Food breakdown optimises uptake of micro-nutrients

On a good day, you can find yourself to have eaten quite a lot of food and especially during cold weather where your body needs a large quantity of food nutrients to yield energy in form of heat.
 Dr Joseph Kamugisha
Dr Joseph Kamugisha

On a good day, you can find yourself to have eaten quite a lot of food and especially during cold weather where your body needs a large quantity of food nutrients to yield energy in form of heat.

The digestive tract has internal regulatory mechanism that makes sure every food nutrient or substance taken is utilised adequately.

Chewing is one of the internal measures deployed by the digestive tract to breakdown food and this is why scientists say digestion begins in the mouth.

There is saliva in the mouth comprised of digestive enzymes. These enzymes are specialised in a manner that every form of food substance taken has enzymes to break them down.

The largest part of the food breakdown is done by your mouth with key tools like the teeth.

Food in solid form or leafy form has to be broken down before it is absorbed by body cells and tissues.

We know that food has to be chewed before swallowing, likewise green vegetables and fruits.

For example, hard texture of most leafy green vegetables with small overall surface area needs thorough degradation to increase extraction of the nutrient contents.

Fresh leafy green vegetables are known to be exceptionally rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, fiber, and other phytonutrients.

However, other nutrients have to be grounded or softened before they are put into use. For example, the juice from a romaine lettuce is very helpful and unlocks all the most important nutrients in lettuce so that the vascular system can access them very well for transportation purposes.


In some areas of the modern world, they prefer to take green leafy foods in form of powder. They see this method as a way to optimise the nutrient content in food nutrients that exists in leafy form.

Some vegetables like cabbage and carrots are preferred in cooked or boiled form as this softens their form into use. Some heat-sensitive nutrients in plant foods may be lost with some forms of cooking, but the overall net gain is typically more than enough to justify eating a diet that includes both uncooked and cooked vegetables.

People who tend to boil vegetable foods should always consider usage of water as a base for soups because some micronutrients tend to find their way into the water.

This is why home prepared vegetables with chicken broth form a good dish. This dish contains a variety of nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body.

Though such a dish is required by groups of all people, it should be best thought for the young ones and elderly people.

The broth contains minerals and other important food nutrients that help in development and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, nerve function, and muscle function. Young people and elderly persons surely need regular food in-form of a broth.

For elderly, as you age the body tend to produce less stomach acid needed in generous quantities to properly break down proteins and foods with complex structures. This is one of the ways in which digestive capacity is weakened with age. Broths are also considered because they contain micro-nutrients found in both plants and animals.

This kind of food does not need large quantities of stomach acid to become accessible in the vascular system.

For babies who are ready to start feeding on solid food, it is better to introduce them to nutrient-rich foods and it is recommended to serve some type of stew that is made with vegetable or chicken broth.

This is a reliable way of effectively providing growing babies and children with many of the minerals that they need to develop their body system.

Dr Joseph Kamugisha is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel

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