Chew, Chew And Chew Some




     We are fearfully and wonderfully made. There are so many fascinating things to learn about ourselves. I cannot wait until we get to heaven where time is unlimited and we will have an eternity to learn and understand the in-depth workings of the amazing bodies the Lord has provided us. But in the meantime, we need to be thankful for the understanding the Lord does provide to us of the simple actions of our bodies. What does happen to food once it leaves the mouth? The following information is very fascinating to learn about the travel of a meal in its journey through the body.

The Mouth

     Man was created with a keen sense of taste. This serves a double purpose; first that great pleasure would be derived from the experience of eating, which is a necessary act of existence. The only time food gives any special pleasure is while it is in the mouth; once it is swallowed, the joy is over. It would seem natural that there would be a desire to prolong this joy to its utmost, which would automatically fulfill the second purpose of the sense of taste by keeping the food in the mouth long enough so that it will be thoroughly masticated and salivated. This is necessary to normal digestion and elimination and is a part of the Creator’s perfect plan for our existence.

     Science has revealed that while chewing and tasting food the peristaltic activity of the colon is four times as vigorous as at other times. Consequently, if one chews and tastes his breakfast quickly for only ten minutes, he gets but little of this extra help toward elimination, while if he chews and tastes the meal for forty minutes, he receives four times as much help.

     “When food is taken into the stomach, the movements of the tube become vigorous. Indeed, while the food is still in the mouth and being chewed, and before the morsel has been swallowed, the movements begin, and are four times as vigorous during the taking of a meal as at other times. This is a very excellent reason why constipated persons should eat deliberately, taking ample time at meals and chewing long and well. Food is the natural laxative. The act of eating starts the action of the muscular machinery by means of which first the food and later the food residues are transported along the alimentary canal, and so long as chewing continues new impulses are continually transmitted to the stomach and intestines which quicken the peristaltic movements and activity of the whole digestive machine. The observation of Hirsch, Case, and others have shown that the colon contents advance as far during the hour of eating as during four hours just before the meal.” J.H. Kellogg, M.D., The Itinerary of a Breakfast, Funk & Wagnalls, 1918, 13, 14, 87, 88.

The Stomach

     After the chewing is finished the food passes into the stomach where it is mixed with the gastric juice, beginning the digestion of protein. After about four hours, the food should have passed out through the pylorus, which means gate keeper, into the duodenum where it receives the juice from the pancreas and the bile from the liver, and thence it passes into the small intestine where digestion is completed by the combined work of the saliva, gastric, and pancreatic juices and the bile. Now it is ready for absorption into the blood and to be used in rebuilding the body.

The Intestine

     The interior of the small intestine, which is about twenty feet long, is provided with many millions of villi, which absorb the foods into the blood. Mineral oil cannot be absorbed, as it is only a lubricant, and so it smears over these villi and hinders them from passing the food into the blood. After about four hours in the small intestine, digestion should be completed and the nutrients passed into the blood and the residue into the colon for elimination.  

     Note: Four hours in the stomach and four in the small intestine. The residue should not take over sixteen hours to complete the journey so that no food would remain in the tract over twenty-four hours.

     If foods move according to this schedule, the ordinary cases of sour stomach, intestinal decay, gas, and constipation will disappear, for this is normal. 

     “A breakfast should reach the colon with all of the good already absorbed by the body about noon and it should pass through and out of the body not later than after breakfast time the next day, and if we are perfectly normal the lunch and supper residue may go along with it. Anything slower than this is constipation, and is a retention in the intestine of residue for too long a time.

     “Under normal conditions there is an impulse to move the bowels after each meal. A well-trained set of organs in a well-managed body will react in this desirable fashion under perfectly normal conditions.”  C. Ward Crampton, M.D., Chairman National Committee on Education, National Congress of Parents and Teachers; and Director Health Service Clinic, Post Graduate Medical School, New York City. 

     But people do not live that way. If people secured an elimination for each meal, the majority of our ills would disappear; but most people believe that if there is one elimination each day they are doing well, and the majority do not succeed at that without taking some laxative or cathartic. (Americans spend fifty million dollars a year for seven hundred kinds of laxatives.) The X-ray has shown that most of the people who live on the one-a-day plan are holding the residue in the tract for fifty hours. Often there is delay in the stomach, producing fermentation. When fermented food reaches the small intestine and is held there overtime it decays; and when it remains in the colon for still more hours, its condition cannot be accurately described. …

     Natural foods … will not ordinarily putrefy in the tract in twenty-four hours, so that if they remain in the stomach four hours, in the small intestine another four, they still have sixteen hours to pass through the twelve feet of the colon and yet be within the safety limit of twenty-five hours. But after twenty-five hours putrefaction begins, so that the people who live on the one-a-day plan and, unknowingly, carry the remains for fifty hours, are allowing twenty-five hours for putrefaction for every meal, every day, year after year. Decayed food is passing into the blood and thence to every organ, gland, nerve, and cell day and night during every hour of life. That program makes health impossible and the coming of disease sure. On the other hand, if all residues leave the body inside of twenty-five hours, there can be no sour stomach, gas, and putrefaction, and life will be one continuous joy. Why not live on that high plane?

     Many people do not know that an elimination for each meal is the health rule. They would know it if they but stopped to think. An untrained child often has to go to the toilet before the meal is finished. There is proof that the rule is right. Here is another. When your nose gets the aroma of delicious food, your mouth “waters.” Why? Because the nose said to the mouth, “Something good is coming, get ready for it.” And the mouth prepared the saliva. Likewise, when the food is in the mouth an advance message goes to the stomach saying that food is coming, and it in turn prepares the gastric juice before the food arrives. In similar manner, when the food is in the mouth and also while it is in the stomach other advance messages go on to the intestine announcing that something is coming and that room should be prepared for it, and the only way room can be ready for it is for the intestine to pass its contents to the colon and the colon eliminate its contents. That is easy to understand once you think about it. Any rhythm slower than this is some degree of constipation. Establish this rule and follow what you are reading until you attain this ideal.

     Remember, for good health chew your food well!

Judy Hallingstad Adapted from Abundant Health, by Julius Gilbert White, Teach Services, Inc., 2005, 116–118.