Understanding how your body works is fundamental to understanding the impact of nutrition. Learn here how our body digests and processes the food you eat.
Digestion starts in the mouth. As we chew food digestive enzymes in the mouth begin to break it down. Some key micro-nutrients from fruit and vegetables begin a crucial part of digestion here.
The next stop is the stomach. More digestive enzymes are released here alongside stomach acid, which further breaks down the food.
The stomach is a short-term store for food, and gradually passes the broken-down food to the intestines.
The small intestine
The small intestine (with some help from the liver) finishes the digestive process, breaking food down one last time into molecules ready for the body to use.
These molecules pass through the wall of the small intestine and into the bloodstream.
Anything left is passed to the large intestine for disposal.
The nutrients are transported around the body as glucose, fatty acids and amino acids, moving into the tissues to produce ATP (the main energy currency of the body).
Glucose and fatty acids are important sources of energy.
Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and important for the growth and repair of muscles and other tissues.
A visual representation of the digestive process
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