Our Body Cycles

from Deena's "Nutritional Guidelines" Booklet

In reference to biology, it has been said, "we are what we eat," but in reality, we are what we assimilate, and metabolize. The following paragraphs will reveal the general context of the human body, and explain how the digestive system can maximize its usage of food and help bring balance to the whole body.

  • NOON to 8 pm - APPROPRIATION (eating and digestion)
  • 8 pm to 4 am - ASSIMILATION (absorption and use)
  • 4 am to noon - ELIMINATION (of body wastes and food debris)

To ensure the true blessing of maximized health, it could be considered wise to allow eight hours for intake or ingestion (APPROPRIATION) of foods (eating nothing after that eight hour period except raw fruit), eight hours for the absorption or ASSIMILATION of foods (for metabolism efficacy), and eight hours for the excretion or ELIMINATION of undigested material within the large intestine. The application of this methodology may help promote the expulsion of toxins from the body, and the enhancement of health for its every cell, tissue, and organ system.

During the appropriation cycle, it is important to eat food in their right combinations. For instance, all fruits (with the exception of lemon and papaya) should be eaten on an empty stomach. This is important because fruits are predigestible. The enzymes within melons are quite unique and may conflict with the enzymatic activities of other foods. Therefore, melons should be eaten alone and may not be combined with other fruits. Fruits with a high- water- content (i.e., apples, oranges) may funnel through the stomach within thirty to forty-five minutes, and fruits with a very low water-content (i.e., bananas) or no water-content (i.e., dried fruits) may funnel through the stomach within forty-five minutes to one hour. All other types of food may require two through four hours or longer to pass through the stomach. Carbohydrates, such as vegetables, breads, and whole grains may require a two hours minimum to pass through the stomach, while some foods that contain proteins, such as legumes may need at least three hours to pass through the stomach.

All animal meat may require three or four hours for passage through the stomach, and when carbohydrates and proteins are combined (i.e., meat and bread), they may require a minimum of four hours for passage through the stomach. Therefore, it is important to eat fruit between thirty minutes and one hour before eating any other foods, and it is equally important to wait between two and four hours after a meal (depending on the type of food ingested) before eating fruit.. Whenever fruits are eaten with other foods, the fruit usually ferments in the stomach. When protein solids are in the stomach with fruit, (especially, animal protein), the fruit ferments and the protein putrefies.

To enhance the assimilation and metabolism of foods, it is considered best to eat carbohydrates (especially when they are cooked) with vegetables and not with cooked proteins. Also, it is considered best to eat protein (especially when it is cooked) with vegetables and not with cooked carbohydrates or other cooked proteins.

When cooked foods are consumed even in wrong combinations, supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes may help the digestive system to effectively assimilate and metabolize nutrients.  Learn more about Enzymes on the back of this page.

What is an Enzyme?
Enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms, and, like all proteins, they consist of amino acids. What makes these proteins different from other proteins is how they behave in the body. By definition, enzymes are catalysts that make many essential biochemical reactions ‘happen’ and are not used up or chemically altered in the process. As a catalyst, they help a chemical reaction take place quickly and efficiently. Some reactions would either happen very slowly or not occur at all without enzymes. So a little bit of enzyme can effect a big change.

The same variety of amino acids that occur in all living things make up enzymes. The amino acids connect in particular sequences to form protein chains. The amino acids in the chain often bond together creating folding patterns and twisting into certain shapes. The particular folding pattern of each enzyme gives it distinct characteristics and functions. When anything disrupts the specific folding pattern, the enzyme often loses its ability to function, becoming inactivated or destroyed.

How do enzymes work?
Each type of enzyme has a special function and works in a particular way. Enzymes are essential to every aspect of life and carry out all the daily biochemical functions. They are the basic elements that activate all functions in the body, facilitate reactions that build compounds from the body’s raw materials, transport elements throughout the body, break down substances, and eliminate many unwanted chemicals in the body.

Enzymes are chemicals that facilitate other chemical reactions. Food itself is essentially just a mixture of chemicals that are broken down by enzymes. The released nutrients are the raw materials. Vitamins and other nutrients cannot work in the body by themselves. They require enzymes to transport them throughout the body and make use of them. Enzymes unlock the benefits of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and hormones and put them to work in the body. Enzymes are the workers and assist many biological, chemical, and metabolic reactions, but are not ‘alive’ themselves.

Sometimes particular enzymes need certain vitamins and minerals in order to function. Magnesium participates in over 300 enzyme reactions. These additional elements are called co-enzymes. A co-enzyme may give the enzyme the three-dimensional structure it needs to create the ‘active site’ necessary to perform its catalytic function. If a needed co-enzyme is not available, the enzyme will not function.

Why Should I Care?
Enzymes run every function in our entire body. Digestive enzymes breakdown the food we eat so it can be used as a source of nutrients and a source of energy. Every cell relies on the raw materials provided to the body by digestive enzymes. If you do not have enough enzymes you can develop a vast myriad of illnesses. All the food and nutritional supplements you consume will not do any good if they are not sufficiently broken down and absorbed by the body.

Karen DeFelice; Master's in Science, 20 years in the sciences and education field

Deena Ministries is a ministry of Owings Presbyterian Church in Owings, SC.
©2009 Deena Ministries
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