Creating the wellness diet (1)
Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine food – Hippocrates (c. 460 BC – 370 BC)
A knowledge of the biochemical reactions that take place in the body while processing food that we eat will go a long way to reveal the mind of our GOD as it relates to the components of the plant food that He recommended to man at the time of creation.
In the course of writing articles in this column over the years, I have touched on different aspects of these reactions.
For the benefit of readers of this column who may not have any knowledge of medicine, a summary of what happens to the food eaten will now be given.
There are three major types of food known as macronutrients that human beings eat. These are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Originally and in the times of the Patriarchs who ate only vegetables, these were gotten from plants.
However, after the flood GOD instructed Noah and his family to begin to eat animals. These were animals that also survived the flood, by the way.
From the mouth, where food is chewed down to the stomach and small intestines where digestion of food occurs, enzymes and hydrochloric acid are added to the food. These enzymes are protein compounds produced in the body which act as catalysts for the digestion of food.
Endogenous enzymes are limited in their ability to digest certain food types, especially those from plants. GOD, in all His creative wisdom added enzymes to the vegetables, which helped to digest food from such sources.
Digested food in the terminal portion of the small intestine is absorbed through the walls and cells of the intestine to the blood stream. From here the food is transported to the liver where they are detoxified before they are taken to the cells of the body. There are enzymes and minerals in the liver that are involved in the detoxification process.
Glucose, for example, is the final product from the carbohydrates that is released into the blood circulation. From the circulation, glucose is transported into the cells for further biochemical reactions. Insulin, produced in the pancreas is the endocrine hormone that facilitates the movement of glucose into the cells. Inside the cells, further metabolic reactions occur. These reactions, which involve glucose, oxygen and water, are catalysed by different enzymes to produce energy for all kinds of activities in the body.
In the course of these processes I have described, which in actual fact, are more complicated than I have shown, certain wastes are also released and this is physiological. These wastes include faecal matter, carbon dioxide, acids, free radicals etc. Under normal conditions, the wastes are eliminated as soon as they are generated and no harm is caused to the body. There are mechanisms in place (in the food that is eaten according to Genesis 1: 29) which aid elimination or neutralization of wastes.
Firstly, faecal matter, not meant for absorption is passed out through the anus. The consistency of the stools determines how fast they are eliminated. The factors that are involved in determining the consistency of the stools include the type of food eaten, plant or animal. Animal products tend to pass through much slower than the plants. The fibre in the plant products gives the stools the right consistency that ensures fast movement of stools out of the colon. There is no fibre in animal products. Another factor that helps in the consistency of the stools for easy passage is water, the amount of water an individual drinks. Adequate amount of water left in the colon after that which is absorbed with the food, will on its own soften the stools.
Secondly, the fibre in the vegetable meal eaten requires sufficient amount of water to function. Fast movement of stools out of the colon will among others prevent constipation and generation and accumulation of acids. This is one important cause of cancer in the body.
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