How your digestion really works

by Natasha Jha

Digestion is the important process by which we obtain and transform energy from the outside world into energy for our bodies. Isn't it fascinating that each bite of food we take will eventually become a part of our cells? Some will produce energy to pump our hearts while others will help our legs move when we run. Read on to know how this amazing process called digestion actually works.

Digestion is a north-south process that begins not in your mouth, but in your brain.

Digestion is a north-south process that begins not in your mouth, but in your brain. When you see or smell food, your body switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the ‘rest and digest’ state. It also signals the mouth to start producing saliva in anticipation of your first bite (this is why we often salivate thinking about food even when we’re not actually eating)!

In the mouth, our teeth mechanically break down food into smaller pieces for digestion and absorption while saliva begins breaking down the carbohydrates in our food. The food then heads down the food pipe or oesophagus into our stomach, where it is further broken down by strong stomach acids like hydrochloric acid and pepsin to digest proteins from our meal.

The food then reaches our small intestine, where pancreatic enzymes work alongside the liver and gallbladder to digest fats. This is done with the help of an enzyme called bile. As the food makes its way down the (very long) small intestine, the nutrients generated from food are absorbed to nourish the cells across the body.

Finally, in our large intestine, the fiber from our food (prebiotics that feed our gut bacteria) are used to generate essential vitamins like B vitamins, vitamin K and butyrate, that supports our immune function.

Finally, in our large intestine, the fiber from our food (prebiotics that feed our gut bacteria) are used to generate essential vitamins like B vitamins, vitamin K and butyrate, that supports our immune function. Lastly, the body eliminates undigested food and toxins to complete the process of digestion.

Healthy Breakfast

This marvelous process occurs for several hours each day, every time we consume a meal or a drink, and keeps each cell of our body going. We are what we eat, and digest, making it so important to be mindful about eating well for a healthy body and happy gut!

We are what we eat, and digest, making it so important to be mindful about eating well for a healthy body and happy gut!

Explore our many flavours of kombucha and water kefir, a probiotic elixir filled with living bacteria that heal your gut and aid your digestion.

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