You may now want to know about how you get enough nutrition. Think of your body structure. A well-formed digestive system of the human body consists of several organs and glands. The digestive tract begins at the mouth and ends at the anus, the last part of the tract that expels out the waste products after digestion. The entire digestive tract passes through the esophagus or food pipe into the stomach and then through the small intestine, large intestine, and rectum, ultimately ending at the anal opening. Major organs such as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder play an essential role in the digestion of food.
You need to learn more about the system and how digestion ensures the nutrition of the body. Some of the primary areas involved with digestion and nutrition directly consist of:
Buccal Cavity (Mouth)
- It contains teeth and the tongue.
- Your teeth will help you to chew large particles of food into small-sized portions.
- The fleshy, muscular gland attached to the base of the cavity is the tongue.
- Saliva is secreted within the mouth. The chemicals in it help to break down the food and prepare it for digestion.
Open your mouth wide and trace the tongue.
- It is attached to the buccal cavity floor at the back, near the throat’s opening.
- It moves when you eat and helps to mix the saliva properly with the food and then pushes it back into the opening, enabling you to swallow.
- This gland also has several taste buds located here that enable you to differentiate between different tastes. Thus, ice cream will taste sweet, while spicy gravy will feel hot on your tongue as the taste buds recognize the chili within it.
An adult has 32 permanent teeth, with the wisdom teeth developing later in life. Remember that several bacteria act directly on the remnants of food particles left in your mouth. The sugar in them is broken down, and acids release now into your mouth. Do not avoid washing your mouth thoroughly after eating. Failing to do so will cause your teeth to decay, and you will suffer from toothache.
Oesophagus (Food Pipe)
The food you swallow passes through the long tube known as the esophagus. You may call it the food pipe.
- The entire tube is approximately 25 centimeters in length and guarded by sphincters (valves) at the beginning and end.
- All the food that you swallow along with water passes through this tube to reach the stomach.
This is one of the organs believed to be the most essential for nutrition in animals.
- It is a bag-like structure made out of muscles.
- It is situated below the esophagus and obtains food directly from it.
- The other end opens into the small intestine.
- The stomach’s innermost lining contains mucus and some digestive juices along with hydrochloric acid (HCL).
- The food that you have swallowed is converted into a semi-solid mass by mixing with the juices.
- There are many enzymes in the digestive juices that break down the food.
- HCL eliminates the bacteria that may have entered the stomach with the food and digests the proteins.
Partially digested food enters the small intestine from the stomach. This is a 7.5 meters long organ that looks like a spiral structure.
- The process of digestion is completed here, with the absorption of essential nutrients taking place here too.
- Tiny finger-like projections known as villi are seen in the inner walls of the small intestine.
- The villi increase the area of absorption.
- There are numerous blood vessels in the villi that transport the absorbed food to the body.
This is the next part of the digestive tract that looks similar to the small intestine but is much shorter.
- The required amount of water and salt that remains in the food is absorbed here.
- Undigested and unwanted food that is converted to waste passes out into the rectum.
- The waste matter is transformed into feces that gets ejected from the body via the anal opening.
The last part of the digestive system is known as the anus. It removes waste products from the human body after digestion of food.