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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Digestion and Vision

The lincidence of eye disorders and diseases increases with age. Eye problems have been linked to mal-absorption of various nutrients needed for the eye due to an unhealthy digestive system.

Dry eye syndrome: low levels of digestive juices
Glaucoma: lack of absorption of thiamine (vitamin B1).
Night vision problems: chronic liver disease (constipation)
Red and irritated eyes: lack of digestive juices

The fact that eye problems are prevalent among the elderly population who also have digestive problems attests to the importance of the digestive health in healthy vision.

Your digestive system is one of the parts of your body that is often neglected. But good health begins on the inside.

Digestion is a complex process involving chemical and physical changes, such as breakdown of food and drinks into their small parts, absorption of nutrients by your body, conversion of food to energy for your body’s use, and disposal of waste materials from your body. Your digestive tract is a long tube running from your mouth to your anus. Make this long tract clean and you will have healthy eyes.

The Digestion Process

The digestion process begins with your ingestion of food in your mouth. Your teeth and tongue break down or masticate food, and your salivary glands initiate chemical digestion by immediately secreting saliva with liquid enzymes to break down starches into sugar. Once the food is chewed and softened, your tongue rolls it into a ball, and then pushes it to the throat to be swallowed.

The food then passes into the esophagus, a muscular tube connecting the mouth with the stomach. The esophagus moves the food to the stomach by a series of muscular contractions.

When the food reaches your stomach, the gastric acid containing enzymes mixes with the food and begins mechanical digestion in which the food is churned to break down the proteins in your food. Proteins are the only substances digested in the stomach, but proteins are only partially digested in the stomach.

The undigested food then passes into your small intestine. Bile is released from your liver to prepare the digestion of fats, and pancreatic juice containing enzymes begins the digestion of carbohydrates, while the digestion of your partially digested proteins continues. In addition, the walls of your small intestine also release enzymes to complete the digestion in your small intestine.

Nutrients from your digested food is absorbed into blood vessels on the walls of your small intestine, and then carried to all your body cells and organs, including your eyes.

The material that has not been absorbed moves into the large intestine or colon. Here, water and salts are absorbed, and the remaining solid waste, converted to fecal matter, goes out of your body through the anus.

Incomplete Digestion

Incomplete digestion occurs when there is insufficient stomach acid to digest proteins, and inadequate pancreatic juice to digest fats and carbohydrates.

The presence of undigested food causes an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in the lower small intestine and in the colon. The toxins from these bacteria may begin to stress the liver, which has to work overtime to remove those toxins produced.

Efficient Digestion

Poor digestion may cause insomnia, which creates stress and strain for the eye. Therefore, efficient digestion should be encouraged. Improper dentures, over-sensitive teeth, and diseased gums may also affect your ability to chew your food adequately.

Always chew your food thoroughly.
Eat several smaller and lighter meals, instead of one or two heavy meals. As you grow older, reduced blood supply to your small intestine may adversely affect your capability to absorb nutrients from your food.
Do not gulp liquids, or talk, while chewing food. Always eat in a relaxed manner—not watching the television or working on the computer. Be aware of the taste, texture of every morsel you put into your mouth.
Eliminate dairy products from your diet, especially if you are allergic to them; avoid too much high-fat food.
Avoid excessive eating when you are stressed.
Avoid smoking and too much alcohol drinking, which may irritate your stomach lining.
Eat a small piece of fresh ginger with lemon before a heavy meal to activate your salivary glands to produce enzymes to aid your digestion.
Avoid cold drinks during a meal. Drink at least half an hour before or after, but not during, a meal.
Do not lie down immediately after a meal; do not eat before you go to bed.

Learn to follow Nature’s prescription of suitable times for your meals. Your lunch should be the heaviest meal, since your digestive fire is at its maximum potency. A late dinner interferes with your body’s mechanism to detoxify and digest food from the day, making you tired the next morning you wake up. Most importantly, eat only when you are hungry, not necessarily because it is meal time.

Take care of your digestive health to enhance your vision health..

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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