The digestive system runs from the mouth through to the rectum. In many ways it is the focal point of the body. It is our earthy center. Whatever we eat, we must have the ability to absorb and make use of it. Most illnesses, from chronic diseases such as cancer to many modern allergies, arise out of gastrointestinal debility, with a range of causal factors that include bacterial, fungal, and viral overgrowth.
Working out which foods suit you and can be processed efficiently by your body is a key factor in the upkeep of your digestive system and balanced health. As a general rule, you should avoid common food intolerances, vary and rotate foods, and increase fiber intake by eating whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. It may also be necessary to take probiotics occasionally. Pine apple, papaya, and apple cider vinegar will help digestion, while slippery elm inner bark will soothe and protect if necessary.
Meadowsweet, a northern European herb that grows plentifully in Britain, is capable of stimulating the cells in the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid and pepsinogen. It is also capable of treating over acidity with tremendous results. There are many other herbs that can stimulate and support digestion in a variety of ways, not least the common culinary ones such as oregano, marjoram, fennel, coriander, basil, garlic, and ginger. Additionally, drink a tea of meadowsweet leaf, peppermint leaf, or champ o mile flower after eating.
Good chewing is vital, and you can check on how good you are at it by looking at your stools. If you are able to recognize much of your food, then chew more! Even if you are desperately hungry, restrain yourself because your haste may easily backfire. In the short term it may produce gas, and in the long term, poor assimilation and ill health, not to mention a backed-up bowel, resulting in constipation or diarrhea. Take it slowly and chew.
The pancreas is mainly concerned with secreting digestive enzymes in order to break down protein, carbohydrates, and fats present in the duodenum. It neutralizes the acids issuing from the stomach. It is key to the overall balanced functioning of digestion in the body and therefore an extremely important organ for all the digestion-based diseases and disorders.
The health of the pancreas relies on an effectively functioning stomach, spleen, liver, and gallbladder, as well as the entire endocrine system. The pancreas produces two hormones required to control and balance the body’s glucose and fatty acid levels. One of its jobs is to release insulin, which reduces glucose production in the liver. When the body’s blood sugar levels rise, they affect the production of glucagons, which increases glucose production.
The pancreas regulates blood sugar, so its health dictates the balance of sugar levels. Many people, especially women, have low blood sugar levels. In these cases, pancreatic health must be at the forefront of a support program.
Refer to the section on digestive-system nutrition and to chapter 4, using the full spectrum of flavors from neutral to bitter. Eat seaweeds and garlic, both of which help to normalize blood sugar. Garlic does so by stimulating the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin. Poor pancreatic function often goes hand in hand with low or high blood sugar levels. Sweet herb (Stevia) helps to balance blood sugar and safely stimulates the pancreas while providing a sweet flavor.
Other supportive foods are fenugreek seed and leaf and sweet root vegetables like yams, while one of the best fruits is kiwi. Generally, eat little but often (six meals a day) to help support blood sugar levels. Be sure to eat some protein-rich foods in order to stabilize blood sugar levels. Liver health via food cleanses will, in turn, greatly assist pancreatic function. Excessive alcohol harms the pancreas and liver and can give rise to pancreatitis.