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Digestion Starts in The Mouth

Posted By: Leena Mahtani

DigestionStartsInTheMouth_blog

When we think about the process of digestion, we usually assume the stomach does all the work, but this is not true; the fact is that digestion includes other parts of our body. Digestion is a several-step process that begins when you put a piece of food in your mouth or sip a drink.

What Is the Digestive System?
The digestive system comprises the gastrointestinal tract—also called the GI tract or digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The digestive tract consists of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus are the hollow organs that make up the GI tract.

Digestion Starts in The Mouth
The process of digestion starts in the mouth with the act of chewing. The salivary glands make saliva, a digestive juice. Saliva moistens food, so it moves more quickly through your esophagus into your stomach; also, it has an enzyme that begins to break down starches in your food.

What is The Importance of Chewing Well?
Here are three benefits of chewing well:

  •  The physical process of chewing food in your mouth helps break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. This process helps reduce stress on the esophagus and soothe the stomach, metabolize, and breaks down your food. 
  • Chewing also reduces the threat of bacterial overgrowth – lumps of food that have not broken down properly can increase bacterial overgrowth in the colon, which leads to indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and constipation.
  • Chewing food signals the gastrointestinal system that food is on its way, which triggers hydrochloric acid production, helping food move through the digestive tract.

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