How to Stomach It – Eating Well To Digest Well

After munching on those finger-lickingFrench fries and juicy fried chicken, have you ever wondered how these foodsare being digested in our stomach?

What processes are involved and how is thedigestion controlled and manipulated by these organs in the digestive tract?

Now, before taking in that smoking hot steak and chomping the delicious feast,indulge yourself first with this handful of information and be stunned with howthe digestion process goes!

Image by Carl Johan

The FoodProcessors

Food digestion first starts in the mouth,where our teeth breaks down the food into smaller bites and mixes it with salivato transform it into a form our body can absorb and use as a source ofenergy.

After that, smaller pieces offood pass down our throat. It travels into a slendertube called an esophagus, which acts as a bridge connecting your mouth and thestomach chamber. In this zone, peristalsis occurs, i.e. a series of musclecontractions preventing the backward flow of food, therefore pushing it to thestomach for further metabolism.

Food then enters the stomach, asac-like chamber which mixes and grinds the food further. With the excretion ofpowerful acids and enzymes, the continuous process of breaking down food into a liquid consistency.

Food then enters into the smallintestines, a long coiled tube which is responsible for the incessantmetabolism process. These include releasing of bile fluid from the liver and aiding the digestionand storage of fat and removal of waste products from the blood. It is here that the body absorbs nutrients from the food, via the bloodstream.Among the stomach and the small intestines are these organs which play seriesof vital role:

  • Pancreas.This oblong shaped organ secretes enzymes and digestive juices enablingprotein metabolism, fat and carbohydrate absorption from the food we eat.
  • Liver.Two principal functions of the liver are the secretion of bile to the digestivestream and acting as a cleansing machine, eradicating the toxins and alcoholicsubstances from the blood. A lot of the times, if you feel sluggish and tired, it could be your liver not operating optimally. You could try a liver cleansing diet filled with healthy foods to bring this most important organ back up to health.
  • Gallbladder.Under the liver is this pear-shaped organ which serves as a storage bin forbile fluid. When the meal is digested, this muscle contracts, flushing bileinto the small intestine.
  • LargeIntestine or Colon. What is left over in the small intestine passes through thecolon by means of peristalsis, where the waste materials or stool is collected.Here, there are useful bacteria which synthesizes the vitamins and processes thewaste products, pushing it to the rectum to start the course ofelimination.
  • Rectum.The rectum serves as the receiving area for the stool; when the elimination processstarts it sends a message to the brain to begin the expelling process.
  • Anus.This is the last part of the digestive tract where waste products are expelled and removed.

Have Happy Digestion!

Excessive food intake and improper dietresults to irritable bowel movement and stomach upset and distress. There are many ways of maintaining a healthy digestion. As always, we should lots ofeat fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish for protein.

Avoid excessiveconsumption of alcoholic beverages, caffeine drinks and saturated foods.

Eatless sodium-rich food and watch the sugar content. Drink lots ofwater to aid the peristalsis movement.

Another way is also taking probiotics, whichhelp in the homeostatic balance of bacteria present in the digestive tract.Probiotics helps in the growth of helpful bacteria such as bifidobacteria andlactobacilli, which assists in the digestive process and the body's absorption of food and nutrients.

Have a happy digestion!