Proper digestion of the food you eat is an important factor in staying healthy. By improving your digestion, you will improve your energy level, the health of your organs and stay in shape. Digesting food quickly is a sign of your metabolism’s dynamism. How to digest better and above all digest faster: here is some information to help you!
What is digestion?
Digestion is a biological function of our body in which the food we eat is broken down into nutrients that circulate through your intestinal wall and reach the bloodstream. The digestive system is where food is transformed into nutrients that your cells can use: proteins, mineral salts, carbohydrates, fats and other assimilable substances.
1 – The mouth
Digestion begins in the mouth by chewing. Food is then mechanically cut, shredded, crushed by the teeth and impregnated with saliva to form the food bolus
2 – The throat (or pharynx)
Once the food has been ground up, it goes down the throat and then into the esophagus. At first, the swallowing of the food begins voluntarily and then the process continues automatically.
3 – The Esophagus
The esophagus is a tube from the throat to the stomach. The muscles of the esophagus contract to carry food from the throat to the stomach. This process is called peristalsis.
4 – Stomach
The stomach will secrete acid and enzymes to break down the food so it can go into the digestive system. The food is then mixed and blended so that it can pass into the intestine.
5 – The small intestine
The small intestine is a long tube coiled in the abdomen. Together with the pancreas and gallbladder, it continues the process of digesting food. The pancreas secretes enzymes to break down ingested proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The bile secreted by the liver helps digest fats and eliminate waste products from the blood. Bile is stored in the gallbladder, a pear-shaped reservoir located under the liver. The resulting nutrients pass through the wall of the intestine and circulate in the bloodstream where the body uses them to produce energy. Once the nutrients have been absorbed and the waste products have been removed, the rest of the food moves into the large intestine and then into the colon.
6 – The colon and large intestine
The colon is a tube connecting the large intestine to the rectum. The stool and waste products that remain after the digestion process arrive in the colon. They are initially in a liquid state, then as water is removed from the stool they become solid. The stool is then stored in the colon and eliminated in the rectum.
7 – The rectum
The rectum connects the colon to the anus. The purpose of the rectum is to inform us that there is a stool to be evacuated by sending a message to the brain. It stores them until they are evacuated.
Why are some foods less easily digested?
The reasons for slow digestion are many and not exhaustive but the quality of the diet is one of the first factors. Indeed, digestion problems appear when you put too much work into your digestive system when it is overwhelmed to digest everything quickly or digest it better altogether (some tips for a balanced meal).
Foods that are too spicy, too fatty, too acidic, under-cooked, or over tasted are difficult to digest and trigger uncomfortable symptoms for your body. Once in the digestive tract, these foods irritate the ultra-sensitive mat of the intestinal walls. This irritation, which is perceived as an inhibiting action by the nervous system, causes the liver, pancreas and gallbladder to slow down and produce the enzymes needed to break down food.
Digestion is a process that requires a lot of energy and under these conditions, all the energy deployed by your digestive organs does not translate into rapid assimilation of food, it closes and causes digestive disorders.
Why is fast digestion good?
Contrary to what one might think, digesting faster makes for better digestion. Slow digestion has never been a good omen. When you digest slowly, it means that your digestive organs are working hard enough. Either they are weighed down by your poor choice of food, or it’s because of a functional problem.
Digesting faster allows you to have more energy available, to feel lighter and livelier. To achieve this, you need to consume enough dietary fiber every day. They have an essential role in your body: improving intestinal transit, regulating gastrointestinal function. In a word, they are everything that helps you digest better. Fiber is found in vegetables, legumes, fruit, and cereals.
Also, we can’t tell you enough: you have to eat slowly. When you take your time to eat, you chew food better, while becoming aware of the sensations of textures, tastes and smells. All of these factors awaken the full awareness of food and promote good digestion.
Avoid stress as much as possible. Stress slows down your metabolism and creates a bottleneck effect in your digestive tract (discover the other effects of stress).
Drink tea 30 minutes after meals to help with digestion.
Exercises to aid digestion
You can digest better and facilitate the proper flow of fluids to your abdominal organs with targeted exercises to improve digestion :
It combines muscular work, breathing and relaxation. Yoga relaxes the body and removes certain functional blockages in the digestive tract. The ample breathing exercises of yoga, such as twisting postures, abdominal breathing, and forward bending postures, massage the digestive organs and stimulate transit.
Practiced in many Asian, American and European countries, the movements of tai chi allow to amplify and fluidify the blood circulation in the body and the intestinal blood vessels to bring vitality and dynamism.
By walking a lot and regularly, you tone up your abdominal muscles by working them gently. Walking as physical activity helps to maintain the digestive organs and promotes the evacuation of feces. By walking daily, you tighten your intestinal muscles and boost your digestive function. Finally, you eliminate the risk of constipation.