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Prevention is better than Cure – Keeping the digestive system in the pink of health

Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.

The digestive system starts from the mouth, through the pharynx (throat), esophagus (gullet), stomach, small intestine and large intestine to the rectum, measuring a total of 30 feet (9 meters). The digestion of carbohydrates starts from the mouth where it is grind with saliva. Next, it enters the stomach where gastric juices continue to break down the carbohydrates and proteins. Following this, the semi-digested food enters the small intestines where the carbohydrates, proteins and fats are being mixed with a battery of enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the gallbladder. The spleen also participates in the digestion of food mainly by maintaining the blood clean and healthy. Before and after the digestion process, the spleen is enlarged. The small intestine is the longest portion of the gut (20 to 22 feet long). Digested food is mainly absorbed in the small intestine; the remnants then move on to the large intestine where bacteria do the last bit of the job. The remaining waste is then voided through the rectum. The whole process takes about 12 hours under normal circumstances. That is to say, waste from the morning breakfast should be discharged before going to bed on the same day, that of lunch should be voided by the next morning upon waking, and that of yesterday’s dinner should be voided after breakfast.

The human digestive system is similar to that of the grass eating animals’. Acidity of the gastric juices in man is only one twentieth of that in a meateating animal. The human gut is about 10 to 12 times the length of his spine. That of a meateater is only 3 times its spine so that its rapidly putrefying content can be voided quickly. Man has neither claws nor sharp front teeth; but he has sweat glands, and these are not found on the skin of meateaters, which perspire through the tongue. From these analysis, the human gut is more suited to deal with food that is high in fibre content. Thus, the rule of thumb is maintaining good health is to eat high fibre plant food. The problems of the digestive system, such as stomach infection, stomach ulcer, stomach cancer, intestinal ulcer, diabetes, constipation, colon infection, parasites, piles, colon cancer, etc., are caused by eating meat and processed (depleted of fibres) food.

First of all, let’s take a look at gastric problems. Those that are of ‘emergency’ in nature have symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea and discomfort in the stomach after taking food. Their causes include burn-injuries, surgery, side-effects of Aspirin or other drugs and infection or chemical pollution. Those that are ‘non-emergency’ in nature are mainly a result of an infection in the intestine or stomach cancer. Another cause is excessive gastric acids that encourage the occurrence of gastric ulcers. In order to digest meat that are high in protein content, there is an increase of gastric acids (acidity in the stomach of a meat-eater is 20 times that of a human) to beef up digestive efficiency. Unfortunately, not only does the stomach become over-worked, the resulting high acidity also damages the stomach lining causing ulcers to occur. If the stomach is subjected to prolonged period under such high-stressed condition, gastric acids will run out giving rise to a condition whereby there is a deficiency in stomach acids such that bacteria (e.g., Helicobacter Pylori) can survive and multiply. In America, 50% of those above 50 years old carry this bacteria in them. The main culprit for this condition is the consumption of chicken and milk. Milk which can neutralise stomach acids allow bacteria to escape the acidity control.

  1. Once gastric problem (or even gastric bleeding) occurs, what shall we do? Dr Bieler, in his book entitled “Food Is Your Best Medicine”, mentioned that it is possible to use powdered active yeast as food to stop the bleeding. For three days, take only life yeast powder; each feed comprises of mixing one tablespoon of yeast in warm water. Depending on necessity, you can take up to more than 20 tablespoons. Thereafter, eat only high fibre plant food, eating in small portions in many intakes. It is a burden for the stomach as well as the whole digestive system to deal with complicated food. For instance, different digestive juices digest carbohydrates and proteins. With fruits being taken at the same time, they cannot be completely digested. The stomach is being over-worked. Food that is popularly available falls within this category, like meat buns, beef noodle, burgers, meat dumplings, ham, sandwiches, hot dog, pizza, etc. After eating them, one feels that the food is not digested, and tired out. Meat-eaters do not eat carbohydrates. Plant eaters do not eat meat. Man, who has the digestive system of plant eaters eat meat. No wonder he has so many problems with his digestive system. Semi-digested food accumulates easily in the gut and rots, providing a conducive living condition for harmful bacteria. At the same time, semi-digested proteins also give rise to allergies. The large intestine is made to discharge digested high-fibre food, if the food intake is low-fibre meat, white rice and white flour, constipation will happen. Few people move their bowel three times a day, they are satisfied with just once a day; many have it once in several days. The large intestine is supposed to be 2 inches in diameter, but prolonged accommodation of residential faeces, narrowed down the passageway to the diameter of that of a pencil. Once constipation occurs, parasites ranging from twenty-foot-long tapeworms to invisible fluke take up residence readily. Not only do they take up the sumptuous food available in the host, but they may also puncture the walls of the gut and other organs, multiplying and discharging toxin during metabolism; thus, causing among other great sufferings, asthma, arthritis, allergy, etc., to the host. The only cure is a thorough clean up of the gut. This can be achieved by drinking 2 tablespoons of apple cider in warm water (to prevent parasite from multiplying) every day. A weekly one-day ‘water-fasting’ or ‘fruit-only’ diet will also be helpful to clean up the gut. Adopting a simple natural diet of grains (not too many kinds for each meal); eating fruits on its own; taking combinations of vegetables and carbohydrates or vegetables and beans/nuts; is a good idea. Avoid eating high protein food and carbohydrates at the same time. If such regiment can be observed, you will feel energized after every meal without any discomfort due to indigestion. Take only three meals a day. A good start with fruits for breakfast, different kinds of cooked or uncooked vegetables with seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.) and grains for lunch as well as dinner. Fruits can be taken as snacks in-between lunch and dinner. Beans with a high content of proteins and carbohydrates are more difficult to digest, sprouted beans are easier to digest; and the same goes for grains, which can be soaked in water (for a day or two to encourage germination) before cooking. Those who cannot stop eating meat immediately may bear in mind that high protein food should be eaten on its own, not to be taken together with grains, bread, etc. This will help to avoid discomforts due to indigestion, such as allergy, rheumatism, constipation, obesity, fatigue, premature aging, etc.