Digestion Uses a Lot of Energy

digestion uses a lot of energyHave you ever noticed that people who don’t eat very much  tend to be healthier and live longer even though they may not eat high quality food? When I made that observation I didn’t understand the physiology involved, especially since my focus had been on helping people be optimally nourished.

Let’s explore this phenomenon.

But first, don’t panic thinking that I’m going to ask you to starve! We’re just going to explore some new insights into what works best to keep us at high energy levels with clear thinking.

Digestion Uses a Lot of Energy

The body … has a certain amount of energy it can produce at any given time. The key to great health is in how efficient we are at using that energy.” https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/how-to-intermittent-fast/

Each of our bodies  produces  a certain amount of energy that has to be apportioned:

  • for tissue regeneration
  • to keep the immune and the digestive systems running well
  • to provide our muscles with energy for physical movement
  • to maintain mental focus
  • and to carry out many other bodily functions.

Think of that big Thanksgiving meal. Everyone is ready for a nap after eating it. Some blame the sleepiness on the tryptophan in the turkey, but if you have turkey with a smaller meal you probably don’t get that sleepy. So maybe it’s the size of the meal (and all of the carbs in that Thanksgiving feast) that makes us sleepy.

Digestion takes a lot of energy. So eating a big meal diverts a major portion of the body’s energy production to deal with digesting all of that food.  So the act of digestion puts a lot of demand on the body’s energy systems.

Also, Some foods are harder to digest than others. Cooked food, especially over-cooked food can be harder to digest and consume more energy. Over-cooked meat taxes the digestive/energy abilities. Pasteurized  (heated, cooked) milk changes the configuration of the milk proteins making them harder to digest and changes the form of the calcium making it more difficult to assimilate.

Raw vegetables and fruit contain about 75% of the enzymes needed to digest that food. Therefore, the body only has to add 25% to complete the digestive process. So raw foods can conserve body energy and ease digestive stress. Of course each body has its own unique metabolism.  If digestive tracts have been over-stressed with junk food and over-cooked food, they may require mild steaming of vegetables to aid digestion until they heal and can gradually add raw vegetables and fruit back into the diet.

Summary: Digestion uses a lot of energy. How much of your allotted energy do you want to devote to digestion?


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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