The Role of Digestion

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Date: Nov. 22, 2016
Publisher: Visual Learning Systems, Inc.
Document Type: Interactive video file
Duration: 00:04:59:17
Length: 575 words
Content Level: (Level 4)

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Visual Learning Systems, Inc.

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As soon as you bite into a piece of food the process of digestion begins. So what exactly is digestion? Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down food into simpler forms that it can use. As you know, food contains a number of different kinds of nutrients that the body needs for energy, and to regulate itself. It's critical that the body obtains the correct quantities, quality, and combinations of nutrients. Just as you wouldn't fill the gas tank of this car with soda, you shouldn't provide your body with bad food. It needs a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes the right nutrients. Cells in the body obtain most of their energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. You Decide. Which of these foods has the greatest concentration of carbohydrates?

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The pasta has the greatest concentration of carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, sweets, and breads are also rich in carbohydrates. Sugars, starches, and fibers are types of carbohydrates. You may have heard people say that potato chips, hot dogs, and fried foods are fatty foods. These foods are high in fats and oils, and they are part of another group of nutrients, broadly referred to as lipids. There are two main groups of lipids: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Not all lipids are bad. In fact, many are needed for energy storage, cell growth, and other activities. While fats are essential, too much fat, particularly saturated fats such as those in dairy products and fatty, red meats, can be a major contributor to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes, and heart disease. In addition to lipids and carbohydrates, proteins are another type of nutrient. Proteins are important in constructing and repairing body parts, supplying energy, and fighting infections. The human body contains hundreds of different proteins, which it constructs from amino acids. There are 22 different types of amino acids. While the body is able to produce amino acids, eight must be obtained by eating foods such as eggs, meats, fish, poultry, milk, grains, and beans. Most of the healthy foods we consume contain small amounts of another type of nutrient-- vitamins. Vitamins consist of complex molecules that do not contain energy. They play a key role in a wide range of cellular activities. You've probably heard of some of the many different kinds of vitamins such as vitamin C abundant in citrus fruits and vitamin D abundant in eggs, salmon, and sunlight. You wouldn't want to eat these rocks, but believe it or not they too, contain important nutrients called minerals that are needed by the body. Minerals are inorganic compounds. These marble rocks contain a specific type of mineral called calcium. Calcium is a major component in bones and teeth. The body needs over a dozen different types of minerals. Like iron which is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood. You Observe. What do you see as this person breathes out on a cold day?

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You see a cloud of water vapor. Every time you exhale, water vapor is emitted. It is a byproduct of cellular activities. Water, another compound vital to our bodies, is critical for a wide variety of processes, including waste removal. It is also a major ingredient in blood and cytoplasm. Water needs to be replenished daily, and is obtained from liquids that we drink and foods that we eat.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|CHMMVI249068107