I’m sure you don’t stop and think about your digestive system too often and how this amazing ecosystem and its many functions that keeps you alive.
One of those important functions is peristalsis.
What Is Peristalsis?
Peristalsis is used to describe the movement of food through the digestive tract. In simplistic terms, it means moving food and liquids within the body from one place to another.
These rhythmic, wave-like movements are created by peristaltic muscle contractions which are located within the walls of your digestive tract.
Where Does Peristalsis Occur
Peristalsis occurs throughout the digestive tract. It begins with the primary peristaltic wave in the esophagus as you swallow food from your mouth to the stomach. As food enters your stomach these muscular movements continue right through to your anus, where waste is eliminated from the body.
However, peristalsis muscular contractions are more active in the small and large intestines, where the main functions of digestion and waste elimination are carried out.
The Stages Of Digestion
Peristalsis plays a key role in each stage of the digestive process by ensuring food moves through each stage efficiently.
Once digested in the stomach peristalsis moves foods towards the small intestines where fats, carbohydrates and proteins are converted and absorbed into the bodies cells.
Once these nutrients are absorbed, the next stage of the digestive process is carried out by the colon are large intestine. The colon is responsible for preparing whatever is left over after the nutrients have been absorbed. These leftovers are usually insoluble fibers, indigestible foods, dead cells and bacteria.
The main job of the colon is to absorb water from the chime, a term used to describe digested food after it leaves the stomach. The colon can absorb up to one litre of water and this is used to soften the stool, this helps to move it along the intestinal canal more easily.
Its important at this stage for peristalsis to push the stool along, so that its eliminated quickly.
The Health Implications Of Slow Moving Bowels
A balanced digestive system follows a strict timetable when it comes to digesting food and eliminating the body of waste. There is a good reason for this. Waste matter that is not eliminated from the colon within 48 hours will begin to ferment and rot in the colon.
As waste matter rots it gives off toxic gases that build up in the lower gastrointestinal tract causing excessive gas and abdominal pains. These toxins also encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that irritate and inflame the sensitive lining of the colon cavity.
Conditions That Can Slow Down Peristalsis
An unbalanced digestion occurs when the balance of the guts micro flora are disturbed. This imbalance can lead to digestive disorders that slow down and disrupt the body’s peristalsis reflexes.
Here are common examples of what those disorders can be;
- Acid reflux – this can affect the peristalsis reflexes in the esophagus.
- Crohns disease.
- Irritable bowel system.
Why You Need To Restore Balance To Your Digestive System
The microflora that populate your gastrointestinal tract are the key to your digestive health. Once that balance is disturbed your digestive health is compromised exposing you to the threat of disease causing bacteria. An unbalanced digestive is the cause of all digestive disorders and diseases.
An unbalanced system becomes sluggish and no longer works efficiently. This leads to the malabsorption of nutrients, a weakened immune system, which in turn makes you feel tired and susceptible to infections.
The diet many people eat is a primary cause why they suffer from poor digestion. Processed foods don’t contain the necessary digestive enzymes found in raw foods that are so vital for digestive health. These foods are harder to digest which slows the transit time for the elimination of waste.
Prebiotics Are The Key
Eating foods high in fiber and prebiotics will improve your digestion and restore the balance of good bacteria. Prebiotics are insoluble fibers that are proven to boost the growth of your good bacteria and strengthen your immune system.
Fiber is natures own colon cleanser, as it moves through your lower abdomen it scrape’s away the gunk that is clogging up the digestive tract wall and slowing down your system.
One of the best sources of prebiotics and fiber is the kiwifruit. This highly nutritious fruit also contains phenolic compounds that occur naturally in the skin. These phenolics are clinically proven to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
When your body is not having to use up lots of energy to fight off these superbugs it can refocus that energy on healing and repairing your body. The means more energy and faster recovery from illness.
Eating 3 to 4 kiwifruit a day, including the prebiotic and phenolic rich skin will give you enough of these digestive health boosting nutrients.
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