You Are What You Eat ???

By Dr. Paul Mach, DN

We have heard that saying many times, “You are what you eat”. This is not true. The truth is you are what you absorb. Absorption and assimilation of your foodstuff is the key ingredient. A good diet is an imperative thing, but once the food is in your gut your body has to be able to break it down, absorb the good stuff and dump the waste. As all too many of you know we end up with problems and roadblocks along the way. You may know some of these all too intimately as acid reflux, colitis, flatulence or gastritis, bloating or belching, or constipation and the big D..Diahrea. Difficulties may originate due to the liver, gall bladder, pancreas or stomach’s digestive process itself. But don’t necessarily blame your body, some of the fault may be your own. Today we will explore some of the things that cause these unhappy bodily experiences. Most of us would take better care of our tummies and other organs if we knew what to do. Information becomes cloudy. My job is to empower you. This information is not diagnostic, but will be darn helpful. See a good doctor who will listen and educate and look at you as the complete person you are if problems persist. This information is not meant to confuse or overwhelm you. These are suggestions, and our simply looking at symptomatic relief and not necessarily getting to the root or cause of the problem they say. Any port in a storm, and if the storm is in your stomach these will be welcome.

1. As Mom used to say, “ chew your food.” Digestion begins in the mouth and if you wolf down your food down without chewing you don’t give it the opportunity to mix with the first digestive enzyme used by your body, salivary amylase. This starts the digestive process, and signals other components of the body to get ready to work.

2. Food then is transported down the esophagus into the stomach. Here two processes break down the food. The first is the churning of the stomach itself. The second is the body’s production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin, a digestive enzyme. These factors used in sufficient quantity are critical to proper digestion and assimilation. They are what convert solid food to chyme, so it can pass through the intestines and be absorbed.

3. Problems ahead! This is often where we unknowingly start to foul up things.
a) Don’t drink too much liquid with your meal. This inhibits the stomach acids from doing their job of breaking down this foodstuff. Soda is the biggest culprit doing all but stopping this digestive process from occurring. You simply cannot drink soda with meals and not end up paying the price either now or in the future.
b) Certain foods just do not mix well together. According to Dr. Arthur Cason, MD eating carbohydrates and proteins at the same meal retards and even prevents digestion. “Tests always reveal that the digestion of proteins when mixed with starches is retarded in the stomach, the degree differing with various individuals, and also the particular protein or starch ingested. An examination of the fecal matter reveals both undigested starch granules and protein shreds and fibers, whereas, when ingested separately, each goes to a conclusion.” Do not engage in consuming meats and proteins with simple carbohydrates at the same meal if you do not want tummy troubles.
c) Eat fruit alone and not with proteins or carbohydrates. Fruit especially melons are high water foods and are actually predigested and should never be eaten with or following anything. It is essential, according to Harvey Diamond that when fruit is eaten it is eaten on an empty stomach otherwise poor digestion, bloating and gas will result. Follow with a meal in approximately 30 minutes to stabilize the glycemic index.
d) Avoid known food allergies. These commonly are dairy, wheat or corn, eggs, sugar, or certain proteins.

e) Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and decaffeinated or regular coffee should be curtailed or eliminated.
f) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will irritate the stomach lining especially over prolonged periods of use. Aspirin doesn’t help either.
g) Viral, fungal and parasitic infections are actually as common in humans as they are in animals. H. pylori, Candida Albicans, Treponema pallidum are but a few of the creatures that lurk, grow, and live long happy and prosperous lives at your expense. These are easily treatable once you have defined what inhabits your body.
h) Stress is a known contributor to an upset stomach. When stressed eat large meals only if you are willing to pay the price.
i) Your pancreas secretes the enzymes: Protease (for protein), Lipase (for lipids) and Amylase (for starch & sugar). These are imperative to digesting each particular foodstuff. If they are not breaking down food due to a weakened body and insufficient production or excess use of antacids, your food will digest incompletely and will be nothing more than food for bad bacteria or will putrefy.
j) Hydrochloric acid is an important element in digestion. When we have stomachaches it is more often then not that we are under producing acid rather than over producing. At the age of 30 due to everything we’ve been through our body along with changing hormone levels starts producing less HCL, not more. Many people do things backwards and use antacids to spell relief when in actuality more digestive enzymes and acid are needed to assist the body. his is one of the most frequent problems that occur to your post 30 digestive system.
k) Your liver is your best friend if you recall. It does thousands of jobs, one of which is to produce bile for the gall bladder to release which assist in the breakdown and absorption of fats. Without enough bile you can end up with parasites or a stool that is difficult to pass. The SAD (Standard American Diet) also makes our gall bladders sluggish with too much fat. What is the status of yours?
l) Speaking of tough stool, do you get your 10 plus glasses of water every day? If not, you’re just plain full of it. Water is imperative for all bodily functions and if your are dehydrated your body absorbs water from anywhere it can and unfortunately this may be from your stool obviously not making your body out of sugar and spice.
m) Lastly, because I’m out of space, don’t forget your fiber. Great sources of this are fruits, vegetables and legumes. These work as scouring cleaners through your 21-foot long small intestine and your 5-foot long large intestine. Colon cancer is on the rise, and removal of this organ is not a good thing. Eat your veggies.

Sorry, lots of rules, and this is just a partial troubleshooting list. As Einstein said about gravity, “not just a good idea, but a law.” If we don’t follow the laws of nature we will break ourselves upon them. Digestive difficulties are rampant, just watch a few television commercials. Remember they aren’t trying to get you well, or find the cause to your problem, because then they will make no money. They are merely patching you together and treating your symptoms at best. So please take responsibility for your health, your life, your destiny and your tummy troubles.
(PS if you have tummy troubles and decide to do nothing about it, do me a favor and don’t sit next to me at the theater.)