Authors: Delroy Daley, Cris Hernandez, Dr. Colin Michie of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
Hello, friends! It’s me, Wali! I have joined the University as a student. I hope to send you pictures of my activities here!
For some time now, I have been wondering what happens to food after we eat it. There’s no mystery that food eventually becomes poop; however, that’s the end of a really long digestive cinema film. What about the scenes in the middle? One of our lecturers explained some of the things we need to know about how our food goes from taste to waste.
In the first scene, you take a bite of food and your mouth works like a machine to chop up and moisten it. Your digestive system uses enzymes to help break down food. Your saliva is packed with enzymes that zap sugars and fats into smaller molecules.
Like action heroes in this cinema, enzymes beat up and break down food into small molecules which you can absorb as nutrition! Super cool, right? They even help keep your beautiful teeth clean. When you have chewed food well, it is small enough to be swallowed into the oesophagus, onto its next destination – your stomach! My picture shows Wali, without teeth, swallowing his banana (favourite food).
In the stomach scene, there is an epic battle where food is no match for the tag-teaming power of enzymes, acid and stomach muscles smashing, churning, and breaking it down!
At last, the slushy grub reaches the long tubes of your intestines. This is the slowest part of the cinema, so I hope you got your popcorn ready! Digestion can take 24 hours. That is why it is important to eat a balanced meal so that digestion is easy and you don't end up with tummy ache.
The first set of intestines are smaller and are covered inside with microscopic fingers like fur, that make sure all those goodies get taken up from the slush. Humans are really good at living off different foods because this system works so well. The second large intestine mainly takes up water and makes a great home to lots of bacteria too! You can sometimes hear these tubes making bubbling noises in your belly.
So there you have it! I hope you learned a lot today. Don’t forget to drink lots of water because it helps you poop – the last scene of the digestive cinema. Wow! The digestive system has a ton of cool parts.
’Til next time, friends. See you later!