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Feel-Good Food - A Guide to Intuitive Eating

by Susie Miller and Karen Knowler

listed in nutrition

[Image: Feel-Good Food - A Guide to Intuitive Eating]

Cleaning the inner debris

Our digestive system is incredible. Digestion actually begins in the mouth as food reacts with our saliva. Upon swallowing, the system takes the food down through the stomach, duodenum, intestines and colon, ingesting the nutrients it is able to and then finally passing any waste matter out through the anus.

The colon (large intestine) is the last port of call for all unused foodstuffs and byproducts of digestion and it is responsible for eliminating toxic wastes that include millions of dead cells and tissues, as well as absorbing nutrients which the small intestine could not. It is here in the colon that many of our health problems begin.

Due to our poor eating and drinking habits, stress, pollution, intake of drugs, inappropriate medications and smoking etc, over time the colon may become impacted with a great deal of uneliminated matter which actually hardens and adheres to its walls.[2] This is sometimes referred to as mucoid plaque and quite probably it afflicts every single person eating a standard Western diet. With each passing year, the coating becomes thicker and more impacted until, in some cases, what was previously a 61/2-cm-wide passageway is only a few millimetres wide. As the digestive system is no longer able to adequately utilise the food working its way slowly through, this naturally leads to constipation and malabsorption problems. Such an environment is also an ideal breeding ground for unfriendly bacteria and, ultimately, disease.

A healthy transit time for food to pass through your body from the time of eating to elimination should be 24 hours or less. In the UK the average transit time for women is 70 hours – that is three days – and for men; 60 hours. In fact, the UK is the most constipated nation in the world and has the highest incidence of bowel cancer anywhere, with 20,000 new cases per year. It is estimated that as many as one in every three people sitting in a doctor's surgery is there because of some kind of bowel problem.[3] If a system is clogged up in such a way, there is a great risk of autointoxication. This means that toxins will continue to seep from the colon out to all parts of the body, leading to a wide range of health problems. What it also means is that whatever diet you eat, if your colon isn't clean it is impossible to achieve vibrant health. This is one of the least known aspects of optimum nutrition. In Chapter 4 you can read about two different ways to assess your own particular state of inner cleanliness, and by returning to your natural diet your colon and digestive system will eventually become cleansed.

Cooked food confusions

How does your body react when you ingest a cooked meal? The startling truth is that the body views cooked food as an invader and sets the immune system into action. This condition is known as digestive leucocytosis and refers to the behaviour of the white blood cells within the body when cooked or processed food is eaten. Rather than staying put and doing their usual job of maintaining immunity within all parts of the body, white blood cells immediately detect 'danger' and rush to the intestines, preparing to wage war! Unless you are already eating a largely raw diet, this means that your body's immune system is being compromised every day of your life.

The practice of eating cooked food had become so commonplace that all scientific studies that looked into this phenomenon assumed that digestive leucocytosis was 'normal'. It wasn't until Paul Kouchakoff, a scientist studying at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne in the 1930s, experimented with people eating raw foods that he discovered it didn't happen with them.[4]

*Extracted with permission.

Sandra Goodman PhD
The Women's Press

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