Much to my relief, my mother came to Florida to visit to soak up the sunshine, but more importantly for me… to help with Ava. My husband, Cory, has never been so excited to see his mother in law. It was special to watch. Alas so that I could go home to see clients. Doody is never done.
After a shower, I happened upon my mother letting Ava play with a plastic bag. This didn’t bother me (although maybe it should have). The fact that the bag was filled with Twizzlers was a completely different story.
Without a word from me, she immediately went into a relentless tale about how she didn’t let Ava eat any of the Twizzlers. Robin clearly knows how I feel about Twizzlers and why. But you may not. So here I am to tell you… the hidden dangers of gelatinous candies.
Yes… Laugh all you want. It is ironic.
As a child, I remember my mother always going out to buy various types of gelatinous candy. Licorice, Ju-Ju Bees, Good and Plenty, Cuties, Twizzlers, Pin-Wheels etc. Sometimes I would eat them myself. Not that often though because of how hard they were to chew…
And as all good anxious Jewish children do, I had TMJ.
This is the first indicator as to why they are so horrible for your digestive health. They take forever to chew and break down in the mouth before you can swallow. Usually when swallowed, the candy is still in large pieces.
These pieces have a wax like texture without any fiber. The wax like substance liquifies in the esophagus and stomach due to the heat and moisture present in the alimentary canal. Any large pieces that were not broken down by the stomach acid will then enter the small intestine.
As a side note: Many people who have indigestion and bloating do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomachs. This categorizes their stomachs as under acidic. If you have an under acid stomach, not only should you be supplementing with HCL tablets, but you are probably not digesting your food properly. Including candy.
The candy is fiber free so it doesn’t cause stomach pain. This makes it a bit of a silent irritant since it doesn’t cause instant stomach upset. The delayed negative ramifications presented by innocently eaten Twizzler Sticks are usually undetected by health conscious individuals because of this.
Now back to the Candy’s journey down the alimentary canal…
When undigested gelatinous treats enter the small intestine, and are not properly broken down, they can leave a wax like coating on the lining of the small intestine. The lining of our small intestine is very complex and fascinating. Instead of being a hollow tube, our bodies have evolved to be able to absorb even the smallest amount of nutrition from our food.
If you were to take someone’s intestines and lay them out flat they would be large enough to cover a legal sized tennis court.
In order to do this our intestines increased their surface area by creating natural folds and finger-like projections called villi. In a healthy individual these intestinal-tendrils wave like palm trees in the breeze waiting to come into contact with nourishment. Once contact is made, a series of enzymes are used to break down the food into smaller pieces that can pass through the intestinal wall after being scanned by the immune system.
In an unhealthy individual who is eating such candies, the candies create a film that builds up like a coat of wax on the villi. This wax stunts the absorbable action of the villi and creates alarm. This alarm can lead to the immune system releasing mucous on the lining to attempt to loosen the wax. The end result is usually a puffy mucous intestine, which can lead to a weakened immune system, malabsorption, malnutrition, etc.
If you are kicking yourself because of all of the waxy jelly candies you have been eating, I have some good news for you. While you cannot cleanse the small intestine with water in the same way that you can cleanse the colon. You can do so herbally. The combination of Marshmallow and Pepsin, if taken together work like little anti-grave diggers. Working to scoop the walls of the small intestine and “pick-up” the wax.
GROSS DETAIL ALERT: My clients who have taken these herbs have sometimes reported seeing the wax in the toilet. It looks like little rolled up scrolls. So keep an eye out. Look before you flush if you are so inclined.
And for GOD-SAKE stop eating waxy candy!