As soon as you eat food, it ends up in your stomach after passing through your mouth and down your esophagus. But what happens after that?
Has your stomach ever felt quite “full,” or – on the contrary – has it been “growling” with hunger? Also, sometimes you think your appetite returns quickly after a meal. What is the reason for this, do you know? Is there food that stays longer in the stomach, and what is this organ responsible for anyway?
Everything we eat and drink enters our stomach through our mouth and esophagus – this “journey” only takes a few seconds. Once there, it then comes to stay. A short vacation, if you will.
A real muscleman
The stomach is an organ that helps digestion and looks much like a small sack. Empty the size of a fist and are located between the esophagus and the small intestine. The stomach is the proud owner of many muscles (imagine a muscleman for this). It can hold an amount of about 1.5 litres in adults – equivalent to the contents of a large bottle of mineral water.
It’s possible because muscle walls are very stretchy. At first, the body can’t do anything with what we eat. It is too big for it. The food mush is, therefore, temporarily stored as in a collection point, constantly moved back and forth, broken down into small pieces, and thoroughly mixed with special, endogenous juices and enzymes.
From this, the organism obtains nutrients. Pathogens are also killed. Both work with the help of stomach acid. Then the stomach flexes its muscles again and transports the pulp to the intestines. This is sometimes noticeable by gurgling and rumbling.
Eat lightly, digest quickly
How long the food pulp remains in the stomach depends on the food consumed. In one to two hours, beverages pass through the organ in about 30 to 60 minutes, and liquid foods (like soup). Rice, white bread and cooked potatoes make themselves comfortable for up to two hours. Vegetables, cooked fish and poultry can last up to four hours. Fatty and sweet foods such as French fries, roast pork or a slice of cake require a special effort from the stomach. These hard-to-digest foods stay there for five to eight hours. This also makes us feel quite gorged and immobile.
Supporting the stomach
You can do something good for your stomach by helping it work like a classmate or colleague. This is wildly successful with good, slow chewing. Gulping something down doesn’t look pretty, anyway. If the food arrives well chewed in the stomach, it is easier for him to extract the nutrients. What else makes him happy? Not overeating at once – even if we can’t “burst,” as we often hear. Avoid fatty and sweet foods (such as chips and nougat ice cream) too often.
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