You are exactly what you eat!
We eat, to chew, we swallow and we digest, all thanks to our digestive system! When you think about one of your favorite past times all throughout the day, what comes into mind? For a fact, I bet a majority of you will answer, “Eating of course!” Who doesn’t enjoy it? It’s the beautiful imagine of eating your delicious slice of cake or engulfing a big piece of pizza. Who can deny?
Eating is a much favored activity throughout the day and we have our digestive system to thank for that. But do you know what exactly happens when you devour a piece of your much-loved baby back ribs? Even when you’re busy doing something else, your stomach is going through many processes to digest what you eat. It’s our digestive system who processes that yummy foods we put into out mouth.
This system works all throughout the day with whatever you put into your mouth and swallow. It’s busy at work just like you are. A vital process in your digestive system is called “digestion.” This is the process in which your body receives its energy and nutrients from the food and liquids you put into your mouth and swallow. Did you know that even before consuming a yummy piece of chocolate cake, just the mere sight, thought and smell of it is where digestion begins. There is a certain substance in this system called, “saliva” or “spit” starts forming in your mouth. Saliva serves as an element to break down food a little to help what you eat become easier to swallow, thus preventing you from choking on your food which could be a major emergency.
The organs of our digestive system are very important!
The pinkish to reddish structure in your mouth called the “tongue” helps to shove your food down while your teeth grind it up to make it into much smaller pieces. Your food eventually slides down the back of your throat into your esophagus, which is the next part of this system. Our esophagus is a long elastic pipe around 10 inches long and helps moves your food down to your stomach. It also helps air to come in and out of your body which is for your oxygenation and breathing.
There is a structure called an “epiglottis” which navigates what you eat to enter your actual esophagus and not down your windpipe. That’s actually when choking occurs, when the food ends up in your wind pipe. That is why our mothers always told us not to rush our eating and chew thoroughly so that our epiglottis has time to direct out food down the right pipe preventing us from gagging.
At the very end of our esophagus is our stomach. I’m sure this is a familiar structure to us even if you aren’t a nurse or medical doctor because we all know our food is stored in there. Our stomach is also what signals us that we’re hungry when it starts growling for us to feed it. It has a close resemblance to the shape of the letter J.
Like I’ve said our stomach stores our food, breaks it down and empties it into our small intestine. Think of our stomach as our own personal blender in our bodies. We also have gastric juices in our stomach which helps with the breakdown of our food. The gastric acid also increases when your stomach is getting that acidy feeling. That is actually the main cause of gastric ulcers because if you don’t eat on time, acid levels eventually rises and since it has nothing to break down it tends to create holes all throughout the stomach. The acids also help kill bacteria that our food might have in them to protect our digestive system.
The next structure in our this important system is our small intestines. This is a long tube around 1 ½ inches to 2 inches around and is right under your tummy. One amazing fact is that if you stretch out a person’s small intestine it could reach a whopping 22 feet long (6.7 meters). This is the structure in our system that absorbs the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats from the food that we just ate. There are different juices from our pancreas, gallbladder and liver aid in digestion of our food and absorption of nutrients. The pancreas mainly creates juices to digest fats and protein, the liver producing “bile” to absorb fat into our bloodstream and our gallbladder is the place the bile is stored. The food you just ate stays in our small intestines for around 4 hours until it breaks it down to liquid.
Love our liver as people would say! Our liver serves a vital role in our digestive system as the collector of blood with many nutrients. Our liver’s main function is to filter out waste and harmful substances. Our liver stores certain types of vitamins also which helps out whenever our body might need those vitamins in the future.
The next stop is our large intestine. As the name suggests, our large intestine is much larger than our small intestine. When this structure is spread out it measures 5 feet (1.5 meters), still quite long because imagine it being enclosed in out body. There the vitamins and nutrients are still being absorbed from the food separating it into waste material, basically the stuff your body doesn’t need anymore.
I’m pretty sure you know exactly where this all ends. “SLUSH” right you are, down the toilet. The “colon” is the final stop in our digestive system when it absorbs minerals. Basically, this structure squeezes out more nutrients, vitamins and water for our body’s need. As the water is squeezed out, sooner or later it becomes a solid. That is what goes down your toilet. Just like our urinary system which has urine as its end product, “feces” or “stool” is the end product of this system. Our large intestine aids in pushing our stool to our rectum and that is when you hear the call of nature.
Our digestive system, as you can imagine, is very important in our body’s well-being since that is where you put your food, there is a collection of essential vitamins, minerals and other substances important for our bodies growth and healthy balance. The start of digestive system problems often arise when you don’t have a balance diet, intake of harmful substances, skip meals because of dieting and many more. Increasing your intake of fiber rich foods is essential because it aids in your digestion.
There are certain natural remedies, such as herbs and “do-it-at-home” techniques you can do to stay away from medical problems because we should always take care of our stomach, it’ll be nice to you if you make it happy!