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Digest This!

The Digestive system - what an amazing process this is, I don't know about you but I'm fascinated by how it all works !

The digestive system is a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body.

Food passes through a loooooong tube (imagine something like a 7 metre hose) from one end of the body to the other!

It all begins at the mouth - once food is put into your mouth, the accessory organs that aid in the digestion (teeth, tongue and salivary glands) start to make things happen. Teeth chop food into small pieces, which are moistened by saliva before the tongue and other muscles push the food into the pharynx (throat).

Now the food is heading down the pharynx, which is a funnel-shaped tube connected to the posterior end of the mouth. The throat is responsible for the passing of masses of chewed food from the mouth to the esophagus.

The esophagus carries swallowed masses of chewed food along its length to the stomach.

Did you know an average person's stomach is about the size of their two fists placed next to each other.

This stomach acts as a storage tank for food so that the body has time to digest large meals properly.

The stomach also contains hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes that continue the digestion of food that began in the mouth.

Next up is our small intestine, which digests food and absorption of nutrients. By the time food leaves the small intestine, around 90% of all nutrients have been extracted from the food that entered it.

The liver, the second largest organ in our body. The main function of the liver in digestion is the production of bile and its secretion into the small intestine. The gallbladder is also used to store and recycle excess bile from the small intestine so that it can be reused for the digestion of subsequent meals.

Who would of thought so many organs had a part to play with digestion! The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine to complete the chemical digestion of foods.

Lastly, the large intestine absorbs water and contains many symbiotic bacteria that aid in the breaking down of wastes to extract some small amounts of nutrients. Feces (your poo) in the large intestine exit the body through the anal canal (your butt).

This is the process which takes place in your body once you eat food, isn't it incredible how hard your body has to work!

This is a table I came across in my studies that shows you the summary of the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, I though it would be interesting to share with you so you have a somewhat understanding of how your body breaks down different macro-nutrients.

-Renee xx

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