The human digestive system is uniquely designed to help the body break down food, extract nutrients, and convert them into energy. It is also responsible for the growth and cell repair. The digestive tract begins this involuntary process as soon as the food is consumed. The saliva mixes with the food while chewing and starts to break down food. Several other enzymes present in the digestive tract extend this process by further breaking down the food mixing with digestive juices. As the process of digestion continues, the food is propelled from organ to organ through muscular contractions called peristalsis.

 

What is the digestive system?

The digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract, also known as the GI tract or digestive tract, the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The Digestive tract is a series of organs joined in the form of a long, twisting tube from the mouth till the anus. These pipe-like organs that make up the Digestive tract are named as the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the digestive system’s dense organs that carry out the rest of the digestive process.

The small intestine is divided into three parts. The first part is known as the duodenum. The jejunum is situated in the middle, and the ileum is at the very end of the digestive tract. The large intestine includes organs such as the appendix, cecum, colon, and rectum. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch-like organ attached to the cecum. The first part of the large intestine is the cecum, and the next is the colon. The rectum is the end of the large intestine.

 

How does the Digestive System Work?

Systematically the food moves through your GI tract, and your digestive organs break the food into smaller parts. It does so in the following manner: 

  • First the food morsel is broken down in motion, such as chewing, squeezing, and mixing with the saliva.
  • It further combines digestive juices, such as stomach acid, bile, and enzymes that help turn it into energy.

Mouth

The mouth is where all the digestive processes start. When you consume food and chew, it mixes with the saliva. Saliva made by the salivary glands is a digestive juice that moistens the food so that it can move easily and quickly through the oesophagus into your stomach. Saliva also contains an enzyme that begins to break down the starch substances in your food.

 

Oesophagus

After the saliva moistens the food, you swallow it. Later, the food is pushed down from the oesophagus into your stomach.

 

Stomach

The digestive glands inside of your stomach lining prepare strong stomach acid and powerful enzymes that help in the process of breaking down food. Muscles of your abdomen mix the food with these digestive juices. From here, the food then moves to the small intestine.

 

Pancreas

Among other functions, the pancreas secrete enzymes into the small intestine. These enzymes help to break down protein, fat, and carbohydrates from the food we consume. The pancreas release these digestive juices to the small intestine through ducts shaped like small tubes.

 

Liver

Bile juice production is one of the main functions of the Liver. It helps to digest fats and vitamins. Bile ducts are responsible for carrying bile from the Liver to your gallbladder for storage purposes or usage in the small intestine.

 

Gallbladder

After bile production in the liver, the gallbladder stores bile for in between meals, when your consumed food reaches your gallbladder, it squeezes bile through its bile ducts forward into your small intestine.

 

Small intestine

The digestive juices made by your small intestine mixes with bile as well as the pancreatic juice to complete the process of breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The bacteria present in your small intestine is known to make some enzymes that are needed to digest carbohydrates. Your small intestine also moves water from your bloodstream into your digestive tract to help in the breakdown of food. The small intestine also absorbs water along with other nutrients.

 

Large intestine

More water flows in your large intestine from your Digestive tract and then into your bloodstream. Bacteria that are inside the large intestine help break down remaining nutrients and make vitamins. Waste products from digestion, including parts of food that are still too large, become feces.

 

Rectum

It is the organ at the end of the large intestine. It is a small space that is a temporary storage area for excretions.

 

Anus

The anus is an organ through which the stool is expelled. The waste moves from the rectum to the anus for elimination.

 

The digestive system works in sync with all body organs, including each other to keep your body healthy and run smoothly. Digestion is important because your body needs energy and nutrients from the food that you eat in order to function efficiently. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water are the fuel to your body that keeps it running. Your digestive system helps break the eatables into small parts moving through the digestive tract and absorbing the necessary things to use for energy, growth, as well as cell repair. Proteins are broken into amino acids, Fats transform into fatty acids and glycerol, and carbohydrates are turned into simple sugars. 

 

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