Have you ever asked yourself why is there such a high level of nutritional misunderstanding in our society? As consumerism infiltrates our lives and taste has takes precedence over nutrition, many people seem to have lost the innate understanding of what our bodies are designed to eat.
Before we eat, we should look at our bodies as a ‘machine’ and consume food to fuel our machine accordingly. If you fill your car with Coca Cola instead of petrol it’s not going to get you very far! It’s the same for the human body; 2L of cola instead of 2L water is going to have a consequence. Wrong fuel, wrong machine.
So, when viewing our body as a machine, how do we determine which ‘fuel’ is best for our body? Luckily there’s clues all along your digestive system from top to bottom to help you choose what to eat.
We can learn a lot about the types of foods best suited to our body by examining the length of our intestines. The human digestive system from mouth to anus is approximately 28-30 feet in length, and your intestines account for roughly 10-12 times your height. That’s a long distance for all the food you eat to travel! It’s easy to see how people can get constipated if they put the wrong types of fuel in their body.
By comparison, the intestinal length of carnivorous wild animals is much shorter, approximately 3-6 times their body length. Why does the difference in how we’re designed matter? Because it dictates the types of foods we should be eating. Carnivorous animals can tolerate a high-meat diet because their intestinal length is relatively short, which means their digestive process is much quicker. Complete digestion can occur in 2-4 hours; aided by extremely potent stomach acid to assist in quickly breaking down the flesh.
Humans on the other hand have intestines that are simply not designed to properly digest meat or highly-processed foods - in the large quantities that many of us do - without our bodily machine ‘breaking down’. And by breaking down I mean Constipation. Bloating. Polyps. Bowel Cancer. These are all common signs of wrong fuel, wrong machine. Unlike carnivores, humans require adequate dietary fibre to help move food through our digestive tract. Our stomach acid is also approximately 20 times weaker than carnivores, which indicates we’re better suited to a largely plant-based diet as it’s easier and quicker for our bodies to digest.
In my opinion, the best diet for our digestive system includes lots of fresh fruit and veggies. If you choose to eat animal proteins, limit it to no more than 5-10% of your daily intake. I see a lot of constipated clients each week, and they all find that their ‘machine’ starts working ten-times better once they start putting the right type of fuel in their body.