At the base of a wellness pyramid proteins and fats should be prominent.
One of the biggest challenges we face is being able to digest proteins. They come in many forms in meats, and legumes, nuts and seeds. But they all share some common traits.
Imagine you eat a piece of steak or a handful of almonds. You chew them thoroughly before swallowing, then they are passed down into your stomach.
At this stage just think of a single protein as a unit, a lump if you like. Into our stomachs we secrete hydrochloric acid and the primary digestive enzyme Pepsin.
These digestive agents start to break down the structure of the proteins and the result is a series of peptide chains.
Imagine a series of ping pong balls linked by strands of fine rope. At the end of the stomach digestive phase these peptide chains travel on into the small intestine.
You can stimulate stomach digestion with south and bitter plants, especially lemon juice and a simple formula like /Swedish Bitters. Even thinking about biting a lemon will have most people producing saliva. This is the process we want to get your gastric juices flowing.
It is important to note that if proper protein digestion doesn’t occur in the stomach the next phase will not happen in the small intestine. This often leads to inflammatory problems.
Next we enter the amazing twisty tube of the small intestine. This is my main area of focus for detoxification.
It is here that the peptide chains get broken down to Amino acids. These are what we want to absorb and they are literally the building blocks of our body. Whenever we need something new like a white blood cell for example we just automatically gather up the right combination of amino acids and presto, we have a white cell.
This is why protein is so important in our diets, and especially for vegans and vegetarians to ensure you have sufficient quantities to perform all of the valuable functions in your body.
Plus if you are dieting and working out you may need to increase your protein intake. Whey powder is OK.
In the small intestine which is an alkaline environment we rely on pancreatic enzymes such as amylase, lipase and protease for good digestion.
We need a healthy functioning stomach and small intestine to ensure we have delivery of the right proteins, plus the right diet to produce them.
We can supplement with all the enzymes and amino acids, but the best way is to have a good diet and healthy digestion, because there are so many other nutrients which need to be digested not just proteins.