We all know we get energy and nutrition from the food we eat but the journey of food through the digestive tract is not easy. To summarize briefly, during digestion our food is broken down into its components and the necessary nutrients are separated from the waste products. But this process takes a lot of time. The journey of food through our body takes an average of about 48 to 60 hours, sometimes even longer, depending on what we ate. Food has to travel through various chambers and tunnels in our stomach to provide us with what we need to survive. Let’s see how is food digested.

Components Of Digestive System | How Food is Digested

It All Starts In The Mouth – How Is Food Digested?

The first step in digestion is the mechanical crushing of the food in the mouth. The food is chewed and mixed well with saliva. The longer it is chewed, the better the saliva with its enzymes can penetrate the porridge and break down the carbohydrates it contains into its components.

By chewing the food, the taste can be perceived better. The chewing process and taste of the food, stimulate the formation of saliva and initiate gastric juice secretion and both are important factors for good digestion.

If the bite is well saturated with saliva, it is passed through the esophagus into the stomach. The esophagus is about 25 cm long and consists of muscles that contract in a wave-like manner and thus push the food down into the stomach.

Digestion begins in the mouth when we salivate and crush food. This process continues in the individual intestinal sections through the mechanical and chemical splitting of the food components.

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Small Intestine

Small Intestine | How do we digest food

The gut is the most important part of the digestive tract. It is divided into the small intestine which consists of the duodenum, the empty intestine, and the bowel and the large intestine which consists of the appendix, the colon, and the rectum.

The length of the intestine is approximately 8 meters. In terms of developmental history, the length of the intestine mainly depends on the basic diet. Humans have an intestine length of 8 meters.

From the stomach, the food goes in portions into the upper small intestine. The digestive juices of the small intestine, the bile from the liver, and the juice of the pancreas contribute to the further digestion process. Our small intestine is not a smooth tube through which the chyme slips.

The intestinal mucosa forms fold like long fingers (villi) and thus makes it on a surface of around 200 square meters, roughly the size of half a soccer field. Nutrients can be absorbed easily this way.

The Colon Thickens – How Is Food Digested?


When most of the digestive and digestive work is done, it goes into the large intestine. In the large intestine, the remnants are thickened to a smooth mass. The large intestine lies like an upturned U in the abdomen and the column of the chair must first be transported upwards, then sideways and finally downwards with a dangling.

Around 80-90% of the water and electrolytes are absorbed into the blood here. If too little water is withdrawn in the intestine, diarrhoea occurs. On the other hand, constipation occurs when the stool mass becomes too solid because it does not contain enough water and air or is simply not transported well.

The curves under the right and left costal arches of the intestine are particularly sensitive points. Those affected describe a pulling or stinging pain. This can be due to the air accumulation of undigested food in these areas.

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Intestinal bacteria, countless microorganisms that are mainly located in the large intestine, support the utilization of the food pulp. The entirety of these microorganisms is called intestinal flora, which is of great importance for the entire body.

Giving time and eating regularly are therefore two important building blocks for achieving good digestion, but the composition of the food, in particular, has a significant influence on the way of digestion. In particular, the digestive processes in the small and large intestines can be significantly influenced by a well-considered composition of the meals.

This is how much the human body has to function in order to digest food. It is a very complex process perfectly handled by our body. This sums up the question ‘How is Food Digested’.

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