Imagine your favorite food on a plate right in front of you. Imagine the taste of it once you put it in your mouth. You begin chewing it bite by bite and you swallow it so it can go into your stomach. Being able to feel that sensation of satisfaction once it´s in your tummy is like going to the moon and coming back.
Have you ever asked yourself what happens to that food once you´ve swallowed it? You´re probably thinking on the process called poop. Yet, what really happens to it before getting there? Digestion is the process of changing food into a substance that the body can absorb and use as energy. It is a process that is half mechanical, and half chemical.
In the mechanical process, you teeth tear and grind the food in order to swallow it, and the muscular walls of your esophagus, stomach, and intestine continue this process by pushing the food along, and breaking it into smaller particles. While the chemical process occurs at every point in the digestive system. It involves the smelling and seeing of food that set off nerve impulses that trigger the release of enzymes and other substances that will break down food to release the nutrients inside for the body to use.
Now, picture that favorite food of yours again. Imagine taking a bite. When this happens your teeth chew breaking the food into small pieces, your salivary glands release saliva to help the food become softer, and slide down your throat on a flow of saliva. Then, enzymes in the saliva begin to digest the carbohydrates of that food.
After this, the food passes through the esophagus, which leads the food into the stomach. The stong and muscular walls of your stomach contract with force to break down the food into even smaller pieces while the glands in the stomach walls release stomach juices. These juices begin the digestion of proteins and fats into their respective amino and fatty acids. As a result, what began as your favorite food is now a thick, soupy mass called chyme.
Then, the stomach´s wavelike contractions push the chyme into the small intestine where your body begins to pull out the nutrients it needs. Likewise, your small intestine uses its contracting muscles to push the food along. After your small intestine has squashed every last piece of useful material out of the food, the indigestible remainder moves toward your large intestine. This large intestine is called the colon whose job is to absorb the water from the mass you delivered to it and then squeeze the leftovers into a compact bundle of waste known as feces (or poop). Finally, muscular contractions in the rectum push the feces out of your body, and the digestion process is completed.
To wrap up this process, when you eat, the food goes into your stomach, then into your small intestine, and finally into your colon converting food into poop.