About Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info

Improve Your Digestion without Spending a Cent

Monday, May 18, 2009 by: Barbara L. Minton
Tags: digestion, health news, Natural News

Most Viewed Articles

(NewsTarget) Feel like a thunderstorm is going on in your intestinal tract? Or maybe you are among the people who rely on Tums or Rolaids after each meal. The bottom line is that more than half of Americans are not properly digesting their food. One simple solution that has worked for millions is sequential eating.

Sequential eating is one of the basic tenets of Dr. Stanley Bass, who began his medical practice in the 1950's specializing in orthopathic and natural hygiene medicine, and physiology. He believed in treating illness and disease through the use of fasting and food, and was strongly against the use of drugs. Much of his life was spent researching his theories for preserving and restoring health using himself as a guinea pig. Dr. Bass is still going strong today, practicing medicine, providing consultations, and writing.

Sequential eating is an observational science

Dr. Bass was aware of a famous case during the American Civil War, in which a soldier received a gunshot wound that caused a large visible opening to appear in his stomach. Through this opening, doctors were able to observe that his food digested in different layers.

Much later, a physiologist named Grutzner fed rats morsels of food in three different colors. A black layer was fed first, then a white layer, and finally a red layer. Shortly after eating, the stomachs of the animals were examined. The different colored food was found to be in layers.

Dr. Bass performed studies upon himself by eating different foods, one variety at a time, in sequence throughout several different meals. When nature called, he examined what came out the other end. He found the watermelon he had eaten came first, then the tossed salad, cheese, and meat in that order.

Obviously these experiments do not live up to the rigors of the scientific method, and after the mental picture of Dr. Bass' experiment leaves the mind, laughter may follow. However, it is difficult to dismiss these studies because of the large numbers of people who have been helped by them.

Another reason to value these experiments is their ability to document what many children seem instinctively to know. Children can often be observed to eat one food on their plate until they are through with it or it is gone, and then move on to another. They prefer to begin with the lightest food, and typically eat meat or other dense protein sources last.

Sequential eating theory is based on different digestion times of various foods

The theory of sequential eating rests on the vast difference in times required to digest different types of foods. If foods that digest quickly are eaten with foods that digest slowly, they must wait for the slowly digesting foods to leave the stomach. During the time they are waiting in line to be digested, many of the foods that would have otherwise been digested quickly begin to ferment and produce gas and alcohol while waiting for slowly digesting foods to move through the system. Since it can take some foods up to 4 or 5 hours to leave the stomach, the gas, acid and indigestion caused by the decomposition of other foods waiting to be digested can be devastating.

In his book Ideal Health through Sequential Eating, Dr. Bass describes a typically well digested meal in which six different foods are eaten in sequence producing enzymes adapted to each particular type of food starting with papaya, tossed salad, and corn on the cob. Meat is the last food eaten. Each of the foods forms a sequential layer in the stomach. With this meal, the papaya will leave the stomach first, after 30 minutes. Then the second layer (tossed salad) will move into its place, leaving the stomach in about 30 to 40 minutes. This is followed by the third layer (corn) which then moves down and will be the next to leave the stomach. As the meal progresses, foods that require longer times in the stomach for processing are eaten.

As each layer leaves, the stomach size gets smaller and feels more comfortable. Each layer digests separately without mixing and without disturbing adjacent layers. No foods are allowed to ferment, and no excessive acids or gases produce.

If these six foods had been eaten all together by moving the fork around the plate taking a bite of each food, a much longer digestion time would have been required. During this digestion time, the papaya, salad, and corn eaten toward the end of the meal would have had to wait until the pieces of meal eaten earlier had moved out of the stomach. While waiting, they would have had time to ferment and produce unpleasant effects.

Basic rules of sequential eating

The most watery, least dense foods should be eaten first, and the most concentrated or dense foods should be eaten last. Watery foods such as fresh fruits and leafy salads are digested rapidly, leaving the stomach quickly and making room for the more concentrated foods.

A glass of vegetable juice or a piece of melon leaves the stomach within minutes if it is consumed first. It can then be followed by something that would normally be incompatible, such as avocado or nuts, and there will not be symptoms of indigestion. However, if the avocado or nuts were eaten first, fermentation of the juice or melon would be the result.

People tend to have a high protein salad or sandwich followed by a piece of fruit for dessert. They then experience indigestion, bloating and gas as the fruit ferments while the other food is being digested. To avoid this, eat the fruit first. Acid fruits, such as citrus, pineapple, blackberry, or pomegranate should be eaten before all other fruits and all other foods.

Beverages or water should be consumed before the meal begins.

Some good sequences

Acid fruits before less acid fruits
Vegetables before starch
Fruit 15 minutes before vegetable soup or salad
Melon before all other fruits including acid fruits

Some particularly bad sequences and combinations

Mixing dried sweet fruit, honey, maple syrup or bananas with nuts or seeds
Mixing starch foods with fresh or acid foods or fruits
Mixing dried sweet fruits with acid fruits
Eating dried sweet fruits with or after concentrated proteins
Eating raw, fresh or dried fruits after any cooked food
Drinking beverages or water during or after meals

Dr. Bass' tips for eating

Dr. Bass views it as supremely important to chew all foods until they are as close to liquid as possible. Foods eaten without proper chewing take longer to digest, require the use of more digestive enzymes, and are not well assimilated into the body. People who do not properly chew their food often find themselves totally exhausted from all the energy expenditure needed to digest the food.

Dr. Bass recommends consuming food with full attention directed to the act of eating, and the taste of the food. When the body and mind are integrated and attuned to the act of eating, good digestion is promoted. And when the great sensual enjoyment of eating and relishing the taste of food becomes the total focus, people instinctively recognize when taste begins to lose its enjoyment, and the eating will stop. Of course, for people to eat in this manner which is in sync with the other creatures of nature, foods that contain flavorings must not be consumed. When foods are adulterated with added flavors, the body is unable to recognize natural signals.

Digestion times of various foods

Dr. Bass assembled these digestion times which are the amount of time needed for a food to exit the stomach. These times represent the ideal situation under which only one food at a time is being considered; it is well chewed, and the person's digestive functioning is in top shape. On a conventional diet in which foods are combined haphazardly, or for persons whose systems are not optimal, digestion times are much longer.

The smaller the amount of a particular food eaten, the less time it will take for that food to be digested. The fewer the varieties eaten, the easier the digestion, and the less likely the person is to overeat.

Watermelon, fruit and vegetable juices: 15-20 minutes.
Semi-liquid blended salads: 20-30 minutes
Other melon, orange, grape: 30 minutes
Other fresh fruits: 40 minutes
Raw tossed salad: 30-40 minutes
Most steamed or cooked vegetable: 40-50-minutes
Starchy vegetables: 60 minutes
Grains, legumes and lentils: 90 minutes
Seeds: 2 hours
Nuts: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Skim milk or low fat cottage cheese or ricotta: 90 minutes
Whole milk cottage cheese: 120 minutes
Whole milk hard cheese: 4 to 5 hours
Egg yolk: 30 minutes
Whole egg: 45 minutes
Fish (cod, scrod, flounder, sole): 30 minutes
Fatty fish: 45 to 60 minutes
Chicken without skin: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Turkey without skin: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
Beef or lamb: 3 to 4 hours
Pork: 4 1/2 to 5 hours

For more information:




About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.

comments powered by Disqus

Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science News & Studies
Medicine News and Information
Food News & Studies
Health News & Studies
Herbs News & Information
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer News & Studies
Climate News & Studies
Survival News & Information
Gear News & Information
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more