What is Digestion?

What is digestion? Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breaking down of food into smaller components that can be absorbed into the blood stream.

Digestion begins in the brain. Just the aroma of food begins the chemical reaction of releasing digestive enzymes. As food enters the mouth and we begin to chew, even more enzymes are released. Digestion of carbohydrates begins very quickly in the mouth. They are the most easily digested of the 3, Protein, Fat and carbohydrate. This is why one becomes hungry sooner by consuming a higher carbohydrate diet.

We are often told to chew slowly and put our forks down between bites. This isn't always possible and the habit is not easily attained in our busy lives. By taking the time to properly chew our foods, we not only allow the digestive juices time to enter the stomach but you are breaking the particles of foods into smaller molecules thereby increasing nutrient absorption.

What is digestion?

Once food enters the stomach, the chewed food from the mouth gets mixed together forming what is referred to as a bolus. The stomach is your body's mechanical and chemical food processor of sorts. It's a pouch composed of muscle that encircle the stomach in different directions. When they contract, the stomach can mix the mush this way and that. The stomach muscles twist and churn the food like you would knead bread dough. The lining of the stomach secretes gastric juices, including hydrochloric acid, which dissolves the food, a protein splitting enzyme called pepsin, (remember, proteins split into individual amino acids) and a fat-digesting enzyme called lipase. Like fruits or vegetables pureed in a blender, the food is churned and mixed with the digestive juices until it resembles a thick soup. This is called chyme. (pronounced kyme

What is digestion and hydrochloric acid?

Hydrochloric acid is strong enough to eat through meat and potent enough to kill most of the harmful bacteria that may be in food. The stomach not only digests, but it also disinfects.

It is the body's food processor and the body's food purifier. Yet it does not destroy all the bacteria we ingest. Some of the bacteria that are able to survive the harsh conditions in the stomach eventually take up residence in the intestine where, in return for all they can eat, fulfill an important role in the health and digestive process. This is a beneficial component of your immune system. By introducing foods with beneficial bacteria, you are only increasing your immune response. Foods devoid of nutrition do not contribute to healthy digestion.

As the chyme, the food mush, enters the small intestine the most important part of digestion - absorption - begins. The first part of the small intestine is called the duodenum (Latin for "twelve" - the adult duodenum is around 12 finger breadths long). More digestive processes occur in the duodenum than in any other part of the intestinal tract.

In order for you to assimilate your food for nutrient, it has to get through the intestinal lining, so here's where exciting part of what is digestion and the changes that occur. First, because the more delicate lining of the small intestine doesn't like the irritating stomach acids, it secretes the body's own antacids called bicarbonates to neutralize the food. As the food moves down the intestinal dis-assembly line, it passes by stations where it gets squirts of digestive juices that further break down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into molecules small enough to seep into the bloodstream.

Each nutrient requires specific intestinal juices that work on its molecules in very particular ways.

What is digestion of protein?

Trypsin and peptidases are enzymes that disassemble the protein necklaces into individual amino acids, the building blocks of the body, which enter the bloodstream through "doors" in the intestinal lining specially marked for "amino acid entry only". If the intestinal lining is injured, these doors are not so selective, allowing allergens (undigested proteins) to pass through that are potentially harmful to the body a condition known as leaky gut syndrome and potentially contributing to a negative immune response. Protein can be converted and stored as fat if the consumption is more than the body requires.

What is digestion of carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates are disassembled into individual sugar molecules by the enzymes lactase, sucrase, maltase, and pancreatic amylase, and the individual sugar molecules enter the bloodstream through doors marked "sugar only." If no more glucose is needed, carbohydrate is easily converted and stored as fat.

What is digestion of fat?

Meanwhile in the stomach, the fats are finally getting ready to leave. This is why fat satiates longer than protein and carbos! As they enter the small intestine, the fats get a squirt of bile from the gallbladder and some lipase from the pancreas.

The bile emulsifies the fat, the way soap breaks up grease. Like soap, bile does not really dissolve the fat, but rather breaks it down into tiny particles, which are then more easily broken down by the intestinal enzyme lipase for absorption into the bloodstream.

The individual fatty acid molecules are broken down and enter are shifted to the bloodstream in special packages called lipoproteins. These molecular packages then circulate throughout the bloodstream providing nutrition to the cells as needed.

When the lipoproteins have deposited the fatty acids into the cells, it then looks for places to deposit for future energy use like the liver and fat cells.

In the absence of elevated carbohydrate remember, the body does not easily store fat rather it is utilized for energy.

What is digestion and the large intestine?Foods that can not be absorbed ie: fibers, are then carried to the large intestine where the body naturally absorbs additional liquid and then elimination begins. When one eats poorly with little natural fat and beneficial bacteria, constipation is eminent.

That was your short trip down your digestive tract! If you suffer from Acid Reflux, Constipation, Diarrhea or Stomach Distress after eating, you need a digestive over haul.

Currently, far too many are consuming dangerous unhealthy foods only to contribute to digestive upset and treating with drugs that only mask the problem rather than treat it. This not only leads to further complications but down regulates the immune system opening you up to infectious disease and complications. Your digestion is more than 70% of your immune system.

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