With the advent of scientific knowledge, the subject of diet and nutrition has become increasingly popular. In fact, there are hundreds of books and magazines almost entirely dedicated to this topic. Though well intentioned, many of these books tend to make people worry too much about their food habits and become neurotic. People start to wonder whether they are consuming the right food and in sufficient quantity to cater for vitamin deficiency. This food neurosis is a far worse problem than a body which is deficient in nutrients of a certain type. So we emphasize the importance of different foods should not become an obsession in any way, or another problem. If you refer to the heading entitled ‘Nutrients and their role in the body’ you will find that all the nutrients the body needs are found in a wide range of food types. Therefore, if you are eating a reasonably varied diet, then it is a certainty that you are obtaining all your food requirements.
The purpose of this topic has been to describe the functioning of the digestive system in simple and basic terms in the hope that the reader will become more aware and understanding of the body and have respect for the way it works. Again we repeat try not to become a food faddist or neurotic. If you do, then the whole purpose of this discussion has been defeated.
Because of the importance of digestion in maintaining good health we will include further discussions on this topic later in the book.