How well do you know about your digestive system? Let's find out.
These are some common things that we all listen to by our friends or relatives, but are these really true or just a misconception?
I tried to investigate these and some other common sayings so that we can all know once and for all whether to approve or to disprove these and have come with some answers and features of our stomach that you may not know yet. For example, one can even survive without it, albeit with many difficulties.
So let's begin:
1. Do you really have to wait for 3 hours to swim after eating?
A carbohydrate meal (for example, a piece of white pasta) comes out of the stomach about an hour after ingestion. For a steak, it takes at least twice as much, while a high-fat meal can take up to 4 hours of work.
A complete meal (a plate of spaghetti and a piece of grilled meat) is digested in about two and a half hours. So the grandmother's warning about the time to wait before the bath is quite sensible and true.
2. Can you swallow the food when you are upside down?
Yes, because the food that goes from the mouth to the stomach (and from the stomach to the intestine) is not only due to the force of gravity but above all is due to the movements (called peristaltic) of the digestive tract, a sort of wave that propagates alternating contractions and dilatation of the walls. Otherwise, it would not explain how the astronauts survive in the International Space Station (ISS):
However, for those with difficult digestion, gravity helps. This is why it is advisable not to go to bed immediately after meals, instead spending a few tens of minutes standing or sitting down is always great.
3. What are the cramps at the stomach?
They are usually pains caused by an excessive peristaltic movement of the stomach, for example, when the digestion resumes after being interrupted (due to stress, cold or the intake of toxic substances) or when the pylorus (the orifice that connects the stomach and the intestine) is blocked: in these cases the stomach, as an answer, accelerates its activity, causing abdominal pains.
4. Why do we Sob?
The sob is an involuntary and repeated contraction of the diaphragm, accompanied by the abrupt closing of the glottis at each spasm, which produces the characteristic "hic" sound. However, the function of this phenomenon is not clear.
According to some physicians, this helps to eliminate air from the stomach. In fact, each jolt leads to a contraction of the thorax which produces the suction of air from the abdomen. In the past, it was thought that the hiccup could facilitate the descent of food into the esophagus since it occurs more often when the morsels are not ingested in the correct way. However, this does not explain why it is present even in newborns, which swallow only liquid foods.
Typically the hiccup lasts few minutes and then disappears. In rare cases, however, to stop it you need antispasmodics, which relax the muscles, or sedatives.
5. What is the capacity of the stomach?
The limit is subjective. However, in an adult, the stomach can expand to a capacity of about 1 liters.
6. Should we avoid some food combinations?
Yes, according to some dieticians there are food combinations that should be avoided. For example, eating a steak and a piece of cheese at a short distance is likely to delay digestion since curdling can wrap the meat particles. The fruit should not be eaten with meals instead it should be eaten in the morning, because it favors the emptying of the stomach from any residuals of the evening meal. Wine and beer, finally, are not recommended with pasta (and with starches in general).
7. Why some can't tolerate milk?
The origin of the problem is a disaccharide (or a sugar) contained in milk. This disaccharide, called lactose, must first be broken down into the two molecules from which it is formed, i.e., glucose and galactose. This operation is carried out by lactase, an enzyme of the cells of the intestinal wall. Lactase is present in all mammalian puppies up to the age of weaning. After that it disappears, making milk intolerable to adult specimens (a cow, for example, would vomit it).
Man is an exception because by continuing to drink milk even after weaning, lactase persists (which is more or less what happens in many domestic cats,
8. Why not digest the stomach itself?
Stomach has the capacity to digest even a copper coin or an iron nail. When it has the capacity to digest copper iron and all foodstuff including heavy fat's meat pizzas etc then why not it digests its own tissue? After all stomach is also a meat...!
Fortunately, this does not happen because the stomach wall is coated with mucus, which contains, among other things, bicarbonate. This neutralizes gastric acid, which borders the stomach wall. This prevents the stomach from being digested.
9. The food is slowly digesting
Sometimes you digest your food slower than normal. This occurs mostly due to the cold food. Ice can cause the stomach to slow down. Hence large chunks of food can remain in the stomach for a very long time. Furthermore, intense exercise after meals does not provide good digestion. For this reason, many people sit or lie down quietly after dinner(but it's a good practice to walk for 5-10 minutes after the meal).
10. Do spices improve metabolism?
Everyone believes that spices only serve to give more flavor to dishes, but in reality, they have extraordinary power: they activate the metabolism, make each dish more digestible and improve elimination.
Spices should be used especially during cooking, from the beginning.