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 us all – when you start digging deep into the facts, we really are incredible natural creations! Here are some fun facts about the digestive system well worth mulling over.
1. It’s not all about your stomach.
It’s a bit of a myth that your stomach is the center 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.
2. Your stomach defends itself… against itself.
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!
3. Don’t believe us?
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.
4. ‘Small’ is relative.
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.
5. It’s all about fiber.
To keep a healthy digestive system and gut, you are going to need to make sure you eat plenty of fiber. This is crucial in helping any food and drink you eat to move safely through to your digestive tract and beyond.
6. Good bacteria are big right now.
There is plenty of talk regarding probiotics, and whether they are helpful to your gut. Probiotics are live bacteria which can help create a healthy balance in your stomach.
However, some studies suggest that it may be more beneficial for you to take pre-biotics, such as fiber. Of course, as mentioned earlier, a diet balanced in fibre is likely to help keep your gut and digestive system healthy.
7. Hard to swallow!
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!
8. No, cows don’t have four stomachs.
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!
9. Your large intestine is multi-talented.
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.
FAQs about The Digestive System
What are the four stages of digestion?
These are generally referred to as motility, followed by digestion itself, then absorption and secretion.
Where does digestion start?
Believe it or not - it starts in the mouth!
What happens if food doesn’t digest properly?
Improper digestion can lead to constipation - that’s because your body absorbs too much water.
Do you know any fun facts about the digestive system? Share them in the comments below!