Q:

Why do we need to digest food?

A:

Quick Answer

Digestion helps the body absorb nutrients from food for nourishment, energy and cell tissue repair, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. Food must be broken down by digestive enzymes before the molecules can enter the bloodstream to deliver essential nutrients to cells.

 Know More

Full Answer

Digestive organs extract carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals from food. Carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables and grains are broken down into simple sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream for energy, changing the body's blood sugar level, according to the Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. Fluctuations in blood sugar influence hunger and insulin production.

Carbohydrates also contain fiber, which the body does not digest. Fiber satisfies hunger by slowly passing through the digestive tract, and it aids waste in moving through the digestive and excretory systems, as explained by MedlinePlus.

Proteins are broken down into amino acids, mixed with digestive juices and absorbed through the lining of the small intestine, according to the NIDDK. The bloodstream carries protein molecules throughout the body to stimulate cell growth and repair damaged tissue, as explained by the Merck Manual Home Health Handbook.

The pancreas and liver release enzymes to extract fatty acids and glycerol from fats. Some fat molecules are converted to energy, and others are used to absorb and store vitamins, according to the NIDDK. When a person consumes too many carbohydrates or proteins, the excess molecules are also converted to fats and stored in the cells to use as energy in the future, according to the Merck Manual Home Health Handbook.

Learn more about Nutrition & Diets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is diverticulosis with mild descending colon wall?

    A:

    Diverticular disease is a condition that occurs when a person has problems that occur from small sacs that have formed and push outward through weak spots in the colon wall, according to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The descending colon is the colon's lower portion that travels down the left-hand side of the abdomen, and if it is thickening, this is likely due to inflammation.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What does movement in the stomach indicate?

    A:

    The feeling of movement in the stomach is frequently the result of gas, digestive processes, stress, kidney stones or pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Healthline and What to Expect. The additional symptoms for each of these conditions differ.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes diarrhea?

    A:

    Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections cause most cases of acute diarrhea, which lasts up to two days, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Medical disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, may cause chronic diarrhea, which lasts at least four weeks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you get rid of trapped wind?

    A:

    Although trapped wind or intestinal gas can have different causes, the symptom can be treated in different ways, such as dietary changes and taking over-the-counter medications, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Some causes of intestinal gas can be swallowing air, certain foods, eating too quickly and medical conditions.

    Full Answer >

Explore