Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wedding Bells

Diagram of the Human Intestine. Drawn by Dunca...Image via Wikipedia

I often write about the "marriage" of ingredients.
If you eat 10 different ingredients in one meal, it will be very difficult to digest, except when you marry them:
by marry I mean a long time frying, cooking or pickling together, as then the body sees this product as only one ingredient and will digest  with more ease.
Digestion is the mechanical and chemical (enzymes and bacteria) breaking down of food into smaller components that can be absorbed into the blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a break-down of larger food molecules to smaller ones.
Food enters the mouth, being chewed by teeth (we never chew enough), with chemical processing beginning with enzymes in the saliva from the salivary glands. Then it travels down the esophagus into the stomach, where hydrochloric acid kills most contaminating microorganisms and begins mechanical break down of some food (e.g., denaturation of protein), and chemical alteration of some. The hydrochloric acid also has a low pH, which is great for enzymes. After some time (typically an hour or two), the results go through the small intestine, through the large intestine, and are excreted during defecation.
So to ease this process, we better prepare our ingredients together and for a long time; that is one of the reasons soups and stews are easy to digest; it brings all the good from the seperate ingredienst together and yet does not give problems in the digestiv track.

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