3. Stomach

The next destination on food’s journey through the digestive system is the stomach. The stomach is a stretchable bag of muscles that happens to be no bigger than a tennis ball when it is empty, and increases to the size of a football when you have a large lunch or dinner. When the food enters the tummy, the stomach lining begins to release stomach acids and digestive juices that aid in breaking down the food into even more tinnier pieces, and eliminates all harmful bacteria.

The muscles squeeze out all the nutrients of the food with the help of the digestive juices, until the food takes a slimy soup-like texture, which is known as chyme, and is ready to be transferred towards the small intestine.

Role of Stomach in Human Digestive System
Credit: National Geographic

Fast Fact: The stomach acids are incredibly powerful and strong enough to even break down and dissolve a hard iron nail. In order to prevent the stomach from digesting its own existence, the stomach is lined with a protective mucus, and the cells within the stomach are changed within every few days.

4. Small Intestines

Even though the name implies tiny, the small intestine is not very small, but in fact, it is 6.5 meters long and 3cm wide. It is basically a tube that allows all the nutrients in the mushy food mixture to be extracted and then passed down into the bloodstream. When all the nutrients have been taken out, the soupy food mixture is allowed to be passed into another part of the intestines.

Role of Intestines in Human Digestive System
Credit: National Geographic

Fast fact: The small intestine’s lining is infused with tiny finger-like bumps, known as villi, which allow the lining to feature a large surface area that aids in absorption of nutrients.

5. Large Intestine

The large intestine is only 1.5 meters long but it width is double that of the small intestine. It is responsible for soaking up all the minerals, salts and water from the food leftovers. The large intestine soaks up all the salts and minerals from the indigestible food, and allows the semi-solid waste, known as faeces, to pass towards the lower colon and the rectum, where it is stored. When you visit the bathroom, the anus, a ring of muscles, opens up to allow the faeces to pass out from the body.

Fast fact: Medical science coined the term bowels to refer to the small and large intestines together.

6. Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a green, pear-like organ that is responsible for storing up bile, along with making bile thicker and stronger before transferring it to the small intestine.

Role of Gallbladder in Human Digestive System
Credit: National Geographic


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