Proper digestion is the first step to complete health. We all should have a functioning digestive system - the mouth and salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, intestines, glass bladder, liver and pancreas. The purpose of the digestive system is to convert food and liquid into usable nutrients for our bodies to use. The nutrients will build and maintain our health. The digestive tract is a 25 foot long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus.


Before you even put food in your mouth your body is working hard. You can smell the food and you can feel the food. Already your brain is sending signals to your stomach and to the mouth, letting it know food is on the way. Your stomach starts producing hydrochloric acid, or stomach acid, and your mouth starts producing saliva.


The food is entered through the mouth. The teeth, with the help of the tongue, perform the chewing process. Saliva helps moisten the food and then it is swallowed and sent down the esophogas into the stomach.


The food then enters the stomach and is pushed around by the muscles to break down the food. The hydrochloric acid literally melts the food. The inner lining of your stomach secretes protective mucus to keep the stomach from melting by the acid. Digestive enzymes are also secreted. The types and quantities of enzymes produced depends on the type of food that is in your stomach.


After the food has been melted in the stomach it goes through a sphincter valve into the small intestine. Villi cover the inner wall of the small intestine and they absorb the nutrients. Villi are very important. The nutrients is then passed on to the liver for processing and distribution to the body. Waste is pasted on to the large intestine.


The large intestine is also called the colon and it is 4-6 feet long. It absorbs fluids and minerals. The appendix is at the beginning of the colon. It produces lubricating mucus to help fecal matter move through the intestine. Too much toxic overload in the small intestine will force the appendix to become abscessed, which will require removal.

Regular bowel movements are very important for health. When the body sends us a signal that we need to remove fecal matter. It is crucial that we listen and get rid of the matter as soon as possible. If the fecal matter is stored in the colon for too long, sacs called diverticula open up and the fecal matter will be stored in these sacs. Toxins from the fecal matter will be absorbed into the sacs and will be stored in the body. Stagnant feces leads to disease and cancer of the colon.


Once nutrients is absorbed by the villi in the small intestine, it is passed on to the liver. The liver secretes bile to break down oil and fat molecules into smaller particles. Bile also alkalizes the hydrochloric acid from the stomach into the small intestine and makes the digestive enzymes in the small intestine more efficient. The flow of alkaline bile is necessary for health of the body.

Thousands of enzymes are created in the liver that help break down food. Other enzymes created help detoxify the body, help get rid of chemical pollutants, and stored toxins in the body. They are sent to the colon for elimination. Remember if you do not remove fecal matter from the body asap you will re-absorb the toxic waste into your body. Alcohol and chlorine, from pool and drinking water, are very harmful to the liver.


The gall bladder is located on the under surface of the liver. It's purpose is to store bile for the liver. When bile is needed the gall bladder contracts, forcing bile to the areas needed.

People who have their gall bladders removed are at a distinct digestive disadvantage. The hydrochloric acid, coming from the stomach, will burn the small intestinal walls and destroy the villi, which will make the absorption of nutrients difficult. This is how ulcers in the intestines are formed.


The pancreas is located behind the stomach and it's purpose is to create enzymes to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These enzymes are called pancreatic enzymes. Pancreatic juice travels to the small intestine and joins with the bile to help break down food.

Insulin is manufactured in the pancreas. It is passed directly into the blood steam. Insulin is responsible for helping the body regulate sugar and other carbohydrates.


 If you have a compromised immune system, degenerative disease, or a weak digestive system due to years of abuse you must lightly steam your raw veggies in order to absorb all the minerals from the food. Raw foods can only be broken down by a healthy, working digestive tract. Once a person doesn't show signs of a poor digestive system, then they should be eating more raw foods, like veggies, fruit, soaked nuts and seeds.

  • loose stool or diahrea
  • constipation
  • frequent gas pain - due to improper food combination - see below
  • undigested food particles in stool - due to drinking liquid with meals
  • stomach pain while digesting
  • heavy tiredness and loss of energy
A weak, unhealthy digestive tract leads to disease and cancer

  • Always eat fruit alone
  • Never eat your meat with your potatoes, so no starch + protein (BAD PRACTISE)
  • Protein should be eaten with veggies only (no starchy ones, like potatoes and carrots)
  • Carbohydrates (bread, pasta, and rice) should be eaten with veggies and legumes only
  • Dairy (if consumed at all) should be eaten with veggies only (no starchy ones)
  • Carbohydrates shouldn't be eaten with nuts and seeds
  • Apples are the only fruit that can be eaten with veggies

Fruit                                 10-60 min
Veggies                            1 - 1.5 hours
Starchy veggies                 1.5 - 2 hours
Carbohydrates                  2 - 3 hours  
Protein (nuts and seeds)    3 - 4 hours
Protein (meat and fish)      4 - 6 hours

These digestion times are how long it takes each food group to digest ALONE. If you mix these food groups  together it takes MUCH longer. Drink 1/4 cup of hot water 1 hour + after eating to see if you still have food in your stomach. The hot water will cause you to belch. If you smell or taste food, then you know it is still in your system.


Almost everyone drinks while they eat but it is now known as a bad practise. We will have to un-train ourselves to do so if we want to live a long healthy life. This is actually the 2nd rule on Van Clayton Powel's list on How to Live a Long Life. Liquid dilutes the stomach acid making it harder for our food to digest. More energy is used so we are left feeling tired after eating. Food takes longer to digest as well. Fast digestion is key to absorption of nutrients. If food is left in the stomach for too long it will rot. Drinking while eating also causes leaky gut syndrome and acid reflex.

When the valve opens, from the stomach to the intestine, to let digested food pass through the liquid from our drink pushes solid undigested chunks through the valve with the digested food. The whole food can damage the intestinal walls.

We should stop drinking half an hour before meals and start drinking again 1 hour (or longer) after eating.


Grazing is for cows. Snacking adds more solid food to the digesting food. It creates a build up and is a contributing factor in a poor digestive tract. Piling more and more food on top of food leads to rotting food, energy spent and less nutrients absorbed.

* NOTE - If you eat the same food type during meals, such as only fruit for breakfast, if should digest within the hour, leaving more time for snacking or drinking before your next meal. If you combine different types of food, such as fruit AND protein or fruit AND carbs you will have to wait 4.5 hours before your next meal.

See how easy it is to create a poor digestive tract. After many years of abuse your insides have taken a heavy tole and we need to learn how to correct how we handle our food. We wonder why and how cancer and disease is sky rocking...well this is why!

Book sources:
Conscious Health by Ron Garner
You are NOT what we Eat by Van Clayton Powel


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