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Chewing sufficiently can hugely diminish digestive discomfort (and the saliva that mixes with our food while chewing is equipped with enzymes to start breaking down the food for better absorption).
Other practices that promote healthier digestion include minimizing distractions while eating, and eating in places that you do not associate with stress (in front of the computer, where you pay the bills, or even while watching a show or movie).
Hippocrates, considered to be the Father ofA Medicine, came to the conclusion that a€?all disease begins in the gut.a€? More and more research now validates his conclusion.
In the second installment of this article, we will go into more detail on the different phases of digestion, and take a closer look at the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that compose the microflora that inhabit our gut, and how they help us stay healthy.
1.Start by keeping a diet journal, writing down the time of day you eat, what you eat, where you are and with whom, your mood, and how you feel 30 minutes after eating (both in your body and mood-wise). I hope you read part 1 of the Digestion article (above) and were able to start a journal and answer the questions provided. The cephalic stage begins as you think about or smell food and results in the stimulation of your salivary glands and the secretion of gastric fluid into your stomach. Chewing, as I mentioned in part 1 of this article, is crucial to reduce food size and allow for the mixing of your food with mucus and saliva, which will lubricate the food as it travels through your esophagus and into your stomach. Once you swallow food, the protein stimulates the release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
Most of the carbohydrate and fat digestion, as well as the remainder of protein digestion, occurs in the intestinal phase.
It is important to understand these phases so that it might become clearer why not to have too much liquid while eating, why to avoid antacids, and why to eat slowly and without distractions. Science is finding that the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies (most of them in our guts) have more to do with digestion and health than we have ever imagined. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented or cultured foods is the easiest way to ensure optimal gut flora.
Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. One of the challenges in human nutrition is maintaining a balance between food intake, storage, and energy expenditure. Both physical and chemical digestion begin in the mouth or oral cavity, which is the point of entry of food into the digestive system.
The chemical process of digestion begins during chewing as food mixes with saliva, produced by the salivary glands ([link]).
The stomach lining is unaffected by pepsin and the acidity because pepsin is released in an inactive form and the stomach has a thick mucus lining that protects the underlying tissue. The large intestine reabsorbs the water from indigestible food material and processes the waste material ([link]).
The organs discussed above are the organs of the digestive tract through which food passes. The liver is the largest internal organ in humans and it plays an important role in digestion of fats and detoxifying blood. The pancreas secretes bicarbonate that neutralizes the acidic chyme and a variety of enzymes for the digestion of protein and carbohydrates. The human diet should be well balanced to provide nutrients required for bodily function and the minerals and vitamins required for maintaining structure and regulation necessary for good health and reproductive capability ([link]). Explore this interactive United States Department of Agriculture website to learn more about each food group and the recommended daily amounts. The organic molecules required for building cellular material and tissues must come from food.
Proteins in food are broken down during digestion and the resulting amino acids are absorbed. While the animal body can synthesize many of the molecules required for function from precursors, there are some nutrients that must be obtained from food. The fatty acids omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid are essential fatty acids needed to make some membrane phospholipids. Obesity With obesity at high rates in the United States, there is a public health focus on reducing obesity and associated health risks, which include diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Fatty foods are calorie-dense, meaning that they have more calories per unit mass than carbohydrates or proteins. Some amino acids can be synthesized by the body, while others need to be obtained from diet.
Accessory organs play an important role in producing and delivering digestive juices to the intestine during digestion and absorption.
Minerals—such as potassium, sodium, and calcium—are required for the functioning of many cellular processes. SUMMARY: Rabbits are simple-stomached animals that have adapted a specialized approach to effectively utilize their herbivorous diets. DIGESTION IN THE RABBIT: The rabbit has a cleft prehensile mouth that is well suited for grasping, sorting, and selecting grasses, leaves, and roots. This variation on the monogastric digestion process allows the rabbit to both discard indigestible materi- als rapidly, and to salvage the nutritive value derived from fermentation in the cecum. Our health depends on our ability to digest what we consume, assimilate nutrients, and properly dispose of waste products.
Not to mention keeping the right atmosphere for the friendly bacteria to inhabit it, thus keeping the unfriendly microorganisms out. When we think of food, look at food, smell food, and touch food, our brains start the digestive process by initiating physiological responses, such as salivation, heart rate changes, digestive enzyme secretion, and many others. Without the ability to absorb nutrition from our foodA and eliminate waste, we open the door to a number of health issues, including many that seem not to be related to the gut, such as headaches, back pain, frequent colds, mood issues, skin issues, chronic conditions, and even cancer. The saliva contains the digestive enzyme amylase, which begins to digest starches, and bicarbonate, which neutralizes acidic foods.
The presence of food particles activates hormones, which signal the pancreas to release enzymes to further break down nutrients, and the gall bladder to release bile for fat digestion. When your gut is healthy, it keeps any foreign invaders in food from getting into the bloodstream.
If you are anxious, depressed, or stressed, you may notice that your desire for food is different or your digestion is off. This is a short-term (and unhealthy) way to make the neurotransmitters your body needs to restore your emotional equilibrium. For starters, it is thought that 90% of the cells in our bodies are microflora cells (bacteria, fungi, viruses), and only 10% are human cells. Place the cabbage in a large glass jar or crock, pressing down firmly with your fist to pack the cabbage tightly. Fill a smaller jar with water and place it inside the jar to weigh down the cabbage and keep it below the liquid.
Cover the jars with a towel and leave it at room temperature for at least 4 days and up to two weeks.


While plants can obtain nutrients from their roots and the energy molecules required for cellular function through the process of photosynthesis, animals obtain their nutrients by the consumption of other organisms. Taking in more food energy than is used in activity leads to storage of the excess in the form of fat deposits. The teeth play an important role in masticating (chewing) or physically breaking food into smaller particles. The gastro-esophageal sphincter (or cardiac sphincter) is located at the stomach end of the esophagus. The highly acidic environment kills many microorganisms in the food and, combined with the action of the enzyme pepsin, results in the catabolism of protein in the food.
The small intestine is the organ where the digestion of protein, fats, and carbohydrates is completed. The human large intestine is much smaller in length compared to the small intestine but larger in diameter.
The liver produces bile, a digestive juice that is required for the breakdown of fats in the duodenum.
During digestion, digestible carbohydrates are ultimately broken down into glucose and used to provide energy within the cells of the body.
All of the proteins in the body must be formed from these amino-acid constituents; no proteins are obtained directly from food.
Fatty foods are also significant sources of energy, and fatty acids are required for the construction of lipid membranes. These nutrients are termed essential nutrients, meaning they must be eaten, because the body cannot produce them. Vitamins are another class of essential organic molecules that are required in small quantities. One gram of carbohydrates has four calories, one gram of protein has four calories, and one gram of fat has nine calories. To combat childhood obesity and ensure that children get a healthy start in life, in 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move! The mouth is the point of ingestion and the location where both mechanical and chemical breakdown of food begins.
Some essential nutrients are required for cellular function but cannot be produced by the animal body.
While minerals are required in trace amounts, not having minerals in the diet can be potentially harmful.
Some of the contributors to this situation include sedentary lifestyles and consuming more processed foods and less fruits and vegetables.
By mechanically separating indigestible from digestible material at the ileo- colic junction the rabbit is able to discard less valuable digesta in favor of more digestible.
They have adapted a unique method of processing forage based diets that allow them to be nimble and yet nutritionally replete (Davies and Davies, 2003).
Small intestinal digestion for the rabbit is similar to that of other monogastric species, but transit time is very quick.
The nutrient compo- sition of cecotropes differ from hard feces with about half the crude fiber content, and appreciably more protein and essential amino acids (Carabano and Piquer 2003).
To meet all of these needs, we need to consume whole, healthy foods that provide enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and we also need to understand how our lifestyle affects this process. The best rule of thumb is to chew until you can no longer identify the food based on its texture.
Ensuring that we have a a€?well-oiled digestive machinea€? is one of the main ways to prevent disease. Stress hormones can shut down digestion (which results in constipation) or speed it up (which results in diarrhea). Keeping a healthy diet with plenty of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants is a way to keep a healthy production of a€?feel gooda€? neurotransmitters. Keeping the right balance of bacteria and other organisms is key to good health, as the overgrowth of harmful bacteria can make us sick, while beneficial bacteria (known as probiotics) work with us to keep us healthy. At the cellular level, the biological molecules necessary for animal function are amino acids, lipid molecules, nucleotides, and simple sugars. The rise in obesity and the resulting diseases like type 2 diabetes makes understanding the role of diet and nutrition in maintaining good health all the more important.
All mammals have teeth and can chew their food to begin the process of physically breaking it down into smaller particles.
The smooth muscles of the esophagus undergo peristalsis that pushes the food toward the stomach.
In response to swallowing and the pressure exerted by the bolus of food, this sphincter opens, and the bolus enters the stomach. Chemical digestion is facilitated by the churning action of the stomach caused by contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles.
The small intestine is a long tube-like organ with a highly folded surface containing finger-like projections called the villi.
The chyme is mixed with pancreatic juices, an alkaline solution rich in bicarbonate that neutralizes the acidity of chyme from the stomach. The anus is an opening at the far-end of the digestive tract and is the exit point for the waste material. Accessory organs include the salivary glands, the liver, the pancreas, and the gall bladder.
The liver also processes the absorbed vitamins and fatty acids and synthesizes many plasma proteins. Complex carbohydrates, including polysaccharides, can be broken down into glucose through biochemical modification; however, humans do not produce the enzyme necessary to digest cellulose (fiber). Fats are also required in the diet to aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the production of fat-soluble hormones.
These fatty acids are stored in adipose tissue cells—the fat cells in the mammalian body whose primary role is to store fat for later use. The more nutrient dense fraction is swept into the cecum and fermented by a host of anaerobic bacteria. Electrolyte minerals (K, Na, etc), and B-vitamins are also elevated in cecotropes (Table 1). When you are ready to eat, present your food beautifully, even if you are just cooking for yourself.
A teacher of mine used to say: a€?drink your foods and chew your liquids,a€? meaning that we should chew enough that the food is almost liquid, and drink slowly enough so that we are almost chewing our liquids.
Pound the cabbage with a mallet or massage with your hands for about 10 minutes to release the juices. When you like it, refrigerate it in a sealed jar, making sure there is water over the sauerkraut.


The food is then swallowed and enters the esophagus—a long tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. It also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase that begins the process of converting starches in the food into a disaccharide called maltose. The peristaltic wave is unidirectional—it moves food from the mouth the stomach, and reverse movement is not possible, except in the case of the vomit reflex.
When there is no swallowing action, this sphincter is shut and prevents the contents of the stomach from traveling up the esophagus.
Pancreatic juices contain several digestive enzymes that break down starches, disaccharides, proteins, and fats.
Two sphincters regulate the exit of feces, the inner sphincter is involuntary and the outer sphincter is voluntary. The secretions of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are regulated by hormones in response to food consumption. The gallbladder is a small organ that aids the liver by storing bile and concentrating bile salts. The intestinal flora in the human gut are able to extract some nutrition from these plant fibers. Greater amounts of food energy taken in than the body’s requirements will result in storage of the excess in fat deposits. The goal of this campaign is to educate parents and caregivers on providing healthy nutrition and encouraging active lifestyles in future generations. Food intake in more than necessary amounts is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells, and in adipose tissue. Night feces (cecotropes) from this cecal fermented material are packaged in mucin and pass through the colon to the anus.
The microbial protein of the cecotropes is digested in the jejunum and aided by the lysozyme that was added to the cecotropes in the colon and by enzymes from the cecotropes lysed bacterial cells. Drinking too much liquid, especially cold liquid while eating is not recommended because it a€?coolsa€? and dilutes the power of digestion (mainly the acids). Animals must convert these macromolecules into the simple molecules required for maintaining cellular function.
Using peristalsis, or wave-like smooth-muscle contractions, the muscles of the esophagus push the food toward the stomach.
The peristaltic movement of the esophagus is an involuntary reflex; it takes place in response to the act of swallowing.
Acid reflux or “heartburn” occurs when the acidic digestive juices escape into the esophagus. The epithelial cells of these structures absorb nutrients from the digested food and release them to the bloodstream on the other side.
Bile is produced in the liver and stored and concentrated in the gallbladder; it enters the duodenum through the bile duct. The colon is home to many bacteria or “intestinal flora” that aid in the digestive processes. This program aims to involve the entire community, including parents, teachers, and healthcare providers to ensure that children have access to healthy foods—more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—and consume fewer calories from processed foods. These cecotropes are ingested by the rabbit and swallowed intact where they contribute substantially to the protein, mineral and vitamin nutriture of the animal. A moderate amount of a warm beverage, drank slowly, is the best accompaniment to our meals. The conversion of the food consumed to the nutrients required is a multistep process involving digestion and absorption. The chewing and wetting action provided by the teeth and saliva prepare the food into a mass called the bolus for swallowing. The villi and microvilli, with their many folds, increase the surface area of the small intestine and increase absorption efficiency of the nutrients.
The colon has four regions, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon. The excess sugars in the body are converted into glycogen and stored for later use in the liver and muscle tissue.
Minerals perform many functions, from muscle and nerve function, to acting as enzyme cofactors. During digestion, food particles are broken down to smaller components, which are later absorbed by the body.
This acidity kills microorganisms, breaks down food tissues, and activates digestive enzymes. The movement of chyme from the stomach into the small intestine is regulated by hormones, stomach distension and muscular reflexes that influence the pyloric sphincter. The monosaccharides, amino acids, bile salts, vitamins, and other nutrients are absorbed by the cells of the intestinal lining. The main functions of the colon are to extract the water and mineral salts from undigested food, and to store waste material.
Glycogen stores are used to fuel prolonged exertions, such as long-distance running, and to provide energy during food shortage.
With the increase in television viewing and stationary pursuits such as video games, sedentary lifestyles have become the norm. As a bunch, the cecotrophs flow through the colon and arrive at the anus for direct ingestion. Further breakdown of food takes place in the small intestine where bile produced by the liver, and enzymes produced by the small intestine and the pancreas, continue the process of digestion. The large intestine reabsorbs water from the undigested food and stores waste until elimination. The smaller molecules are absorbed into the blood stream through the epithelial cells lining the walls of the small intestine. The human body can synthesize only 11 of the 20 required amino acids; the rest must be obtained from food. The waste material travels on to the large intestine where water is absorbed and the drier waste material is compacted into feces; it is stored until it is excreted through the anus.
The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that covers the tracheal opening during swallowing to prevent food from entering the lungs.




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