Do you want to know how to keep the digestive system healthy? “He who does not take time to eat properly will some day take time to go to the doctor and the hospital and perhaps to the undertaker.” Abundant Health, 92. It is a principle in this universe that we have to rest. Each day we go to sleep to allow our bodies to rejuvenate, but sometimes we don’t believe that our stomach needs rest as well. John Harvy Kellogg M.D., who was a very famous drugless doctor in this world, stated in page 13 of his book, The Itinerary of a Breakfast, “breakfast leaves the stomach and reaches the lower part of the small intestine in four to five hours.” If it takes that long for breakfast to reach the lower part of the small intestine, then what happens if we intake additional food before five hours?
“Often there is a delay in the stomach producing fermentation. When fermented food reaches the small intestine and is held there overtime it decays; and when it remains in the colon for still more hours, its condition cannot be accurately described.” Abundant Health, 109. What is the result of such delay in the stomach? “…After twenty five hours [to eliminate] putrefactions begins… decayed food is passing into the blood and thence to every organ, gland, nerve, and cell day and night during every hour of life. That makes health impossible and the coming of disease sure.” Abundant Health, 110. However, “if all residues leave the body inside of twenty-five hours, there can be no sour stomach, gas, and putrefaction, and life will be one continuous joy.” Abundant Health, 110. How do we ensure that there will not be a delay in the stomach?
A study at a New England sanitarium sheds light on this question. “A healthy nurse was given an ordinary breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with barium included in order to make it possible to take an X-ray picture. Four pieces of fudge were given during the day, one at 9:00 a.m., one at 11:00 a.m., one at 2:00 p.m. and one at 4:00 p.m. Dinner was eaten at twelve o’clock, and suppper at six. Nine hours after the breakfast was eaten the X-ray showed the breakfast was still there. Thirteen and one-half hours after breakfast the X-rays showed the breakfast was still there. The day before this the same stomach digested same sort of a breakfast without the fudge in four hours.” Abundant Health, 94. When the nurse did not allow her stomach to rest, it required many more hours for stomach to digest the food causing her food to ferment. Does not the same process of fermentation occur in our bodies when we eat in between meals? What is the purpose of allowing five hours to elapse before eating another meal?
A noted writer has this to say about regularity in eating: “the stomach must have careful attention. It must not be kept in continual operation. Give this misused and much-abused organ some peace and quiet and rest. After the stomach has done its work for one meal, do not crowd more work upon it before it has had a chance to rest and before a sufficient supply of gastric juice is provided by nature to care for more food. Five hours at least should elapse between each meal.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 173. When we follow this principle, we will have better health.
“When the colon is thus swept clean of all body wastes and food residues once in twenty-four hours, there is no time for putrefaction, and the stools are free from the loathsome odors of decay, which are commonly present. Under such circumstances, the blood remains free from the pollution which must result from the stagnation of food residues which have been retained for many successive days until putrefaction processes have reached a very advanced stage.” The Itinerary of a Breakfast, 14.
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