Food to help the Digestive System

With school returning soon and everyone getting back into the routine of life looking at the types of foods we are eating is worth considering.  If our digestive system is working well the rest of our body will be as well.  Life can be less exhausting with healthy tummy function! Green leafy vegetables are back in vogue and there are many that are worth adding to the shopping list.  Most leafy greens have a bitter taste which helps stimulate digestive function.  There are a number of constituents found in these veg that make them taste bitter.

These bitter components stimulate the bitter receptors on the tongue.  This action stimulates a number of chemical reactions,  staring with the release of the hormone gastrin.  Gastrin then stimulates the release of gastric acid, pepsin in the stomach, pancreatic secretions and also increases in the flow of bile to break down rice and fatty foods.

The bitter effect aids in general cleaning of body tissues and improving efficient cell metabolism. Most green leaf’s are very high in iron, vitamin E and C, beta-carotene and folic acid.  They also help to break down  and eliminate mucus and congestion.

Some greens have a compound called oxcalic acid and this can cause irritation to the membrane in the digestive system.  Kale, Silver beet, and fully grown English spinach need to have their stokes removed to minimize the negative effects and treated as “not every day foods”.  The baby versions have less oxcalic acid and are therefore a better choice.  Variety is always the spice of life and the tummy loves variety for increased health and function.  Chinese greens are a great alternative and grow up here so they have nutrients that help us thrive in this environment.

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