The Six Stages of Nutrition
Nutrients pass through six separate and distinct stages of nutrition as our body works to support each cell. Each of these stages must operate efficiently to attain optimal nutrition for the entire body. Even a slight breakdown in one of the stages could reduce our chances for optimal health. We will go through all the stages to understand the actions and functions of each step.
A good diet is the first step in the six stages of nutrition. It ensures our bodies receive the proper balance of nutrients necessary for good health. Diet consists of all the foods - with additives, liquids, water, juice, soda, alcohol, prescriptions, and supplements - that we consume daily. Diet is the only stage we have control over and has a huge impact on the rest of the steps.
Our diet sometimes falls short of the nutritional ideal. The goal of supplements is to improve the overall quality of our daily nutrient intake. Supplementation can go a long way towards filling any dietary gaps that may be found in our meals.
Digestion, the second of the six stages of nutrition, begins with the chewing action. This releases acids and enzymes in the mouth. Through this process complex foods are broken down into simple substances. Then the body can use these substances for energy and to support the cells and tissues. For instance, lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates are broken down into fatty acids, amino acids, and simple sugar building blocks, respectively.
This image illustrates the deglutition, or swallowing reflex, as seen in three steps. First, a bolus is formed as the tongue is elevated against the palate. Second, the bolus passes through the oropharynx as the nasopharynx is sealed by the elevated soft palate and uvula. Lastly, the bolus enters the esophagus as the glottis is sealed against the epiglottis.
Absorption is the process by which the products of digestion — simple sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc. — pass through the lining of the intestinal wall and are taken directly into the body’s circulatory system. While most nutrients are taken directly into the bloodstream, lipids and lipid-soluble nutrients take a less direct path to the circulatory system. These nutrients are first absorbed into the circulation via the
Transporting the absorbed nutrients to each cell of the body is the role of the circulatory system. We may be eating properly, digesting properly, and absorbing nutrients properly, however, if our circulation is impaired, nutrients may not reach their cellular destinations. The circulatory system has a crucial role playing the transporter. It assures cells receive good nutrition.
Assimilation is the delicate process by which nutrients are passed through the membranes which surround each living cell. For the body's cells to grow, repair, and rebuild themselves, proper assimilation is essential. For this process to take place, cells, especially their membranes — must be healthy. Many scientists believe that aging of organs and tissues occurs when cells deteriorate faster than the body can repair them. Proper assimilation of nutrients is essential for cellular repair. A supplement that incorporates vital lipids and sterols into its formulations, to support the cells' ability to assimilate nutrients, is the key to cellular health. The familiar phrase “you are what you eat” can be more properly restated as “you are what your cells actually assimilate.”
Elimination is the last of the six stages of nutrition. Excretion begins at the cellular level and is completed through many other metabolically-active areas such as the skin, kidneys, lungs, and colon. It is essential that wastes are completely and regularly eliminated from the body. Supplement products must be formulated to help the cells and the body eliminate wastes efficiently and naturally.
Just as all the nutrients taken in by the body are utilized in combinations, the Six Stages of Nutrition are also interrelated. Each one influences the activities of the others. Supplementation products that are formulated to provide essential nutrients and optimal support of one or more of the vital Six Stages of Nutrition will work best.
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