Our body meets the energy it needs with nutrients. Nutrients are
∗ taken by mouth
∗ transported throughout the body by blood.
Digestion is the breaking down of nutrients into smaller pieces so that they can be used by the body. Let’s have a short look at the structures and organs in the body where digestion takes place:
Mouth: Digestion begins in the mouth. All food is broken down into small pieces in the mouth with the help of teeth. The salivary glands soften and lubricate foods with saliva secretion, and convert starchy foods into sugar.
Pharynx: The pharynx sends the food from the mouth to the esophagus.
Esophagus (Food Pipe): The bites that pass from the pharynx to the esophagus are transmitted to the stomach by the contraction and relaxation of the esophagus.
Stomach: Food coming from the esophagus is collected in the stomach. The muscles in the stomach wall contract and relax, causing the stomach to make churning movements and breaking the food into small pieces. Food stays in the stomach for 2-3 hours. It then passes into the small intestines.
Small Intestine: The 20-25 cm part of the small intestine near the stomach is called the duodenum. Digestion of food continues in the duodenum. As the food moves through the small intestine, it is broken down into small structural units by the effect of digestive secretions and passes into the blood.
Large Intestine: The large intestine absorbs the water in the nutrient fibers. It pushes the remaining pieces towards the anus.
Digestion stages of nutrients;
∗ The journey of food in our body begins in the mouth.
∗ The foods taken into the mouth are grinded and broken down by the teeth.
∗ Food is moistened with saliva in the mouth, softened and made to be swallowed.
∗ Foods that pass into the pharynx with swallowing are transmitted to the stomach through the esophagus.
∗ The food coming into the stomach undergoes changes by mixing with the liquid secreted by the stomach.
∗ The foods that become slurry with the contraction and relaxation movements of the stomach pass into the small intestine.
∗ The building blocks in the food are absorbed in the small intestine and pass into the blood.
∗ After absorption, the remaining pulp is sent to the large intestine.
∗ Some of the minerals, vitamins and water remaining in the pulp are absorbed in the large intestine.
∗ The well-solidified pulp is excreted as feces and digestion is thus completed.
|Vitamins, minerals and water pass into the blood without any digestion process.
|1 – Digestion
|2 – Mouth
|3 – Esophagus / Food pipe
|6 -Large Intestine
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