How Our Bodies Use Food
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The Digestive Process

The process of digestion makes the essential nutrients available to our bodies. The digestive system begins in your mouth where the tongue and teeth work together to break up the food. Your salivary glands produce saliva; a substance composed of water, mucus, electrolytes, and antibacterial compounds. Saliva helps to break down the food you're eating down to the molecular level, essentially starting the digestive process prior to ingestion. As you swallow the food goes down a tube called the esophagus. This tube goes into your stomach. The stomach is a large muscle that stirs up the food. More liquids and chemicals help digest the food. This mixture is called chyme.

After the food has been ground and stirred in the stomach it moves to the intestines. In the small intestine, the food is mixed with more chemicals and liquids. There, the nutrients are absorbed into the blood, which carries them to all parts of the body.

Blood passes through the body and goes through the liver. One job of the liver is to clean the blood. The liver also sends liquids and chemicals to the small intestine. The pancreas makes digestive enzymes and insulin. Insulin is a chemical that regulates the glucose in the body.

The food that is left is mostly Fiber. It passes to the large intestine where it is turned into feces. Feces are stored in the rectum and leave the body through the anus.

The liquids the body does not use are also carried away. Blood carries good nutrients and waste through the body. The waste goes through the kidneys, which clean the blood and separate the watery liquid not used-urine. The urine is stored in the bladder and leaves the body when it is pushed out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra.

Metabolism is the series of chemical and physical processes that allow our bodies to live. This process breaks down food and nutrients to produce energy. Metabolism enables all bodily functions to take place. It is responsible for all energy transformations that occur within living cells, like releasing energy from nutrients. Out metabolism is what produces the energy that allows our bodies to move, think and grow.