We might not think too much about our digestive systems until they start giving us trouble! However, there are some truly fantastic natural systems and organs inside all of us – when you start digging deep into the facts, we really are incredible natural creations! Here are some interesting facts about the digestive system well worth mulling over.
It’s a bit of a myth that your stomach is the centre of your digestive system. This really isn’t the case! At least, it’s certainly not the most important player in the game. It’s the first point of call for food once you’ve swallowed it, but most of the work of digestion actually falls to your intestines.
Your stomach is, of course, full of acid. So how does it manage to keep it all inside you without getting damaged? It coats itself in mucus – which you’ll need to stop your stomach walls from completely eroding!
In fact, if you have ever heard of stomach ulcers, these can occur as a result of your stomach’s acid breaking through to the sensitive lining. It’s thought that some medication, such as ibuprofen, can help to breakdown your stomach’s mucus.
Your small intestine is larger than its name makes out. In fact, it’s around 22 feet in length, condensed into a relatively small space inside your body! It’s compacted deep thanks to its various folds and creases.
To keep a healthy digestive system and gut, you are going to need to make sure you eat plenty of fibre. This is crucial in helping any food and drink you eat to move safely through to your digestive tract and beyond.
There is plenty of talk around regarding probiotics, and whether they are helpful to your gut. Probiotics are live bacteria which you can introduce into your gut to help create a healthy balance.
However, some studies suggest that it may be more beneficial for you to take prebiotics, such as fibre. Of course, as mentioned earlier, a diet balanced in fibre is likely to help keep your gut and digestive system healthy.
Over the years, various medical advancements have helped us to understand the different facets and functions of our digestive system. In fact, one such development was that of the endoscope. The endoscope is a tube which is used to probe into your digestive system to look inside. Believe it or not, the modern endoscope was inspired by the act of a sword swallower!
Your stomach is likely pretty unique – just look at the other stomachs of animals all over the world! Famously, cows have stomachs with various segments to help break down their food. They don’t have multiple stomachs, though – this is something of a misnomer!
The large intestine’s main job is, of course, getting rid of waste. However, it is also able to soak up any lingering nutrients, making sure that your body retains every last drop before food and drink is fully expelled.
Do you know any interesting facts about the digestive system that we’ve not covered? Share them here in the comments section below!