The digestion of man is a miracle. Expressed in figures, it uses a total of 30 tons of solid food and 50, 000 liters of liquid in the course of a lifetime. And apart from chewing, the processes are completely self-contained without the human being having to deal with them. Provided, of course, that no complaints occur. That can happen. Because too fat or lush food make stomach and intestine just as problems as the rapid slipping down in stressful phases. Older people, diabetics, pregnant women or overweight people complain more often about digestive problems. One reason for this may be a lack of enzymes because they are the main actors in the digestive system.
Enzymes at work
Be it bread, meat, fruit or vegetables, man does not just eat for pleasure, but also for energy and nutrients. But how does a complete cheese roll get into the body? For this it must be crushed. The digestion begins already in the mouth. There, the food is first ground and split into the first building blocks.
This process can even be tasted. If you chew long enough on a piece of white bread, you will notice how it slowly takes on a sweet taste. This is the work of enzymes contained in saliva. The so-called amylases divide the starch from bread, potatoes or rice into their smallest constituents - the sugar molecules.
When swallowing, the chyme continues to slip into the stomach, where it is thoroughly mixed and mixed with digestive juices. These include stomach acid, which kills germs, for example, as well as protein-splitting enzymes (proteases). Once the stomach has completed its work, it goes on to the small intestine, the center of digestion.
Here are added to the chyme just at the entrance of the intestine two important fluids: bile, for emulsification of fats, and an enzyme cocktail from the pancreas (pancreas). It contains other proteases as well as amylases and lipases that break down fatty compounds. Because only the smallest building blocks of human food can pass through the intestinal mucosa into the organism. In the case of the cheese roll, the sugar components from the cereals, amino acids from the milk protein and free fatty acids from the butter. In addition, of course, vitamins and minerals.
But not always this process runs so well. If the food components are not decomposed optimally, this is often expressed by flatulence, bloating or abdominal pain. Because uncleaved carbohydrates and proteins get into the colon, it exploits the local intestinal flora - these are useful bacteria that colonize the intestine. Among other things, gases are produced that are normal to a certain extent, but can also cause discomfort. In order to dilute the undigested chyme, the organism partly releases water into the intestine. Diarrhea is the result. In addition, limited fat digestion can lead to uncomfortable fatty stools.
There are several ways to improve your digestive work. For many people already helps a change in eating habits. Well-tolerated food and smaller portions are the means of choice. Very fatty or ice-cold foods, legumes, cabbage, onions and fried should be as rare as possible on the menu. Better are low-fat sausages and cheeses, lean meats such as poultry or fish and easily digestible vegetables such as carrots, squash, zucchini or fennel. On the other hand, whole-grain products that support healthy digestion should not be left out. For example, well-crusted breads such as Graham bread, wholemeal pasta or oatmeal are well tolerated. Instead of three large meals, several small ones are recommended.
This is because the body's own enzymes are more likely to digest a meal. Also good chewing makes the stomach and intestines work easier. On the one hand carbohydrates are already pre-split, on the other hand, the enzymes are better suited to the finely ground food components. Since alcohol can negatively affect the work of the pancreas, the enjoyment should be restricted.
Enzymes for oral use
If, despite all precautions, there are digestive problems or if you just want to treat yourself to a feast, enzyme preparations from the pharmacy help you quickly and reliably. However, these should not be taken permanently. Anyone who suffers from gastrointestinal discomfort for a long period of time should be examined by the doctor in any case, in order to rule out diseases.