Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the 1970s and is also a traditional Mexican soup made with beef stomach, also called tripe. When I was a young child, I was fascinated by not only this boy band but also by this strange and somewhat disgusting soup.
I wondered how people could eat something made from a stomach lining and digest it without digesting their stomach in the process. It turns out that when we put any food in our stomach including meat, vegetables or otherwise, it becomes subject to highly corrosive hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
However, the stomach itself is protected by a layer of slime called gastric mucin that keeps the corrosive effects from harming it. This critical layer needs to stay healthy to do its job correctly. Unfortunately, there are many things that have an adverse impact on it such as a poor diet, stress, lack of sleep and pharmaceutical drugs, to name a few.
All the more reason to eat a healthy, wholesome diet, get plenty of sleep, manage your stress and use natural remedies when possible. Keeping your gastric mucin healthy is critical to overall health and wellbeing.
-Dr. Joshua Levitt