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Vegetables Reduced to Purée

Persons in the flower of youth, having healthy stomachs, and leading active lives, may eat all sorts of vegetables, without inconvenience, save, of course, in excess. The digestive functions possess great energy during the period of youth: the body, to develop itself, needs nourishment. Physical exercise gives an appetite, which it is necessary to satisfy, and vegetables cannot resist the vigorous action of the gastric organs. As old proverb says, "At twenty one can digest iron." But for aged persons, the sedentary, or the delicate, it is quite otherwise. Then the gastric power has considerably diminished, the digestive organs have lost their energy, the process of digestion is consequently slower, and the least excess at table is followed by derangement of the stomach for several days. Those who generally digest vegetables with difficulty, should eat them reduced to a pulp or purée, that is to say, with their skins and tough fibres removed. Subjected to this process, vegetables which, when entire, would create flatulence and wind, are then comparatively harmless. Experience has established the rule, that nourishment is not complete without the alliance of meat with vegetables. We would also add, that the regime most favourable to health is found in variety: variety pleases the senses, monotony is disagreeable. The eye is fatigued by looking always on one object, the ear by listening to one sound, and the palate by tasting one flavour. It is the same with the stomach: consequently, variety of food is one of the essentials for securing good digestion.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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