Digestion And Daylight: Let The Sun Shine

Paul Nison

It's sunlight that really gets digestion moving. Obtaining and maintaining good health is actually pretty simple: abide by the laws of nature that manage your body; straying from these principles will result in damage to your body.

Think of it this way: Take the law of gravity. There is no altering that law and denying it can have disastrous and even tragic results. Therefore, no one questions the law of gravity. We don't have to justify it, because we can witness how it works.

The correlation between the sun and digestion is another example of one of the laws of nature. Exposure to sunlight promotes easier digestion. Digestion and assimilation become weak and imperfect if we are not exposed to the direct rays of the sun on a daily basis. Defying this natural law will not result in the same immediate damage as breaking the law of gravity, but over time, serious damage will take place.

How does it work?

There is a direct connection between the optic nerve and digestion. When sunlight hits the optic nerve, electrical impulses are transmitted, activating many processes of the body, including digestion. Nerve impulses send messages that tell the body to produce certain enzymes, gastric juices and other processes of digestion. Similar to the act of chewing, when the optic nerve is stimulated by sunlight, the digestive organs prepare for food. When the sun goes down, there is less light stimulating the optic nerve, and digestion slows down. This declaration does not sit well with people who take pleasure in eating late at night. As I acknowledged in the introduction, people will continue to look for excuses to indulge in their addictions, but ignorance of divine and natural law is why numerous people encounter disease. This is not a mystical, New Age idea. Just as God breathed air into man and gave him life, He designed our organs with capabilities no man-made machine can fully reproduce. Please do not misunderstand: I am not claiming that digestion grinds to a halt once the sun goes down. What I am saying is that eating after the digestive system slows down in the evening goes against the laws of nature and will result in a decline in health.

In his book Talks about People's Stomachs, Dr. Dio Lewis tells a story about one of his patients, a Mr. P., who complained about stomach problems. According to Dr. Lewis, dyspepsia (the medical term for stomach upsets) was written all over his face, shown in his movements and heard in his voice. The patient, a local merchant, told Dr. Lewis he could no longer work because of his troubled digestive system. The first question Dr. Lewis asked was about his diet. Mr. P. explained that he was very educated about the subject and his diet was all right. The next question Dr. Lewis asked was if he exercised. Mr. P. revealed he spent several hours a day exercising. Dr. Lewis followed with a question about his sleep, and Mr. P. said he was in bed every night at 9 pm and was awake every morning by 6 am. Dr. Lewis was a brilliant man, asking Mr. P. essential questions about diet, exercise and sleep, three issues that always need to be addressed when a person is dealing with illness. Mr. P. could not understand why he was having digestive issues since he seemed to be doing everything right; his wife was worried he may even have cancer, because nothing seemed to help him, and the problems kept getting worse.

Finally, Dr. Lewis asked him if he worked in a sunny office. His work place was pleasant; Mr. P., said, but it did lack sunlight. Dr. Lewis replied: "Mr. P., that is the cause of your cancer! Your work place needs more sunlight. No plant or animal can digest in the dark. Try it. Plant a potato in your cellar. Now watch it carefully. If there is a little light, that potato will sprout and try to grow. But surround it with the best manure, water it, do the best for it, only you shall keep it in the dark, it cannot digest and grow. See how slender and pale it is. Now open a window in another part of the cellar and notice how the poor hungry thing will stretch that way. Or give the stalk a little twist and see how it will lie down. It has no strength to raise itself again. No matter how much of the best food and drink you give it, it can't digest. The process of digestion, the great function of assimilation can't go on without the sunshine."

Dr. Lewis told Mr. P. that he already had excellent habits, but that if his workplace had a flood of sunlight he would be better within one week and completely well in a month. He suggested Mr. P. move his desk in front of a sunny window, even if it's sunny for only three or four hours a day. He assured Mr. P. that, within three days, his digestion would improve. He gave Mr. P. this excellent example: "Mr. P., did you ever go into the country late in the summer? Of course you have been. Well, did you ever notice, where grain is growing in an orchard, that the part under the trees is smaller than that outside and away from the trees? The land is actually richer there. For years, the leaves have fallen and decayed under the trees, but, notwithstanding this, the wheat is only half size and never fills well. Now what is the difficulty? The sun shines upon it more or less. Yes, that is true, but that under the trees does not receive as much sunshine as that away from them. That which is thus partly in the shade can't digest as well. Have you never noticed that the only grapes that become perfectly ripe and sweet, that the only peaches that take on those beautiful red cheeks, and offer that luscious sweetness, are those that are on the outside, entirely uncovered by the leaves and perfectly exposed to the sun? God's laws are the same in the animal world. We all need to baptize ourselves freely in God's glorious sunshine. People who don't get good sunshine are usually very pale." These examples by Dr. Lewis are excellent ways to show how we need the natural light of the sun to help us digest our food.

Cleansing versus Digesting

Once the sun goes down, and the moon appears in the sky, the body switches from ideal digestive time (day) to ideal cleansing time (night). Just as the sun's rays support digestion, the moon (and its gravitational pull) supports cleansing. Just as the moon has gravitational effects on oceans and rivers, it also influences the body to release water and toxins. The fuller the moon, the more cleansing takes place. Cleansing is slowed down if the toxins that are supposed to be released during the night are held back by a heavy meal eaten within a couple of hours of bedtime.

The key is to sleep on an empty stomach. This advice can sometimes worry people, because no one likes to experience hunger. So I have to assure them that, when the body is working the way it should, and we are eating at the correct times, our appetite will naturally diminish as the moon rises and the sun sets. You won't "go to bed hungry."

One reason many people seem to be hungry at nighttime is due to the stimulating effects of artificial lighting, entertainment (TV, videos, loud music and the like) and eating at the wrong times. All of these things will cause us to lose the natural intelligence of the body. Artificial lighting plays havoc with our body cycles, negating our natural eating schedule. Television and video games stimulate our brains so that we can't rest. Together, they actually make us hungry at times we should be abstaining from food. (They also have a stimulating effect on the body that can wipe out our energy and add to stress. The darker it gets outside, lights should start to be dimmed and, even better, turned off.) Still don't believe the effect of light on the body? Consider sunglasses. I once read that wearing sunglasses outside actually enhances a person's chance of getting sunburned. Sunglasses block the sun's rays from reaching the optic nerve, tricking it into thinking that it is dark outside. This causes the body to produce less of a protective skin coating, increasing the risk for sunburn and even skin cancer. After reading about this, I decided to try it: I have now stopped wearing sunglasses, and now I never get sunburned, and I don't need sunscreen (though I'm very careful not to overdo sun exposure). The human body is designed so incredibly that it works with all the elements of nature, especially the daylight and darkness. The unknown unknowns, one of my favorite parts of Dr. Lewis' book, is a lecture he gave, denouncing patent medicines. A famous doctor, a manufacturer of a famous blood purifier, was in the audience and interrupted his speech with several complicated questions in a loud and passionate manner:

Famous Doctor: 'Do you know what you are talking about?

Dr. Lewis: 'Well, I confess there are some things about it, which I never could understand.'

Famous Doctor: 'Well, sir, I have given 40 years to the study, the profoundest study of the human system, and I should like to put a few questions to you, sir, if you have no objection, sir.'

Dr. Lewis: 'Speak on.'

Famous Doctor: 'Will you tell me what a fever is?'

Dr. Lewis:'I don't know.'

Famous Doctor: 'Will you tell me what an inflammation is?'

Dr. Lewis: 'I cannot.'

Famous Doctor: 'One more question. Will you be kind enough to inform us, whether you can explain the philosophy of any kind of disease, whatever—the simplest thing you can think of—say, a slight headache?'

Dr. Lewis: 'I have to confess that I cannot.'

Famous Doctor: 'Well, that's all I want to know; and now I will take my family and go home; and I advise my friends and neighbors to go home, too, and read the story of the babes in the woods; they will find that a good deal more scientific and instructive than this lecture.'

The world-renowned manufacturer of a medicine, which by cleansing the blood of all impurities, eradicates every vestige of disease from the entire organism, grandly rose and left the room, and a considerable number left with him.

To the remaining crowd, Dr. Lewis said: "Friends, the doctor did not half sound the depths of my ignorance. I not only do not understand the nature or philosophy of any disease whatsoever, but I really know nothing of the nature of the vital principle, in its simple or natural manifestations, saying nothing of it when it is complicated by disease. But worse than this, I know nothing of the philosophy of health or disease in a blade of grass, even, or in one little cell in that little blade of grass. In truth, I must confess, for myself, that I have always been sitting before the curtain. Never have I been permitted a single peep behind it into that secret green room where nature manipulates the ropes, wires, and springs which she employs in producing the great drama of life. I think this strange, arrogant determination to know all, in physiology, has proved a fatal obstacle to progress in these studies. He, who will humbly sit at the feet of nature, may learn all that is important he should know. The Good Father has hidden nothing beyond our finding, which is essential to our welfare and happiness. But life, which is probably identical with God Himself, is not for our mortal ken."

we return to the subject under discussion. While no mortal will ever comprehend the vital force, while the philosophy of digestion must, in its essence, remain among the hidden things, all that need be known about the conditions on which this great, pivotal function of our earthly life may be maintained at its highest is quite within reach of the earnest inquirer.

Dr. Lewis's answers may mislead you into thinking that he doesn't know much about medicine, but he had a medical degree from Harvard University. He also authored some of the most intelligent health books I've read. His perspective on healing is brilliant:

"Let us stop putting on airs and frankly acknowledge that not only are we utterly ignorant of the life principle, but that the essence of every force is absolutely hidden from us. Let us modestly study such facts and make such deductions as come within the range of our capacity and leave it to such distinguished and magnificent greatness as to the above to dive into the profoundest depths of the mysteries of the Creator, to fully comprehend it all."

Since Dr. Lewis wrote his book in 1870, many health mysteries have been solved, though many still remain uncovered. One of Dr. Fred Bisci's favorite sayings is, "We don't know what we don't know."

There are four requirements for survival: air, water, sunlight, and nourishment. Eliminating any of these for a certain period will affect the body negatively. Water, fruits, vegetables, chewing, and sunlight help us receive these requirements. Nature provides the ideal foods found in the soil, vines and trees. We have teeth to chew our food, and we have the sun to supply us with heat, vitamins and light. It is no accident that they all fit together like a puzzle. Staying close to nature ensures our good health. You may be able to replace real teeth with false teeth and stay healthy, but you cannot substitute processed "food" for real food or artificial lighting for sunlight and expect to stay well. The replacement of fresh produce with processed foods has increased the rate of disease during our lifetime more than any time in history. Trying to mimic nature is not beneficial to the body and will create a decline in health. Every part of creation has a purpose and adheres to a schedule. Trying to change this or substitute for it will not produce the same results as nature herself.

Paul Nison is a Brooklyn, New York native now living in West Palm Beach, Florida. As a raw foods chef and educator, he has been eating a raw food diet since he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis years ago. Presented with no other cure but surgery, he decided to stop eating all cooked foods. Today he is cured of this so-called "incurable disease" and still eats a raw food diet. He has been featured on The Food Network and in magazines and newspapers around the world. He lectures on the raw food nutrition and raw food prep classes to show people how easy and fun the raw life can be. He was a guest speaker at the 2012 Chicago Health Freedom Expo. For more information visit his website: www.Healthwatchman.com You can reach him at paul@rawlife.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.