Digestion beginning before birth and increasing after birth when a child is breastfed, jump starts their digestion. Breastfeeding stimulates an infant’s digestive system as it builds immunity. Breastfeeding is an essential element of life that provides several nutrients to strengthen health, including oligosaccharides, which produces healthy small intestine (gut) bacteria to build immunity. When a child is unable to breastfeed, it restricts the development of digestion and immunity, resulting in health disorders throughout life.

Digestion is the chemical process of breaking down foods into an absorbable blood plasma extract of nutrients, while expelling waste byproducts within eight to 24 hours. Digestion can begin in your mind, when you think, discuss, smell food aromas, or see the colors and textures of foods. These elements stimulate a chemical reaction within your gastrointestinal system (digestive tract) activating the secretion of enzymes. Enzymes break down starch in the mouth, protein in the stomach, and sugar and fats (lipids) in the small intestine. This process is the composition of immunity.

Your small intestine (gut) is the powerhouse of immunity; its where waste byproducts from foods are separated and evacuated from your body, as nutrients are absorbed and assimilated into your blood. When your small intestine is unable to separate waste from nutrients, this mixture flows into your blood, increasing the prevalence of health disorders and bowel issues.

Consuming sugary, fried, fatty, greasy, denatured foods, as well as white flour products, processed and overcooked foods inhibit digestion. Additionally, sodas and energy drinks laced with additives, preservatives, artificial color, dyes, hormones, drugs, and medications also compromise digestive flow. These elements result in health disorders and are responsible for improper digestion, weakened immunity, constipation, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), nausea, vomiting, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis, bowel obstructions, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer.

Digestion and building immunity health tips:

Your body is 75 percent water. Fruits and vegetables contain distilled water, which should be calculated into you water intake plan. Too much water (hyponatremia) can be detrimental to your health.

Drinking and eating at the same time reduces the enzymatic process increasing digestive complication. Drink enough water to ingest dietary enzymes and vitamins/minerals at a meal aids digestion.

Eating ripe foods in their harvesting seasons promotes good digestion, which allows you to receive more nutrients. Immature picked foods lack vital nutrients resulting in health disorders.

Vegetables nourish blood with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, etc. Chlorophyll, the green color in some vegetables oxygenate blood, were colored vegetables fight inflammation and other health disorders. Sea vegetables (weeds) provide a high concentration of minerals.

Overcooking vegetables reduce and can kill their nutrients. Steaming, lightly sauteed, baking or broiling are best.

Fresh and dry fruits are more cleansing and strengthening to your body. Peeling and cooking some fruits can reduce their nutritional values.

Whole grains are the staple of life. Whole grains like brown rice, barely, oats, etc. have valuable nutrients including dietary fiber, B vitamins, (folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). B vitamins assist in digesting proteins, fat, and carbohydrates, reducing serval health disorders.

According to FDA, refine grains have to be fortified with B vitamins. Refining is when food manufacturers strip all the nutrients from grain.

Fiber moves waste by-products through your colon promoting bowel consistency (apples, oats, barely, etc.)

Red Meat nutrients can be hard on digestion, which may cause bowel obstruction and lead to health disharmonies. Eat small pieces of meat, chew them slowly, well, and by itself.

Cold-water oily fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, etc.) have an abundance of omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acid, (Alpha-Linolenic Acid, maintaining healthy heart and immune system, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), reduces inflammation, and depression, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) contributing to brain weight, development, and function). When selecting fish, make sure they are wild-caught. Farm-raised may have some unwanted chemicals.

Dietary supplements can also assist in building digestion and enhancing immunity. Digestive enzymes assist in the break down of foods in their proper body location. Probiotics and prebiotics build health gut bacteria, promoting a healthy immune system. Multivitamin/mineral complex supports food nutrients to build immunity.

The bottom line: digestive health builds immunity from your food choices. Health disorders can be prevented through foods.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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