Did you ever think about your body? How hard it works? It began as two microscopic cells and slowly and gently grew into a tiny baby. How did the body know how to set up your heart and lungs and liver? How did it know not to put eyeballs on your toenails?
These were thoughts of mine as I read several interesting facts in “The Body” by Bill Bryson.
In my very first nutrition class, I was astounded by the idea that the chicken I ate for dinner last night, could today become my heart, lungs, liver or eyeballs. This makes food and eating the most intimate things we do in our lives – the food actually becomes a part of the body! I became fascinated with how the body manages to do all this; and for years I have studied and marveled at the wisdom of the body. Since this little fact was one of the reasons why I decided to become a nutritionist, rather than an electrical engineer, I want to share with you the magic of your body. What it does for you every day without your thinking about it! So, stay with me as we embark on this interesting, magical adventure! Each week, we can talk about one of the organs and what it needs to function effectively; and I hope this will help you understand how to choose your foods more effectively.
So, let’s start with the basics:
Fifty-nine different elements are needed to construct your body. Only six elements make up 99.1% of the structure and work of the body – carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous.
There are 37.2 trillion cells in the body, and each day many are removed by the immune system because they have become malignant. How does it identify these and know to get rid of them?
The brain and the heart are the most central organs in the body. The heart and circulatory system deliver the required life sustaining nutrients and elements, and take away waste. We also made it the emotional seat of our being, as when we declare “I love you” or say our heart is broken.
The heart is a miraculous organ. It has only one job – it contracts. Just less than once a second, about 100,000 times a day. And apparently, these are not gentle pushes, they are strong enough to throw blood 3 meters if the main artery of the heart, the aorta, is severed.
For all of this power, it is tiny. The heart weighs less than a pound. One part of the heartbeat, the “lub”, sends blood to the lungs, while the other part of the heartbeat, the “dub”, sends it around the rest of the body. This “lub-dub” is what you hear when you listen to your heart.
The journey that the blood takes around the body, pushed by the beating heart, takes only takes about 50 seconds to complete. What can you complete in 50 seconds?
There are two parts to the heartbeat. First is systole, where the two lower chambers of the heart are actively contracting and pushing blood out into the body. The second part of the heartbeat, is the diastole, when the lower chambers relax and refill. However, at this time the upper chambers are filling with heavily oxygenated blood to push back down to the lower chambers; to be pushed back out through the body. The numbers gotten when they take your blood pressure correspond to your systole and diastole. This measurement represents the highest and lowest pressures that your blood vessels experience when the heart beats. Normal blood pressures are about 130/80. Much above either number is considered too high. The heart has more named medical conditions than all the other organs – but none of them are good. Many of these conditions are linked with diseases other than heart.
Next week I will show you what nutrients the heart needs; how it handles its use of them, and why you need to have these nutrients in your food plan.
Please be welcome to comment, or ask questions, as we go along here. I want to hear your opinions. And if you want me to write about a specific topic, just put that in the email list too.
I am grateful and honored that you took the time to read this blog today, and I wish you a delightful week. Don’t forget to join us on Thursday!
Blessings to you,
With all that has been going on in the world, we have had to adjust a few things. Vince DePasquale from The Starting Point in New Jersey and I will be starting an online eight-week program on Co-Dependency and Food starting June 10th. This is a program that is likely to fill quickly so make sure that you sign up when registration opens on the 1st of June.
More programs to come! Requests?
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