Digestion
  

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By: Otto Wolff, M.D.

We need food to live, food that once contained life itself. Our food plants 'ate' while they were growing—absorbing light and transforming it into life.

But why bother eating? Why can't we just liquefy our nourishment and inject it directly into our blood? Because life doesn't simply give life. Life is different in each plant, animal or human. Cat protein is different to dog protein. And for us the differences are far greater than those in animals, because of our highly individualized nature. Our complex digestive systems are made to prevent the potentially dangerous passage of 'foreign' protein (for instance animal life) in an unchanged state.

Three kinds of digestion

Every living organism needs three kinds of food: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. No living thing can survive on just one or two of these. Accordingly, there are also three different kinds of digestion.

1. Protein digestion is the most intense. It takes place in the stomach with its special juices. Hydrochloric acid and pepsin 'denature' protein which, through curdling, becomes accessible to a further, finer destruction in the intestine through the pancreatic juices. The importance of this dissolving is that it eliminates the individual state of the protein. It is no longer ‘chicken’ or ‘beef’. Only now can this mass be carried from the intestine, into the 'inner system'.

If this step-by-step denaturing pro­cess is weakened through lack of hydrochloric acid, natural bacteria in the co­lon attack the protein. This can cause putrefaction, however, sometimes form­ing highly poisonous substances which must be detoxified by the liver—a bur­den to the liver. The body reacts to this incompletely broken down protein with repulsion, sometimes striving to excrete it through the skin in the form of a red rash.

In the twentieth century more and more people have developed such weak­nesses or "allergies" to food. Some nu­tritionists recommend not drinking dur­ing meals to keep the hydrochloric acid as concentrated as possible. Eliminating animal protein from the diet will also often reduce allergic reactions. But re­stricting the diet is not enough. It is bet­ter to stimulate the organism and its di­gestive activity.

2. Fat needs less digestive activity, but its droplet form must be broken down so it can be absorbed by the intestine. Bile, formed by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, meets the food mass in the duodenum and emulsifies the fat af­ter which it is split into fatty acids and glycerin.

Fat digestion is sensitive to the rhythm of the day. The evening is not a good time for french fries or mayonnaise because the gall bladder rests at night and is not disposed to work then. The or­ganism will try with all its might to squeeze out the last drops of bile, often the cause of gall bladder colic. The same meal, eaten at lunch would not be a prob­lem because there is plenty of bile at one's disposal then.

3. Carbohydrates are easiest to digest. Their digestion begins with an en­zyme contained in saliva which transforms carbohy­drate into glucose. We all know that potatoes or bread become sweet after chewing for a few minutes. Astonishingly, most veg­etables and fruits are built on a sugar resin base which, as it densifies, be­comes indigestible cellu­lose.

Any foreign substance, including food, in the body is a "poison" until broken down by digestive activity. It requires an intense inner activity to arrive at the life in our food.

A common manifestation for the lack of such activ­ity is losing one's appetite. During fever, when the body is busy breaking down and discarding illness factors, it often elimi­nates old, foreign or sick protein so that new can be formed. The feverish person will assist in this process by a natural an­tipathy towards protein. Following a fe­ver, appetite is often stronger. Lack of appetite can also have its source in prob­lems of the soul. During times of sorrow or pain inner activity will be missing - we are "fed up" and want to take in noth­ing of the world. Children lose their ap­petite as a healthy reaction if they are overfed.

Tips to stimulate and strengthen a weak digestion
Food preparation is still an art in which taste is combined with digestibil­ity. Herbs and spices are extraordinarily suited to that. Traditionally, mustard and horseradish has been valued as a help in digesting meat, and curry (a mixture of ten different spices) as a stimulant for liver and gall bladder. Red pepper, es­pecially chili, is more general, caraway seed, fennel and anise are especially good in preventing gas. Even the aroma of a meal stimulates digestion (our mouths start watering!) The best meals nourish not only the body but also the soul.


1 Dr Olaf Koob recommends a salty soup, no sweets, in the morning and sweet food at night to support both the gall bladder (active in the morning), and the liver (active at night!)





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