitating and make one feel like they are dying. The common misguided conclusion to this happening is “I can’t eat fruit, I’m allergic to it”. NO ONE is ‘allergic’ to fruit, we are all genetically programmed to eat it and it is our body’s response to start vigorous detoxing that invokes any debilitating reactions.
Adopting a mono dieting regime will produce some surprises. Say for example one of your culinary pleasures was gramdma's favourite salad, if when mono dieting you decide to make a meal of each of the ingredients in turn, it is highly likely that you will find one or more of the ingredients entirely distasteful, a good indication that those ingredients are not good for you. So over the years, you have been eating them against your digestive systems wishes, you haven't noticed because the other ingredients masked their presence. The other 'discovery' you might make is that a meal of carrots last week was quite pleasant, they were sweet, juicy and flavoursome. This week they are sharp almost bitter (invariably the produce this time of a farmer employing poor fertilizing practices) and your digestive system just plain rebels to prevent you from eating enough to make a meal of them. This is how your system is supposed to work all the time to prevent you from ingesting unsuitable or harmful substances. It is extremely difficult to sort the good from the bad when they are all chopped up and mixed together - and so easy to make that determination when you attempt to make a meal of just one food item. If you can't make a meal of it you shouldn't eat it at all, not even one tiny sliver.
As to the thought you may get that "perhaps I should eat this or that because it contains XYZ which is said to contain 'essential' something or other". Your organism is inherently far smarter than any book you may have read or any diet expert you may have listened to. Admittedly, initially when you body is overloaded with waste and toxins, there will be mixed signals about what to eat especially from your runaway wayward memories. Just doggedly stick to the mono diet regime until your body cleans itself out and gets into equalibrium, then it will inspire and guide you what to select to eat to meet your needs.
Regarding all the master chefs, iron chefs, nutritionists etc who promote ‘eating a rainbow’ - the eating of a meal comprising a wide variety of ingredients of different colours - they deserve the big raspberry for they are nothing but insidious serial killers on a grand scale. Jamie Oliver whom I admire for his efforts to wean everyone off fast junk food, is really only hauling people back from the precipice, which is great but he needs to take it step further and pay attention to food combining if he wants his loyal followers to have a long and healthy life.
"Men dig their graves with their own teeth,
and die more by those instruments than by all weapons of their
Pythagoras of Samos (ca.530 B.C.)