The digestive system serves the role of taking in nutrients, eliminating waste, and absorbing and using the nutrients we take in. The digestive system includes all the parts of your body that are involved when you eat or drink.
While you may not think about your digestive system often, you are using it all the time. You also may not think of the digestive system as fun, but let’s take a look at some fun facts about your digestive system you may not have known.
1. The average person produces 2 pints of saliva every day. That is 32 ounces, or 2 cans of soda.
2. The muscles in your esophagus act like a giant wave. That is what moves food or drinks down to your stomach. This wave action is called peristalsis.
3. The second part of your small intestine is called the jejunum. That’s just fun to say!
4. Enzymes in your digestive system are what separate food into the different nutrients that your body needs.
5. The gut-brain axis is the close bond that exists between the digestive system and your brain. Emotions (including stress) and brain disorders affect how your body digests food.
6. Your body can move your food through the digestive system even while you are standing on your head. It is not connected to gravity because it works with muscles.
7. You know those laundry detergents you hear advertised that have enzymes to remove stains? Some of those enzymes are the same as those found in your digestive system.
8. The small intestine is about 22-23 feet long while the large intestine is only about 5 feet long.
9. Ever wonder why it smells bad when you pass gas? It is because it is produced by fermented bacteria and then mixed with air.
10. Platypuses do not have stomachs.
11. Stomach growling is called borborygmic and happens all the time, but it is just louder when your stomach is empty because there is no food to muffle it.
12. The stomach has the ability to stretch and hold up to 4 pounds of food at one time.
13. Aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise to keep your digestive tract in shape.
14. When you are first born, you don’t have any of the healthy bacteria your system needs to digest food.
15. Gastro mechanical distress symptoms can be caused by only slightly more than 1 cup of a carbonated beverage.
16. You burp to release extra air that you swallow if you eat fast, drink carbonated drinks, or smoke.
17. Hiccups can be caused by a change in temperature that happens suddenly.
18. The amount of saliva you produce increases when you throw up to protect your teeth from the acid in your stomach that will come up.
19. The longest attack of constant hiccups lasted 68 years.
It is amazing the way your body works and that includes the digestive system. Learning more about it can actually uncover some fun or at least interesting facts you may not have known. So, the next time your digestive system does something you don’t understand, start researching to learn more. Many issues you may have with digestion can be remedied by learning how it works and then avoiding what upsets the balance of your digestive system.