Stop Bad Digestion And Poor Nutrient Absorption With These 3 Easy Tricks - Save Our Bones

Savers already know the importance of eating Foundation Foods that are rich in bone-nourishing nutrients like calcium, zinc, magnesium, Vitamin C, to mention a few.

But if you’re not absorbing these nutrients properly because of poor digestion, you won’t get all their benefits.

Your digestive system is a complex process that involves a delicate interplay between nutrients, enzymes, and various digestive secretions. If this process goes awry, putrefaction takes place, producing bone-damaging toxins.

Today’s post is about the distinction between food merely rotting vs undergoing proper digestion. We’re going to explore the role of enzymes in this process, and how you can make sure you’re getting enough of them.

And last but not least, I’m thrilled to share with you three tricks for promoting good digestion, which is essential for absorbing bone-rejuvenating nutrients.

Digestion vs. Putrefaction vs. Fermentation

During digestion, food gets broken down into simpler compounds. For example, proteins become amino acids and starches end up as simple sugars (more on the digestive process itself below).

When putrefaction occurs, proteins get broken down by intestinal bacteria into chemicals like indol and skatol, which are toxic. This process produces uncomfortable or even painful gas and bloating.

Rotting is a bit different than putrefaction in the digestive realm. When food rots, it simply “goes bad” the way a piece of meat would rot if left on the kitchen counter. Rotting occurs without the specific bacteria involved in putrefaction.

Fermentation occurs when yeasts change sugars into toxic chemicals such as methane, acetaldehyde, and alcohol. When there is an overgrowth of yeast organisms in the gut, fermentation is quite common.

The Digestive Process: An Overview

As I mentioned above, the digestive process is quite complex. We’re going to take a look at the three main processes involved so you’ll get an understanding of just what happens to food after you eat.

1. Mouth

Many people don’t realize that digestion actually begins when you chew your food. This is why thorough chewing is important – at least 20 times is a good guideline. This allows the primary enzyme in your saliva, amylase, to saturate the food and begin the process of breaking down starches into sugars.

In addition, chewing breaks down the food mechanically as your teeth grind and cut the food into smaller pieces. This is how nutrients are extracted from the food during the next phase of digestion.

In fact, some nutrients and substances in food – such as simple sugars and some vitamins – can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

2. Stomach

When you think of digestion, chances are the stomach is one of the first organs that come to mind. When food enters from the esophagus, the stomach mixes it with strong acid and enzymes (more on the enzymes later).

Proteins get broken down at this stage, and starch digestion begins. Like the mouth, the stomach digests food chemically and mechanically, with the latter taking place via the “churning” action of the stomach’s contractions.

3. Intestines

Food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, so called because it is smaller in diameter than the large intestine (colon). But the small intestine really isn’t small; it’s very long – around 30 feet in length! This length gives the food plenty of time to make its way through the digestive process.

The villi – hair-like projections – line the interior surface of the small intestine, increasing its surface area. Nutrients pass across the villis’ cell membranes and enter into the bloodstream.

The healthy bacteria (flora) in the small intestine enhance the digestive process by breaking down food further, and they also boost immunity, synthesize important vitamins, reduce inflammation, and even increase bone density according to research.

Throughout this process, key enzymes perform vital digestive processes, which we are now going to explore more closely.

The Role Of Enzymes In Digestion

It would be impossible to describe here all the various jobs that enzymes do throughout your entire body. Even focusing on digestive enzymes could fill volumes. The bottom line is, enzymes are absolutely crucial for the proper function of many body systems, including digestion.

The primary purpose of digestive enzymes is to break the chemical bonds in fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into microscopic substances that can be used at the cellular level. Without these enzymes, nutrients remain locked in the food and never reach the cells (including bone cells) that need them.

Digestive Enzymes Can Be Divided Into 3 Main Groups

  • Proteases break proteins apart into amino acids, separating their bonds and “turning them loose” into the bloodstream. In the stomach, pepsin begins this job. The small intestine secretes other proteases to complete the breakdown process, and the amino acids enter the blood stream through the intestinal wall.
  • Lipase is produced by the pancreas. It mixes with bile which breaks down fats into fatty acids and monoglycerides that are small enough to pass through the intestinal wall and into the blood. Once there, the digested fat particles produce new compounds, such as hormones and cell walls. Of course, if there are any extra fats, they get stored in the fat cells.
  • Carbohydrases, as their name implies, work to break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. In the mouth, amylase in the saliva begins this process. It picks back up again in the small intestine, where amylase from the pancreas breaks the starches and sugars into single molecules (primarily glucose, fructose, galactose). When these simple sugars enter the blood, they provide energy. Any excess is stored as fat.
  • At this point, you might be wondering about drinking water during meals and whether or not that disrupts this delicate process.

    A Word About Drinking Water During Meals

    There are many different opinions on this topic, but my recommendation is to simply limit the amount of water that you drink during meals. A moderate amount of pure distilled water while you eat is fine, but if you drink enough throughout the day, you won’t be particularly thirsty at mealtime.

    Also, I always make sure to include vegetables with my meals, which help moisten your mouth and the rest of your food because of their high water content.

    There are other tricks for improving digestion, too. Let’s look at three of them next.

    3 Tricks For Good Digestion

    Here are three easy ways to improve your digestion and make sure you have enough enzymes to do the job.

    1. Chew Your Food Well

    As noted above, this is where chemical and mechanical digestion begins, and in today’s fast-paced culture, it can be easily forgotten. In addition to the benefits noted above, chewing your food well also alkalizes it, thanks to bicarbonate ions present in saliva.

    In addition, the salivary bicarbonate activates another enzyme, cellulose, which begins the breakdown of fiber.

    2. Eat Foods That Increase Enzymes

    Your body manufactures enzymes from various substances, and some foods actually contain enzymes, such as pineapple and papaya. Following is a list of foods that promote enzyme production and contain enzymes.

    Eat Plenty Of Raw Foods

    Savers know that I do not advocate a 100% raw diet. As always, balance is key – including plenty of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet boosts enzymes, but cooking is also important for optimal nutrition and enzymatic function. I’ll explain.

    Harsh cooking practices like high-temperature grilling, deep-frying, and barbecuing can and do destroy nutrients (and even produce harmful substances (such as acrylamide, a carcinogen), so use these cooking methods occasionally.

    On the other hand, steaming, boiling, and gentle sautéing can actually make some nutrients more absorbable. In the case of soups, water-soluble nutrients are consumed in the liquid portion of the soup itself.

    Eating raw foods eases the body’s need to manufacture enzymes, but raw foods alone are not nutrient- or calorie-dense enough to sustain optimal bone health.

    Tying It All Together…

    Enzymes are crucial for preventing rotting and putrefaction in the digestive tract, and a diet rich in raw or lightly-cooked fruits and vegetables promotes optimal enzyme levels and good digestion.

    This is why the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator includes one raw meal a day for 7 days. And to make sure you don’t have to rely on boring vegetable sticks for your raw meals, the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse has over 40 delicious pH-balanced raw recipes that are easy to prepare and will satisfy your appetite any time of day.

    From delicious salads to soups, wraps, entrees, and even mouth watering desserts such as Coconut Almond Cream Pie, Ginger Snaps, Mini Strawberry Pies, and No Bake Cookies, I’m sure you’ll love the cleansing bone-building raw recipes that take just minutes to prepare.

    Along with the six other steps in the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse, eating one raw meal a day brings enzymatic processes into balance and boosts kidney and liver function.

    Proper digestion and optimal liver and kidney function are essential for supplying your bones with the nutrients they need. Enzymes “unlock” these nutrients and get them to your bones’ cells, where they can do their work of building and rejuvenating.

    The Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse is an excellent means by which to bring your digestion and detoxification organs into balance and optimal working order. If you haven’t yet, I hope that you will take a few minutes today to explore this innovative cleanse that accelerates bone-building.

    Till next time,

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Josephine Higgins

    You mention we should eat foods that contain enzymes which help to digest nutrients properly but I would like to know when would be the right time to do this, just before every meal, with your meals or after you have finished your meal.How far apart should we have foods with ezymmes from our meals and how much of it do we need to eat.? I Hope you can help me , your reply would be important and appreciated.Thank you.

  2. Chrissy

    Hi, I was having terrible stomach pain and my food was not digesting to the point where I wouldn’t use the bathroom for 3 to 4 days. And if I continued to try to eat, I would soon after vomit the undigested food. I went to the doctor and got a pricsription to help me go to the bathroom but still has stomach pains. Then i noticed the trazadone,antidepressant I was taking said to take with food, which I hadnt since I had to take it right before bed. I switched the medication but am still having digestive issues. And have tried every Probiotics. Not only that but my skin has gotten terrible since. Could it be that I’m not absorbing my nutrients due to lack of digestion. Thank you

  3. Peggy Yannarella

    I am Type 2 diabetic and lost about 20 lbs. – have had tests for various issues. But nothing turned up. So hard to gain back the weight I lost – without increasing blood sugar numbers. 95 lbs now – want to get to at least 112. Is it possible I have bad absorption?

  4. Ellen

    Hi i have stomach paind after every meal and feel nauseous. I also have passed black stool. Can you pls advise me?

    • Marshell

      Hi Ellen, email me at; I’ll be glad to help you. Just need more details

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Ellen, I strongly suggest you see your doctor if natural methods are not helping your digestive issues. You want to rule out anything serious.

  5. Nancy

    I am a type 1 diabetic on insulin pump,and have a cgm to due to hypoglycemic unawareness,I’ve had Barrett’s in the past,h pylori treated 2 x for that,now negative.i also, have hashimoto ,half thyroid been removed, gastroparesis last year. I’ve lost 30 plus pounds in a year and continue to go lower,also losing muscle mass, I’m tired , depressed,nause ,and occasional vomiting all bile and acid ,frequent constipation,or uncontrolled stools on occasion, I need some guidance I’m 47 year old,that’s 110 lbs I don’t want to go lower. Please help nancy

  6. Margaret power

    I have found your book and emails to be invaluable – I rarely need to take the sumac prescribed for reflux now as I follow your dietary guidelines – I do have a problem with elimination since hysterectomy and prolapse repairs – I have found a small dose of Epsom salts to help as it is mainly magnesium – do you believe this to be safe ? Thank you in advance for your reply . Margaret

  7. Judy J

    Just got through with CT scan for lower belly pain and tenderness, etc. Found everything clear (no appendicitis as expected), except found some small gallstones, cholelithiasis without evidence of acute cholecystitis, and a small hiatal hernia (used to take ‘Nexeum’ for GERD, but stopped due to possible side effects. Would like to get on this now so there’s no further damage. At one time was taking pancreatic enzymes, but stopped; but now take probiotics and enzymes from yogurt. I found your food suggestions helpful and wonder if the Osteocleanse would be good also. Any advice? Thanks so much in advance. Judy

  8. Karina

    Hi! I have been reading this article, I currently suffer from GERD and have had lots of trouble eating pretty much anything that isn’t plain white bread and maybe yogurt… even though the doctor said to avoid dairy and other things like tomatoes and such that I know provide important vitamins and minerals And I worry over malnutrition and malabsorption of nutrients or lack of because I’m being told to keep away from them.

    I will happily take any reccomendations to fortify my body’s system. And I believe eating the right foods and making sure my body receives a good amount of nutrients and vitamins will help me get better.

  9. Mack

    My husband have chrons from last 10 years he is on remicade from 2 years.
    He lost soo much weight and now dr put peg tube because of not absorbing nutritients
    Did any one know any other alternative medicine for chrons.

    • Deanna Edmondson

      Look up Dr christine Kazmar she’s a digest doc she can help

    • Jen Dampman

      Also check into the low oxalate diet. Oxalates usually make kidney stones but if you have a leaky gut like your husband the oxalates go through the system and cause inflammation. It is worth a try. The most accurate list is on Facebook group. Trying low oxalates. I hope this helps.

  10. Mayank

    I have been suffering from ibs irritable bowel syndrome since one year i have bloating with gas and acidity my body has become weak due to loss of appetite i have low absorption of nutrients due to going for the toilet just after eating plzz can u suggest me something that my problem is treated.thanku

    • Deanna Edmondson

      Dr Christine Kazmar look her up she can help digestive

    • Aditya

      hi, I also sufferd from ibs my doctor adviced me librax but no benifit.. I started losing weight.. Then i consulted an ayurvedic dr he adviced me ashwagandha powder with milk nly for a month and i took amway protien powder For 3 Months.. And to improve ibs and digestion ayurveda dr adviced me amla churna after lunch n dinner .. After 5 Months i gained 16 Kgs nd dnt hv ibs. Now im fit n healthy

      • Manjula Singhi

        Hi Aditya
        Can u send me your Ayurvedic dr name and address ; I am from kolkata suffering from digestive issues and loosing weight fast

      • mayank

        Ok i also try it aditya

  11. Alice

    Thank you Vivian……………. This good information. You can get more details about the natural remedies for digestion related issue please visit

    • Kimberly

      Hi Vivian, I have interstitial cystitis, Hunners legions and osteopina. I was told to stay away from acidic foods . No nitrates and preservatives.Limited to most fruis and a few vegetables. Would this product work for me.

    • Eileen R

      The link above does not work.

  12. Mariann

    Hi Vivian! To start off_ I love all the education you give to me and others, THANK YOU!!!!
    I”ve been diagnosed 2 yrs ago with GERD, acid reflux. And my stomach does not empty like it should.Dr put me on nexium and I took it for 6 months and then was able to wean off and take gaviscon. I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma 4 1/2 yrs ago and I am taking Arimidex for the estrogen/progestrogen fed breast cancer. Hopefully I will stop the Arimidex at my 5 yr mark! The two meds are bone thinning and I have osteoporosis.
    my question is How do you feel about food enzymes for bettter digestion and is there a food that helps with acid?

    • Kimberly

      Hi Vivian, I have interstitial cystitis, Hunners legions and osteopina. I was told to stay away from acidic foods . No nitrates and preservatives.Limited to most fruis and a few vegetables. Would this product work for me.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Mariann,
      Interestingly, I have heard from many in the community who are elated that their reflux (GERD) has disappeared since starting the Program! As far as enzymes go, I prefer to get them from foods, as listed in this post. 🙂

      • Eileen R

        Where do you get fresh coconut? It is not sold in any grocery near me.

  13. Maria

    I am on thyroid meds and have osteoporosis can this book be a benefit to my condition also thank you so much

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Maria,
      Thanks for chiming in. 🙂 You don’t mention whether you are dealing hypo or hyper thyroid, but in either case, it’s important to check with your doctor regularly to make sure the levels are properly regulated. Since you require medication to regulate your thyroid levels, so as long as you have regular check- ups to insure that you’re not taking too large a dose of the medication, hypo- or hyperthyroidism should not affect your bone health. 🙂

  14. Vilma

    Hello Vivian : Thank you for your valuable información. I Would like to ask you about fibroids in the uterus. My doughter has one. She has real heavy bleedings. Do you think there aré plants or certain food may help ? She doesn’t want a
    Surgery. I have heard about red raspberries aré good for that. Thank you ! Vilma from Costa Rica.

    • Nailin Lu

      You can take your daughter to see an acupuncturist or oriental medicine doctor in your area. Heavy bleeding can be a result of fibroids. Fibroids usually are caused by hormonal imbalance and poor circulation at uterus. Certain exercise and yoga pose can improve that. She should avoid very cold drinks and food since they slow down circulation.

  15. mamieann

    Is wine with sulphites bad for one’s colon ?

  16. shula


  17. Ann

    I have digestive problems too which I think has been caused by my intolerance to wheat (unbeknown to me) also possibly causing migraines for many years. I’m very thankful for Vivianne. I feel that many of us have suffered because of the modern diet and we know how difficult it is to try to correct matters. May I suggest that we think of each other as we start every day and send our encouraging thoughts and love. Could help most of all.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Excellent idea, Ann. One of the purposes of the community is to support one another on our respective health journeys!

  18. L.D.

    Hello All, I see I’m not alone with digestive problems. Vivian dear, my gallbladder was removed 10 yrs. ago and some have said that can be a problem. I’ve had cancer surgery to remove Endometrial Carcinoma and put on Megestrol for over 3yrs. which darn near destroyed my bones beyond repair. I also have a hernia caused by the surgeries and with my spine collapsing, what’s left of my organs are compressing to the point I dont get proper eliminations. I’m working on the spine issue to the best of my ability through your suggested exercises and many of the nutritional as well. I cant seem to catch a break in any area of health. Anyone with helpful hints would be most welcome… Thants Vivian and all in the community.

    • Marlene Villar

      Hello L.D.,
      You are NOT alone with digestive problems. I too had
      my gallbladder removed 8 years ago. Prior to my surgery,
      I did some research about this. We know that the gallbladder’s function is to store bile, a substance needed
      in the digestive process. The food we eat probably has
      major effects on bile formation. In my situation, I did
      some trial and error while determining my particular
      sensitivities to different food intake. Even now, I have
      intolerance of fatty and too much spicy foods. In my
      case, drinking hot water helps me ease my stomach
      I’m very thankful that I found the SAVEOURBONESPROGRAM nine months ago. Truly,
      it helps me a lot. Thank you for reading my e-mail.

      • Nailin

        There are some bile salt supplements may help for your digestive problem.

        • Marlene Villar

          Hello Nailin,
          I will check this bile salt supplement.
          Thank you for sharing. Have a nice
          day. Marlene

  19. Malinda

    Hi Vivian,
    I have Sjogrens which is quite severe and I have no saliva which means I have to drink whenever I eat. This dryness continues through my entire digestive tract and as a result I have a lot of digestive problems including acid reflux. I have an intolerance to the drugs that help this and as a result have now gotten Barrett’s esophagus. Could these problems be harming my bones? Even though I have been on your programme for about five years now my bone density continues to deteriorate.

    • Estela

      Good blog post, nice efforts. It coldun’t appear to have been penned any better. Reading this article piece of writing reminds me about my old boss! He usually kept babbling about this. I will email this post to him. Pretty confident he will probably have a high-quality read. Appreciate your posting!

  20. Esther Csizmadia

    Can I get the Densercise book in paper form? It is much easier to look at an actual book when you want to follow an exercise. Downloaded books are OK if you just want to look up specific information.

  21. Nicole

    Thank you Vivian for all this valuable info. you are keeping me interested in knowing more about how my body fonction particularly my bones. Without you I would be lost. TXS

  22. Susanne

    Hi Vivian
    I’m a little confused because there’s so much up these days with water kefir and kombucha, and people has good experiences with those kind of drinks. I just made it myself for the first time ever and its still fermenting. Should I just through it all out or what do you suggest?

    Best wishes Susanne

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I understand the confusion, Susanne! Fermented products like kefir, yogurt, and kombucha contain healthful bacteria that make them bone-healthy options. It’s entirely different than the “fermentation” that occurs in the gut when there are not enough of the healthful bacteria and enzymes to digest properly. 🙂

      • Susanne

        Thank you very much for your answer, now I understand 🙂

  23. Marie

    hello, with all the fruits and vegetables that I eat….I now have Candida. My nutritionist
    says I am eating too much sugar. So he wants me to eliminate all fruits. Any suggestions you can give me? I am also losing weight and I don’t need to. I’ve gone from 110 to 106. I need to keep every pound I have.

  24. Annabelle

    Thank you once again for a timely reminder!

  25. Candace

    Hello Vivian, Last summer I had a test to check the Ph levels in my stomach. I had had tests in the past saying that I did not digest proteins well. But by last summer I was having more problems so the test. It showed that indeed I do not produce enough HCl so I was given Betaine with Pepsin to take when I eat proteins. A lot of the more obvious symptoms have been reduced or eliminated taking these pills. I have read that Calcium is not absorbed like a lot of vitamins and minerals without proper stomach acid. I was wondering if any of your other readers have had this problem.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Interesting, Candace. Ironically, Mainstream Medicine often treats the symptoms of too little hydrochloric acid with antacids!

    • Patricia

      by the way I did not know about that test. Can it be done anywhere ?

    • Patricia


      I think I have this problem and worse. I am guessing but I think the fact that my very bad osteoporosis numbers come from a bad digestive system. I have taken enzymes twice a day for years now because every good food (kale, greens with a lot of fibers, salmon, fish oil) , especially raw food is hard to digest for me. I have been sick for years. After eating for example an artichoke at dinner, the day after I am so bloated, like a pregnant woman that I have to lay down the whole day, and it is really painful. So enzymes have helped but not entirely solved the problem(s). I do not know what to do. I guess the 3 elements that Vivian told us about (fermentation,, etc), I have them all. The big problem is that what is good for my bones and my health I cannot digest them. So… i am stuck.

      • Nailin

        It sounds like you actually not digest well with fibers and fats. Why don’t you eat cooked low fiber veggies for now until your digestion gets better? Also, I recommend you try two things with your meals. One is orange peels and the other hawthorn berries. You can get them at any oriental market. Wholefood may carry them as well. Soak 2-3 pieces of orange peels with 5-6 pieces of hawthorn berries with hot water and drink it 30 mins before meals. They help you on digestion.

  26. Nikki

    Vivian….Your statement: “… raw foods alone are not nutrient- or calorie-dense enough to sustain optimal bone health” is not explained nor substantiated. Although heating does allow some nutrients to become more bioavailable (ex. lycopene in tomatoes) ,
    how would Cooking, say, Kale, increase its nutrients or calorie-density over Raw Kale ?
    Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good question, Nikki. Cooking does not increase the amount of nutrients in a food, but as you mentioned, it can increase nutrient bioavailability. And if you eat raw foods only, it means you aren’t eating many foods that pack a lot of calories, such as lean meats, fish, and whole grains. That’s why I recommend eating both raw and cooked. 🙂

  27. Emma

    Hello Vivian,
    I was just saying to my husband the other day about how I was disappointed that my education (from school and family) was so focused on the outer world and not on my inner world. No one (including me) seemed interested in how my body actually worked! Since becoming a mature adult this has changed for me and I value your dedicated work in helping me know more about how my body works. I find your posts, clear, relevant and practical.
    Thank you so much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thank you, Emma and Georgina! And you make a good point about education, Emma – thankfully, you can educate yourself now, and empower yourself with knowledge!

  28. Georgina Renaux

    Thank you Vivian for all the information you give us. God bless you.

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