The 6 key functions of the digestion system:
- Chewing and swallowing
- Acid, water, enzyme and buffer secretion
- Motility (propulsion and mixing)
- Hydrolysis (chemical and mechanical processes that break food down)
- Absorption (digested products enter the circulatory system via the intestine’s epithelial cells)
- Defecation (digested products exit the body via the anus)
An overview of the digestive process
As foods and beverages enter your mouth, they begin the process of digestion. Digestive enzymes that are found in your saliva immediately begin to break down what you ingest. Your tongue is accurately used to manipulate the foods position in the mouth. You chew your foods and make them better able to be swallowed. It is now traveling towards the stomach. A variety of gastric enzymes go to work on the food bolus. It is converted into what is called the chyme (a mass of liquified bolus). It is then “squirted” into your small intestines.
Notably, fats take the longest to leave the stomach area. Proteins take the middle road and carbohydrates exit readily. The small intestine is the main work site for metabolism and assimilation. While in the small intestine, foods are further treated with enzymes from the gall bladder, liver, pancreas and the small intestine itself. Specifically, the pancreas releases enzymes that helped to break down carbs, fats and proteins alike. The liver supplies the vile that emulsifies fat. The gallbladder stores the bile until it may be needed.
The intricate process of digestion is imperative to human survival. Almost all human activities are in some way centered around food. In fact, you could say that our bodies are just factories that take in, assimilate, absorb and excrete foods. Without nutrients and proper hydration, life ends quickly. Understanding the digestive process, and taking actions to help your body digest foods more efficiently, will certainly increase your happiness and prolong your life span.
The cellular structures of your body requires
- amino acids,
- antioxidants and
- other constituents derived
from foods and beverages in order to perform their various tasks.
Your digestive system is composed of your gastrointestinal tract which contains:
- Mouth (Teeth, Tongue)
- Majority of the pharynx and the esophagus
- Salivary glands
- Small and large intestine
Your gastrointestinal tract (alimentary canal) is most commonly referred to as your digestive tract. It is the passageway that your body provides for food to be metabolized, assimilated and enabled to travel. From the moment foods enter into your mouth, they began an intricate process of being broken down and absorbed. The nutrients that they contain must be separated from the waste and then transported to all bodily systems via the blood.