FOOD – WHERE DOES IT GO?
Where does the food go after the first bite? The stomach growls, we eat, or that empty feeling prompts us to eat. The aroma of the food cooking has your mouth watering…which, actually starts the digestive process. Some of this info may be repetitive but that is good.
First Stop: MOUTH – as you chew, enzymes in the saliva begin to break down any starches in the meal you are eating. Be sure not to eat too fast, this aggravates bloating.
Second Stop: THE HIGHWAY RUN…THE ESOPHAGUS – this tube carries the food from the mouth to the stomach. Muscles that line the esophagus push the food down in rhythmic waves. If the food is stopped at the lower end it allows some of the contents to back up – ouch – heartburn. So limit fatty and spicy foods and chew the food thoroughly.
Third Stop: THE BUMPY RIDE…STOMACH – once food lands in the stomach, acids and other substances are secreted, which break down the nutrients. The stomach has a special lining to protect itself from the acids and as well it releases bicarbonate to act as a buffer. The amount of time nutrients stay in the stomach is known as gastric emptying time. Therefore, plan meals and snacks to be filling to ward off the hungry feeling from returning too soon.
Fourth Stop: THE SMALL INTESTINE – as the food winds through the small intestine, juices from the pancreas and liver continue to break down nutrients and dissolve fat molecules. By this time it needs to get out of the digestive system and into the body’s cells. Hairlike projections called villi that stick out of the walls of the small intestine absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream, along with water, salt, vitamins and minerals.
Fifth Stop: FINAL DESTINATION…COLON Fiber content that isn’t digested passes through the digestive system, moving the other things along with it…sometimes the fiber is considered to be “nature’s broom”. Eating the right foods, using herbal supplements, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of exercise helps to avoid the roadblocks of Diarrhea/Constipation, thereby passing things out in and efficient way.
Did you know – that laughing for just 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories!
STAY SAFE – EAT HEALTHY – and ENJOY A GOOD LIFE!