The digestive system is the process of where your body breaks down food into small nutrient molecules.
Food provides nutrients for activities. Nutrients are substances in food that provide the raw materials and energy needed for the body to function. The six nutrients needed by the body are, Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water.
First nutrient: Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy that provide the raw materials that help make up the cell (Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen). There are two different types of Carbohydrates. They are called Simple Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates. Simple Carbohydrates are known as sugars. They can be natural sugars or added sugars. Glucose, which is a type of sugar, is a major source of energy for your bodies cells. Complex Carbohydrates are sugar molecules linked together in a chain.
The word calorie, with a lower case c, is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The word Calorie, with an upper case C has the definition of measuring the energy in food.
Second nutrient: Fiber
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in plant foods, but it does can't be broken down because your body cannot digest it as a nutrient. It is not considered a nutrient because your body cannot digest it but, it is important to have it the diet.
Third nutrient: Fats
Fats are high-energy nutrients that are composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. They contain twice the amount of energy as Carbohydrates. Fats also help to form certain structures in the body. Cholesterol is a waxy fat like substance found in only animal products. But, the human liver makes all the cholesterol you need so it is not a necessary food in the diet.
Fourth nutrient: Protiens
Proteins contain nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Proteins help tissue growth and repair, chemical reactions, and are a source of energy. Amino acids are small molecules linked together chemically to form a large protein molecule.
Fifth nutrient: Vitamins
Vitamins act as a helper molecule in many ways such as chemical reactions within the body. Chemical reactions are very important in the body for the digestive system because, without them, our food would not be able to be properly digested and they would not be able to get the nutrients your body needs.
Sixth nutrient: Minerals
Minerals along with Vitamins, help with the breaking down of food. Minerals that are not made by living things we can get by eating plant foods. Or we can get them by eating animal products from an animal that has eaten plants.
Digestive System Getting Real
When you eat your food it takes a long journey. In the mouth, mechanical and chemical digestion occur. There are two different types of digestion, mechanical digestion and chemical digestion. They are pretty straight forward. Mechanical digestion is when you chew your food and it breaks down into smaller pieces. Chemical digestion is when your body breaks down food inside of you. Enzymes play a big role in the chemical digestion because enzymes are a portion that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
Saliva then mixes with your food in your mouth to make the food easier to swallow. Saliva is the fluid released in your mouth. The esophagus brings food from your mouth to your stomach. The definition of the stomach is a muscular pouch that holds your food and combines it. Also it breaks down proteins. The proteins will break down into amino acids. The stomach provides an acidic environment for all of this to take place.
Absorption is the process where nutrient molecules pass through the wall of your digestive system into your bloodstream. Not all nutrients are absorbed such as fiber. If it is not absorbed then it is eliminated in the waste.
The epiglottis is what seals off your windpipe to prevent food from entering. If you have ever started to choke on food and someone has said, "Your food went down the wrong pipe!" that means that the piece of food was too big for the epiglottis to handle.
In the stomach, there is a lining called mucus. Mucus is a thick slippery substance. This helps to keep the stomach from getting a hole. Also it makes it easier for the food to travel because it makes it more slippery. Also peristalsis helps the food move throughout the body. Peristalsis are the waves of movement that are muscle contractions that help move the food to the other parts of the body.
The small intestine is a part of the digestive system where most of the chemical digestion takes place. Chemical digestion is just starting. The villus are the small finger shaped structures that cover the small intestine.
The liver also breaks down food. It is the largest and heaviest organ in the body and it can break down medicines and other substances. The bile digests fat particles. The gallbladder stores the bile. The pancreas is a triangular organ that lies between the stomach. It produces enzymes that break down starches, proteins, and fats.
The large intestines role in the digestive system is that it has bacteria that feeds on material passing through. It is the last part of digestive system.
One disease is diverticular. This is when small pouches develop in the muscular layers in the intestine. If the pouches become infected, bleeding and pain can be an outcome.
The rectum is the short tube at the end of the large intestine and wastes are compressed into a solid form. The anus is the opining at the end of the rectum and the opening were the wastes leaves and is eliminated.
The digestive system partners with the Excretory system. In the digestive system, the body separates waste and what your body needs. Without the excretory system, the waste would not be able to get out of the body. Also, the food would not be able to be eliminated if it was not properly digested.
By: Ryan G. and Molly C.