Digestion of Cornbread
The human digestive system is made up of different organs working together to turn food into nutrients. Food passes through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is made up of the oral cavity (mouth), oesophagus, pharynx, small intestines, large intestines, and the stomach (El Kaoutari, 2013). Apart from the GI tract, the tongue, liver, gallbladder, salivary glands, and pancreas also assist in food digestion. This paper discusses the digestion process of my recent dinner meal (cornbread).
The digestion started in the mouth. Salivary glands found in the oral cavity produces saliva, which in turn help in moistening the food. The cornbread was chewed and broken down. To facilitate the breakdown of polysaccharides to monosaccharides, an amylase enzyme was released by salivary glands. The food was then swallowed and taken to the stomach through the oesophagus. While in the stomach, no digestion takes place (El Kaoutari, 2013). In order to stop actions by the amylase enzyme, the stomach produced hydrochloric acid which also helps in destroying bacteria that may be found in the food.
From the stomach, the food moved to the duodenum (small intestines), where the pancreases releases enzymes that broke down the polysaccharide to disaccharide. As a way of ensuring that the polysaccharides are broken down to monosaccharides, the duodenum produced lactase, sucrase and lactase enzymes (El Kaoutari, 2013). In the large intestines (colon), any food not digested and absorbed in the body by the duodenum is broken down.
To ensure that my digestive system works optimally, I plan to do a couple of things. For instance, eating diets rich in fibre can significantly boost the digestion process. Further, I also need to stay hydrated. Digestion process can also be improved by skipping bad habits such as taking alcohol and smoking. Lastly, minimizing the use of foods with high-fat content can also enhance the functioning of my digestive system.
El Kaoutari, A., Armougom, F., Gordon, J. I., Raoult, D., & Henrissat, B. (2013). The abundance and variety of carbohydrate-active enzymes in the human gut microbiota. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 11(7), 497.