How to Digest: 8 Interesting Facts About the Digestive System

  • Brenda Grant
  • November 8, 2018

It is important to understand your digestive system as it processes the food you eat and drinks you consume. This produces the nutrients your body needs to work properly and stay healthy.

The digestive system is highly complex as it is pushes the food and beverage through your body where it is processed using a systematic sequence. The nutrients are then extracted, while the rest are discarded.

It is crucial to keep your digestive system in harmony and balance for optimal digestion. This way your body successfully absorbs all the vital nutrients, as well as prevent disorders such as heartburn, gas or ulcers. Here are some important facts about the digestive system:

1. There are two main two functions.

The digestive system has two main functions to convert food into nutrients and remove the waste. For these two functions to perform well, various organs have to work in cooperation throughout your body starting with your mouth until it reaches the rectum. These two functions help in breaking down the food into smaller components. The nutrients from these components are absorbed and the waste then discarded.

2. Digestion is a step-by-step process.

The digestive system follows a systematic process. There are major activities carried out that include ingestion, propulsion, mechanical breakdown, chemical digestion, absorption and elimination. The food is chewed and swallowed, then propelled into the digestive tract that physically breaks down the food into tiny particles. The chemical break down makes the molecules small enough for absorption. At the end, the indigestible particles are eliminated as waste.

3. All organs work in cooperation.

You probably think it is your stomach that does most of the work in processing the food and turning it into nutrients. This is not the case. The stomach breaks down the food using digestive acids. Then the intestine absorbs the nutrients your body needs. Food is consumed through your mouth and goes through the digestive tract. This means that the esophagus, liver, gall bladder, intestine, stomach, salivary glands and pancreas have to work as a team in digesting the food.

4. Digestion can prevent bigger disorders.

When the digestive system is out of balance, there are many digestive disorders that a person can experience such as heartburn, leaky gut, gastritis, ulcers and more. The symptoms include bloating, constant gas, diarrhea, constipation, cramps and bad breath. There are more serious health problems that are associated with your digestive system, which is why it is important to ensure it is always healthy.

5. Digestion gives a supply of energy and cell repair.

The digestive organs break down the food into smaller parts that the body can absorb and use for energy and cell repair. The intestines absorb the vital nutrients.

6. Healthy gut bacteria comes from digestion.

Bacteria in your body is usually considered bad for your health. However, did you know that there is healthy bacteria in your digestive system that requires nutrients? Healthy bacteria is called probiotics, which ensures your gut stays healthy. This friendly bacteria helps to digest your food and prevents intestinal inflammation.

7. Food breakdown is part of digestion.

The food you eat is a source of energy and good health. Eating a wide variety of food provides the essential nutrients your body needs. The digestive system breaks down food into nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals and vitamins.

8. There are two types of digestion.

In addition to the two functions and step-by-step process, there are two types of digestion which are mechanical and chemical. The mechanical process breaks the food into tiny particles, while the chemical digestion uses enzyme which is a catalyst to break these tiny particles into molecules. The body then separates the molecules and absorbs the necessary nutrients.

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Hello, my name is Brenda and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a small business owner. Currently edging towards retirement, I hope to devote more time to my activism and social work in the near future. Helping those in need is my passion.