Blog: Chef Jemichel ~ The Chef-Doctor
by chef jem

Overcoming Problems With Digestion and Assimilation

Quoting "Out Of Africa: What Dr Price And Burkitt Discovered In Their Studies Of Saharan Tribes" By Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD
Also Chef Jem on digestion as the Foundation of Health

Date:   4/9/2010 3:50:11 AM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 3063 times

The foundation for achieving and maintaining a healthy gut is good digestion. (A number of health practitioners have stated as much and more under the banner of "health begins in the gut" and similar statements). Identifying the need for improving digestion is therefore one of the first things look at in any nutrition therapy consultation. There is a lot we can do to make digestion easier! The easier we make digestion the better for the whole body and the more benefits we will get from our food.

The first and most immediately adoptable thing is that everything consumed will digest better if it is first "fletcherized" which is achieved by chewing food slowly and thoroughly so that everything is saturated with saliva where we have the first enzymes that are required for digestion. (Even milk needs to be fletcherized!) This activity is also referred to as mastication. We need to be masters of mastication which is the opposite of the conventional fast food mentality wherewith we "eat on the run"!

The environmental conditions of where we eat is worth considering. Some people have a Human Design that requires them to have very peaceful meals. I know that it is the case for me. Some people need to have their meals in a social environment where they can enjoy the company of others. In any case the environment and how we approach food is a factor that can affect digestion.

Part 3 - Then the first thing that I would encourage in looking at the foods you consume is to identify any thing that is causing you allergic reactions or any food sensitivities. Those foods should may have to be completed eliminated from the diet (and possibly retested later after whatever healing is accomplished and/or after the digestion forces have been improved). Or the foods may need to be prepared differently as is typically the case with grains, seeds, nuts, beans and certain vegetables. The easiest way to determine this is with the help of a nutritionist who is a food allergist. Otherwise one can read certain books on this that I may suggest and possible make determinations on their own. Many popular foods have been known to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities. That is especially true for all modern processed foods. It is common practice that these foods have been improperly prepared rather than according to the wise traditions of food preparation.

Also processed foods are typically prepared with questionable if not down right poisonous substances like MSG which is largely hidden under the ingredient labels called "flavoring". There is a lot to consider in this phase and especially if one is consuming food made by food manufacturers. That is why many of us into "food as medicine" say it is not likely that one can obtain optimal health without preparing their own food or by having someone they know prepare the food for them.

That then brings this conversation to the all important area of food preparation (Part 4). When I interview people asking for my assistance I ask: Do you enjoy preparing your own food? If they don't then I would suggest that they have someone prepare their food for them (and I would work with them to discover how to make that work for them). However if they like to cook but only feel that it is a matter of time then I work with them in reducing the time that is required to prepare their foods.

Now Sally Fallon:

"Acid porridges made from grains are far superior to western grain preparations.
Fermentation increases mineral availability by neutralizing phytic acid, increases vitamin content, predigests starches and neutralizes enzyme inhibitors.

Insoluble fiber can cause pathogenic changes in the intestinal tract unless properly soaked in an acid medium.

Oat bran, which is high in phytic acid, as well as related bran products can cause numerous problems with digestion and assimilation, leading to mineral deficiencies, irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune difficulties such as Crohn’s disease.

Case control studies indicate that consumption of cereal fiber can be linked with detrimental effects on colon cancer formation.

... the typical African stool specimen was large and soft, and that stool transit times were rapid, compared to the puny hard fecal deposits and slow transit times of hapless Europeans. The large amount of fermented food, easy to digest and contributing to the health of intestinal flora, is the most likely explanation for this phenomena.

Fermented dairy products in European groups and fermented fish among the Eskimos accomplish the same results.

Another fermented food consumed throughout Africa, and universally ignored by most investigators, is a paste made from dried shrimp and hot peppers.

This strong spicy condiment is a rich source of fat soluble vitamins shrimp has ten times more vitamin D than organ meats!

Vitamin D protects against cancer of the colon and rectum, nervous disorders such as MS and osteoporosis all of which are extremely rare among Africans."[1]

November 5, 2015 -

You may like to check out the Digestion Sessions
by Sean Croxton and Underground Wellness. The experts focus on how to heal your gut with real whole foods as part of a functional medicine approach that includes bone broth. The sessions are underway this week![3]



[3] Thanks to "The Flavor Chef":

Weston Price, Saharan Tribes, Fermentation, mineral availability, Acid porridge, neutralizing phytic acid, fermented food, digestion, bone broth, health, healing

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