What is the Hour of Predigestion?
The hour of predigestion is the first hour after you eat your food. During this first hour of predigestion, your body does very little to digest your food. This is the time that the food should digest itself as your stomach churns. This can only happen successfully if the food you eat still has its enzymes fully functional.
Think of an apple tree. When the apple falls from the tree it makes impact with the ground. The pressure at the point of impact burst some of the apple cells apart releasing the enzymes that will break down the apple into applesauce. This is what creates the soft spot where the apple hit the ground. Once these enzymes are released, they will eventually turn the entir apple into applesauce to nourish the seeds inside the apple. As the seeds are nourished, they will sprout roots that will poke through the apple peel into the ground and take over nourishing the new plant.
When you eat an apple or any other food, your chewing should burst open the cells of the food and release the foods own enzymes. These enzymes go to work partially breaking down the food during the first hour that the food sits in your stomach. This is the hour of predigestion when the food is breaking itself down. We may not be able to fully break down the food if it does not first get partially broken down by its own enzymes.
How Does My Body Participate in the Hour of Predigestion?
You participate in the hour or predigestion by chewing. Your chewing releases the enzymes that came with the food. You also begin to release saliva that mixes with food. The saliva contains an enzyme (pairs of “scissors”) called amylase. The amylase enzyme digest (cuts up) the sugar in the food to give you a source of immediate energy. Within 15 minutes of eating, this digested sugar can be in your blood stream where it will be available to you to burn as energy.
Once you swallow your food, it will make its way to your stomach. Your stomach will churn the food to help the enzymes that came with the food to digest the food during the hour of predigestion.
When & How Does My Body Digest My Food After the Hour of Predigestion?
Somewhere near the end of the hour of predigestion or near the start of the second hour after you have eaten, your body will release digestive enzymes to begin cutting up your food. Acid is also released into the stomach. This stomach acid activates (turns on) the digestive enzymes. The stomach churns the food while it is digested. Once finished, the food will be similar to a puree having the consistency of baby food. At this point the food is called chyme. The chyme is very acidic as it is still loaded with stomach acid.
The chyme is squirted into the small intestines where it will mix with bile from the gall bladder. The bile will begin digesting the fatty part of your meal. The bile will also neutralize the acid from the stomach. Neutralizing the acid from the stomach, turns on the digestive enzymes that will now go to work continuing the digestion process in the intestines.
Hour of Predigestion: Related Topics
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