Japanese With Ease: For a limited time free: Get cookbook

Digestion 101: Why Some Foods Are Easier to Digest Than Others

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Everyone knows what it’s like to have a “stomach bug” or “indigestion”- it’s just a part of life, right? But how much do you actually know about the process of digestion?

It’s the process by which the body breaks down food into smaller particles so they can be absorbed and used by the body. It involves mechanical, chemical, and biological processes. It’s a complex system involving the cooperation of many organs and systems.

Let’s look at all the steps of digestion and how it works.

What is digestion

10 Tips to Save a Bundle on Asian Ingredients!

Introducing our brand new FREE PDF guide: "Saving Secrets: Unveiling the Art of Saving Money on Asian Ingredients" It's your first newsletter email, so start saving today! 📚🧧

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

How Your Body Breaks Down Food: A Journey Through Your Digestive System

  • When you eat or drink, the process of digestion starts in your mouth.
  • Chewing your food properly and mixing it with saliva helps break down carbohydrates and fats.
  • Saliva contains enzymes that start to break down carbohydrates into simpler sugars.
  • Once you swallow, the food or drink passes through the esophagus, a hollow tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
  • The muscles in the esophagus contract and relax to push the food or drink down towards the stomach.

The Stomach: Breaking Down Proteins and Fats

  • The stomach is a muscular sac that mixes and grinds the food with stomach juices.
  • Stomach juices contain hydrochloric acid and enzymes that break down proteins and fats.
  • The stomach also helps control the rate at which food passes into the small intestine.
  • The small intestine is where most of the nutrients from the food are absorbed into the bloodstream.

The Small Intestine: Absorbing Nutrients

  • The small intestine is a long, narrow tube that is about 20 feet long in adults.
  • It is divided into three parts: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
  • As the food passes through the small intestine, it mixes with digestive juices from the pancreas and liver.
  • The pancreas produces enzymes that break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • The liver produces bile, which helps break down fats.
  • Nutrients from the food are absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine.
  • The small intestine also contains muscles that help move the food along through a process called peristalsis.

The Large Intestine: Absorbing Water and Eliminating Waste

  • The large intestine is a wider tube that is about 5 feet long in adults.
  • It includes the colon and the rectum.
  • The large intestine absorbs water and electrolytes from the remaining food products.
  • Bacteria in the large intestine help break down any remaining carbohydrates and proteins.
  • The waste products are then eliminated from the body through the rectum and anus.

The Role of Nerves and Hormones in Digestion

  • The digestive system is controlled by a complex series of nerves and hormones.
  • Signals from the brain and nerves in the digestive system help control the movement of food through the digestive tract.
  • Hormones such as gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin help control the production of digestive juices and the movement of food through the digestive system.

The Importance of a Healthy Digestive System

  • A healthy digestive system is important for overall health and well-being.
  • It helps convert food into the energy your body needs to work properly.
  • It also helps absorb important nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Clinical trials have shown that a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) system can help prevent certain diseases and conditions such as colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.

What Happens to Your Food After it’s Digested?

The large intestine, also known as the colon, is responsible for absorbing water and electrolytes from the remaining food matter. The solid waste that is left behind is then stored in the rectum until it is ready to be eliminated from the body.

The Importance of Bacteria in the Gut

The gut is home to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in the digestive process. These bacteria help break down food and extract nutrients that the body needs. They also produce vitamins and help keep harmful bacteria in check.

The Delivery of Nutrients to the Body

Once the nutrients have been absorbed into the bloodstream, they are carried to the liver. The liver converts the nutrients into glucose, amino acids, and other substances that the body needs. The glucose is then carried by the blood to the cells, where it is used to build and repair tissues. The amino acids are used to build proteins, which are essential for growth and repair.

The Role of the Circulatory and Lymphatic Systems

The circulatory system, which includes the heart and blood vessels, and the lymphatic system, which includes a network of vessels and fluid, work together to deliver nutrients to the cells of the body. The bloodstream carries the nutrients to the cells, while the lymphatic system helps to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body.

The Final Elimination

After the nutrients have been absorbed and the waste has been processed, the body eliminates the solid waste through the rectum and anus. The waste passes through the large intestine, which includes the cecum, appendix, colon, and rectum, before being eliminated from the body.

Why Some Foods Are Easier to Digest Than Others

The process of digestion starts as soon as we start eating. The food we eat contains different components, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These components have different chemical compositions, which affect how easily they can be broken down during digestion.

Carbohydrates and Proteins

Carbohydrates are the simplest component of food and are made up of simple sugars. They are relatively easy to digest because they have fewer chemical bonds that need to be broken down. On the other hand, proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids. They have more chemical bonds that need to be dismantled during digestion, making them harder to digest.

Reducing the Complexity of Foods

The process of digestion involves reducing the complexity of foods into simpler components that can be absorbed by the body. The digestive system breaks down the food we eat using chemical and mechanical processes.

Diet and Digestion

The type of food we eat can also affect how easily it is digested. A diet that is high in fiber can help to regulate digestion and prevent constipation. Foods that are high in fat or protein take longer to digest and can cause discomfort if eaten in large quantities.


So there you have it- the complete process of digestion and how it affects your daily life. 

It’s a complex process, but now you know the basics you can improve your digestion and feel better. So don’t forget to eat your fiber and drink plenty of water!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.