Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia for Kids » What Happens To Your Food When You Eat?

GETTING STARTED - Into Your Body, What Is Digestion?, How Is Food Broken Down?, How Do Enzymes Work?

starch pieces break mouth

Your stomach is rumbling. You know you need to eat. But what happens to the food once you have eaten it? In this book, we will look at the journey your food takes through your body.

Enjoy Your Meal Food gives you energy. Without food you would not be able to run and play.

Enjoy Your Meal You put food in your mouth and chew it. This starts the food on its journey through your body.

Into Your Body

Everyone needs food. Food contains nutrients that keep you alive and healthy. Nutrients are important chemicals in food. When you eat food, your body works hard to absorb, or soak up, the nutrients. Most food is absorbed in your small intestine. The small intestine is a very long tube.

What Is Digestion?

Digestion is the process of breaking down large pieces of food into smaller pieces and absorbing them. The smaller the pieces of food, the more easily your body can absorb them. Most digestion happens in your small intestine. But it also takes place in your mouth and in your stomach.

Enjoy Your Meal Bread is an everyday food in many countries. Bread contains starch. Enzymes in your mouth break down starch.

How Is Food Broken Down?

In your mouth, you chew food into smaller pieces. When it enters the stomach, the stomach churns it around. This breaks it into smaller pieces, too. Chemicals in your body also help break down food.

Your body contains many chemicals. Each has its own job. In digestion, the chemicals that break down food are called enzymes. Different enzymes break down different types of food. For example, one enzyme called amylase breaks down starch. Starch is a nutrient found in bread. Another enzyme breaks down protein. Protein is a nutrient found in meat.

How Do Enzymes Work?

Enzymes speed up chemical reactions. Starch is a nutrient and a big chemical. An enzyme amylase helps break starch down. The enzyme speeds up the reaction that chops the starch into smaller pieces.

How Do We Use Broken Down Food?

Once the food is broken down, the body absorbs the smaller nutrients. The nutrients help us grow. They keep our bodies healthy and functioning normally.

Enjoy Your Meal Enzymes are able to speed things up in the body. A special enzyme in the mouth, amylase, helps break down starch into smaller pieces (glucose molecules).

WHERE DOES FOOD GO WHEN YOU EAT? - What Is an Organ?, Which Organs Form My Digestive System?, The Long Journey [next]

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