Five Tips for Improving Digestion

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 by: Dr Emily A Kane
Tags: digestion, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Digestion is a key aspect of ongoing health: the mucous membrane from the inside of your mouth all the way down to the rectum, is where humans "interface" with the external environment.  Our guts evolve slowly, and in the past 50 years we have been subjected to an unprecedented access to junk food and fast food, mostly horrendous chemical concoctions passing as nutrition.  Besides choosing foods carefully, ideally grown locally and in season, ideally very similar to the condition in which it was harvested, gathered or hunted, we can greatly improve the bio-availability of the nutrition from our food by improving the mechanics of digestion.


First, and I know you've heard this before, but it is so important that it bears repeating: chew, chew, chew.  This means both slowly and thoroughly.  To be totally graphic about it, you want anything you swallow to be a soupy consistency.  Especially meat.  For starters, digestion starts in the mouth.  There are thousands of tiny neuro-receptors in the mouth that send messages to the brain about what is about to come down the pike.  These messages "prep" the entire digestive system to gear up for the meal or snack that`s on the way.  Fatty foods will trigger the liver to produce extra bile, and cause the gallbladder to contract.  The gallbladder is a handy little sack that hangs just under the liver, collecting an extra repository of bile in case you have a Mac-attack.  Bile is extremely potent stuff (so precious to the body that 95% is recycled -- the other 5% is responsible for the wonderful deep brown color of a healthy poop.  Excuse me, I mean bowel movement).  Bile is the main agent for digesting fat.


But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.  Back to the mouth.  Unlike cows, birds and certain lizards, we mere humans do not have small sharp objects in our stomachs to help pulverize food into smaller morsels.  We have those small sharp objects in our mouths.  You got it -- they are called teeth.  Please use your teeth to grind and pulverize every mouthful of food.  Then, you mix the thoroughly pulverized food with as much saliva as you can muster without drooling.  Drooling is a waste of saliva, so please recognize that most circumstances don`t call for drooling.  You want that saliva, which is loaded with amylase, the starch-digesting enzyme, to head down the esophagus and into the stomach where phase 2 of good digestion occurs.


Second, try to avoid antacids, and this includes Tums, Rolaids, the little purple pill and countless other varieties thereof.  You absolutely and desperately need your stomach acid.  There's a handy book on the subject by Jonathan Wright MD (You Need Your Stomach Acid).  Stomach acid serves three critical functions.  It sterilizes food, it breaks down protein into amino acids which can then be absorbed into the blood stream, and it provokes the pancreas to dump "neutralizing" bicarbonate of soda into the upper small intestine to allow the absorption of nutrients into the blood stream.  Stomach acid is very caustic -- a pH of about 2, optimally, which kicks in right after swallowing.  The stomach is designed to handle this level of acid.  If you suffer from heartburn, you need to repair the sphincter between the end of the esophagus and the stomach.  If you have gastric ulcers, you need to heal the lining of the stomach so that it can again accomodate the acid levels required for proper digestion.  Folks chronically popping antacids eventually impair their digestion, which leads to poor nutrient absorption, which ultimately leads to malnutrition including protein, mineral and vitamin deficiencies -- despite plenty of calories.


Third, please don`t drink while eating.  This goes along with rule # 2, above.  Fluids will dilute your stomach acid and all the digestive enzymes (amylase for starch in the saliva, proteases for protein from the pancreas and lipase for fats in the bile).  The best time to drink, and pure water is definitely the best drink available, is first thing in the morning, during or around work-outs, and between meals.  Sure, you can have a sip or two with meals to lubricate your swallowing.  But keep the fluids with food down to a minimum.


Fourth, try to eat sitting down and in a relaxed environment.  Please don't watch the news or have a heavy conversation during mealtime.  Try to establish a "mealtime" pattern for yourself.  Try not to eat within 2 hours of going to bed (4 is better).  Make sure to "fast" for 12 hours daily.  Give your digestive system a rest.  It is enormously "expensive" to digest food, especially protein.  That's why people usually lose weight on high protein diets.  It takes almost all the calories in the meat to digest that meat.  Extra digestion, over a lifetime, will wear you out sooner.  To date, the only proven method of life extension remains calorie restriction.  This doesn't mean Draconian self-denial.  But it does mean no pigging out, and, as a general rule, stopping before you feel "full."  If you feel peckish between meals, try drinking water before reaching for a snack.  If you are hypoglycemic, ignore that advice.  Some people truly need to eat smaller, more frequent meals.  You will need to determine for yourself whether "grazing" works better than a mealtime scheme.  Either way, keep in mind that digestion is a parasympathetic function.  You need to be calm and relaxed for the digestive juices to kick in optimally.


Fifth, strive to poop at least once a day.  Excuse me; evacuate a large, easy-to-pass, dark brown, slightly fluffy, bowel movement -- optimally three times daily but most of us can't find the time for that kind of enjoyment!  By fluffy I mean somewhat floating.  If you have a "sinker" -- just hits the bottom of the porcelain pronto -- then it (the poop) has been in there too long, compacting and getting altogether too dense.  My favorite poop fluffers include freshly ground flax seeds (1-3 tablespoons of the stuff in water or juice in the AM), or celery, or the good old apple a day.  If you prefer to have sticky, foul-smelling bowel movements, then make sure to include plenty of refined carbohydrates (including candy bars) into your diet.


Dr. Emily A. Kane at

About the author

Dr Emily Kane is a practising naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist. For more info see

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.