What is Digestion
Eating (and drinking) are the taking in (swallowing) of food and other nourishing material by the body. That is, eating is the range of processes by which an organism takes in food.
Digestion is the process by which the materials we eat, such as food and drink, is broken down – into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by the body, and waste products are expelled from the body.
None of the food that we eat or the liquids that we drink can actually be used by the body in the forms in which we consume them.
Foods and liquids need to be broken down into very small particles and molecules, so that they can be absorbed and used by the body.
Digestion is a process that is both mechanical and chemical.
For example, teeth in the mouth help to physically crush and break-up the food into smaller pieces to increase their surface area in order that it can be processed chemically in later stages of digestion. The stomach secretes acids and enzymes which chemically break the food down into very small particles and molecules, so that these can be processed in later stages of digestion.
Food is made up of various different types and concentrations of nutrients that determine how nutritious our food is. These nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and water.
Food may also contain material that cannot be digested by the body, such as fiber. Diets rich in fiber have a number of very significant health benefits, including decreased risks of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and bowel and Colon issues.
The collection and elimination of waste products from the body is an important part of digestion. Undigested and undigestible parts of food, dead cells from the lining of digestive tract, and some water, are eliminated from the body as faeces (also called stools).
Maintaining a healthy Digestive System is extremely important for your general health and well-being.