Food Digestion and Digestive System Diagram

Food Digestion and Digestive System Diagram
Food digestion starts at your front door (mouth) and ends at your back door (anus). Before you can absorb any nutrients from your diet, food has to be broken down by your digestive system.

If you begin with a good healthy diet and all goes well in your digestive system process, food digestion turns food into nutrition. Protein, fat and carbohydrates, for example, are broken down into very simple substances, such as fatty acids, simple sugars and amino acid building blocks.

However plenty can go wrong, which leads to digestive problems. The symptoms are heartburn, belching, gas, bloating, bad breath, poor absorption, bacterial ulcers, constipation and diarrhea.

Digestive System Diagram and Overview

The Human Digestive System Roadblocks

Around age 30 humans begin to produce less hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. (Burp!) It can actually happen sooner than the big 3-0 and progressively get worse as we age. (Hiccup!)

Overeating and eating too fast causes gas. (Pfttttttt!) Excessive alcohol, habitual use of antacids and poor food choices create food digestion problems too (r-r-rumble) and can negatively affect the performance of hydrochloric acid and enzyme production, leading to poor digestion. (Belch!)

The point is, when your digestion is not working properly, you’re not the only one who notices.

Plus, digestive problems can turn out to be quite serious. Persistent digestive problems not only cause gas and heartburn, they can also lead to irritable bowel syndrome or even colon cancer.

But there’s are a lot of things you can do to support good digestion before problems occur.

How Do You Spell Digestive System “Relief”?

The best way to spell digestion “relief” is P-R-E-V-E-N-T-I-O-N! And prevention starts with good high fiber foods and raw food. Foods naturally high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, whole grain pasta and breads, help to move food through the digestive process.

And raw foods have naturally occurring plant enzymes that assist your body in digestion, so avoid overcooked or processed fruits and vegetables, because enzymes are easily destroyed.

You can also eat good, low fat, complete sources of protein found in fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs and certain dairy products. This is because your body naturally makes enzymes from the amino acids in protein. If you’re a vegetarian, make sure to get the complete proteins you need.

Enzymes are important for many reasons besides digestion. You can’t walk, talk, breath or blink without them. A well functioning body produces hundreds and hundreds of different enzymes and missing just one can mean the difference between well being and illness, life and death.

Speaking of "death" let me give you an idea of just how important enzymes are.

Food Digestion and Digestive System Enzymes

If a 100-pound woman gets a yearning for a piece of chocolate cake, but her body does not have a specific enzyme, she’s in big trouble. Eating the cake will cause her temperature to rise to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit and she’s a goner. Now, that’s what I call death by chocolate!

So make sure you’re getting enough complete protein to always have all the enzymes you need.

Avoid overeating, excessive alcohol and greasy foods. Drink plenty of water. And kick the over-the-counter antacid habit. Antacids only give temporary “relief” by addressing symptoms, not the cause. This just makes digestion worse. Remember the real way to spell relief is “Prevention!”

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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