The stomach is where protein digestion, through the use of hydrochloric acid (HCL) begins.
Did you know …
- The stomach is a muscle?
- The body creates HCL so it can accommodate digestion of protein?
- 40 seems to be the average age when the body begins decreasing production of HCL?
Let’s start with understanding the basic anatomy of the stomach:
- Anatomical Position: The stomach is located on the left side of the upper abdomen where it attaches superiorly to the esophagus (where it receives food) and inferiorly (below) to the duodenum
- Anatomical Structure: The stomach is a hollow, pouch-like structure lying beneath the diaphragm and under the ribs. An empty stomach is a sac measuring about six to eight inches in length by three to four inches in width.
Here’s the thing … when we chew and swallow food, we all know it lands in the stomach. But what happens while it’s there?
For now, let’s dive a little deeper.
The stomach’s function is to mix food you consume with acid juices it manufactures in preparation for assimilation in the small intestine.
The action of the stomach is called peristalsis. This is an involuntary construction and relaxation that creates wave-like movements and therefore pushes the contents toward the next landing spot.
Are Defects Normal?
Of course not. But you can easily tell when something is not right with the stomach because unpleasant things will start to happen. Here is a list (though not all inclusive) of some of the most common discomforts we may experience when our stomach is unhappy:
- belching, bloating, gas
- pain high in abdomen
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
Depending on what particular issues you may be experiencing, there may (or may not) be a few simple techniques you can try at home. They are common sense approaches to digestive health:
- Slow down! Many people simply eat too fast. Eat slowly so your stomach and those acid juices will have a better shot of producing quickly enough to keep up with you.
- Eat under relaxed conditions. When we consume food but are negatively stressed, it places an undue hardship on our digestive process. Unwind and put a smile on your face the eat relaxed and slow.
- Avoid liquids with your meals. Why? Because liquids can HCL which makes it more difficult for food to be digested and for those nutrients to be assimilated.
- Consider correct food combining. What’s food combining? In the most simplistic definition, it is eating protein and veggies with no starches, or, eating veggies and starches with no protein.
- Eat food that contain enzymes. This means adding some raw food to your meals like salad. As a matter of fact, it’s not a bad idea to consume a broth, your food combined meal, then lastly the salad. This organization of nutrients is pretty powerful.
The Surprising Reason You Shouldn’t Chug Water with Your Meals. (2020, May 31). Stephanie Eckelkamp – https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20456813/why-you-shouldnt-drinking-water-with-meals/
Food Combining Chart. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from https://detoxinista.com/food-combining/
Catherine Smith, ND LMT
Louisiana Massage License _____