Digestion starts in the mouth. Chewing is essential for proper digestion. When chewed food is ground into fine particles, the digestive juices can act more efficiently. As the food is chewed, it is moistened and mixed with saliva, which contains the enzyme ptyalin.
Ptyalin helps change some of the starches in the food to sugar. After the food is swallowed, it passes through the oesophagus (British English) or esophagus (American English) into the stomach. The digestive juice found in the stomach is called gastric juice. It has hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin.
This juice begins the digestion of protein foods such as meat, eggs, and milk. The gastric juice does not digest starches sugars and fats. After the meal, some food remains in the stomach for two to five hours.
ALMOST NO DIGESTION OCCURS IN THE LARGE INTESTINE. THE LARGE INTESTINE STORES WASTE FOOD PRODUCTS, ABSORB WATER, AND SMALL AMOUNTS OF MINERALS. THE WASTE MATERIALS THAT ACCUMULATE IN THE LARGE INTESTINE ARE ROUGHAGE THAT CANNOT BE DIGESTED IN THE BODY.
What is the digestive system?
Our system of digestion is made up of the gastrointestinal tract-also called the GI tract. The hollow organs of the GI tract include mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The pancreas, liver, and gallbladder would be the large organs of the digestive tract.
Digestion denotes the breakdown of food into smaller parts, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is split into two types — the mechanical digestion of meals that happens in the mouth when it’s physically broken up into smaller pieces and the compound digestion that occurs in the GI tract once the food is broken down with the help of digestive enzymes.
The first part of the small intestine is known as the duodenum. The jejunum is in the middle part of the small intestine, and the ileum is at the end. The cecum is the very first part of the large intestine followed by colon and rectum at last. Bacteria, also called the microbiome, help with the digestion process.
Working together, nerves, hormones, blood, along with the organs of your digestive tract, digest the foods and liquids you eat or drink every day.
Why is digestion significant?
As your body requires nutrients to work and stay healthy, digestion is vital. Your digestive system function is to breaks nutrients into parts small enough to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair.
- Proteins break into amino acids
- Fats break into fatty acids and glycerol
- Carbohydrates split into simple sugars
Working of Digestive System
The GI tract helps you to move food, break liquid and food into smaller parts, or even both. Your body absorbs the nutrients once foods have been broken into small portions. The large intestine then absorbs water, and the waste products become stool. Hormones and nerves help control the digestive process.
Food moves via a process called peristalsis through your GI tract. The large, hollow organs of your GI tract contain a layer of muscle that enables their walls to move. The motion pushes on food and liquid through your tract and mixes the food within each organ.
The muscle facing the food relaxes to enable the food to squeezes forward. When you put food in your mouth, the process starts.
Food moves through your GI tract when you eat. Your tongue pushes the food when you swallow. A little flap of tissue folds over your windpipe to stop choking, and the food moves into your esophagus.
When you begin swallowing, the process becomes automatic. Your brain signals the muscles of peristalsis, and the esophagus starts.
The stomach muscles mix the liquid and food using digestive juices. The gut gradually empties its contents, called chyme, in a small intestine.
The muscles of the small gut mix food with digestive juices from the pancreas, liver, and gut, and then push it forward for digestion. The small intestine wall absorbs water and the digested nutrients. The digestive process’ waste products move into the intestine as peristalsis carries on.
Waste products in the digestive process include undigested pieces of food, fluid, and cells from the lining of the GI tract. Water is absorbed by the large intestine and also affects the waste out of the liquid into feces. Peristalsis helps move the stool in your rectum.
It is the lower end of your large intestine, which stores stool until it pushes feces from your anus during a bowel movement.