This weeks feature - Protein Digestion

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Protein Digestion 13 - 06 - 2002

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Protein Digestion To all Crazy nut friends, warmest greetings, Today we will have an overall look at the digestion of proteins. The digestion of carbohydrates is so different from that of protein that, when they are mixed in the stomach, they interfere with the digestion of each other. Protein digestion starts in the stomach and acid enzymes are secreted when protein is eaten. Proteins require an acid medium for digestion so, upon ingestion, hydrochloric acid is secreted in order to activate pepsinogen; this immediately stops the digestion of starches. Almost all foods contain some protein but, when we speak of protein foods in our study of food combining, we are referring to concentrated proteins like nuts and seeds, cheese, flesh foods etc. The normal digestion, absorption and metabolism of protein requires thorough mastication of food, in order to break down for propulsion through the digestive tract, and for action by the digestive enzymes. As previously indicated, hydrochloric acid and pepsin ( and other acid gastric juices ) are secreted for the initial phases of protein digestion in the stomach, and other enzymes, such as trypsin, continue the digestion in the small intestine in a slightly alkaline medium. The pancreas also secretes protein-digestion enzymes. Before the body can use proteins, they must be reduced to their constituent amino-acids (the building block of protein) The body must break down the complex proteins in foods and synthesize its own protein out of the amino acids. Food combining rules are of major importance in the consumption of protein, since the complexity of this food element would seem to suggest that it be eaten only under ideal conditions. Free hydrochloric acid to the extent of only 0.003% is sufficient to suspend the starch-splitting action of ptyalin. Only a slight further increase in acidity not only stops the action, but destroys the enzyme. All physiologists agree that even a mild acid destroys ptyalin. It has never been shown that saliva is capable of digesting starch without the presence of ptyalin. The presence of undigested starch in the stomach interferes with the digestion of protein. Physiologists have shown that undigested starch absorbs pepsin, which is necessary for the digestion of protein. Because of their complex character, beans, a protein-starch combination, tax the digestive powers more than simpler foods, but the gas, discomfort and other trouble that so commonly follow eating them is not due so much to the beans themselves as to the company they keep. Baked beans are preferable to beans that are boiled and taken saturated with water. If taken thus relatively dry, well chewed and eaten in proper combination, beans are readily digestible. Let's now have another look at the food combining rules: The first 2 combining rules are probably the most important of all the rules and the ones, which should be thoroughly understood and implemented at all possible times. 1- Never eat carbohydrate foods and acid foods at the same meal. 2- Never eat a concentrated protein and a concentrated carbohydrate at the same meal. 3- Ever consume 2 concentrated proteins at the same meal. 2 concentrated proteins of different character and composition (such as cheese and nuts) should not be combined. Gastric acidity, type, strength and timing of secretion for various proteins are not uniform. Since concentrated protein is more difficult to digest than other food elements, incompatible combination of 2 different concentrated proteins should be avoided. Next week we will explore other combinations. Until then stay well and warm. The Crazy Nut Team

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