What Happens When We Eat? Part 1

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
"For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psa. 107:9
The body requires essential elements to keep it alive. Food, which comes from the basic elements of sunshine, rain and soil, is the only source of sustaining life (together with water) and God has given the body an ability to take this food and change it into a usable form.
All food, to do us good, must find its way to the bloodstream which carries it to the body cells. (You have about 50 trillion of these.) But blood cannot carry and use large particles of food, so an all-wise Creator has provided a means of breaking food down into liquid form containing microscopic particles. For this purpose He has given us a very efficient digestive system. Let's look at the first part of it.
When food is not already liquid, it must become liquid and this starts with the action of our teeth, especially designed to cut, tear and grind all solid food that comes into our mouths. The chewing process not only grinds the food into small particles, it also mixes in juices (called saliva) from the mouth. The tongue helps in this mixing process by keeping the food from being swallowed too quickly and by moving the food around and bringing it in contact again and again with the teeth. The tongue also senses the texture and taste of the food so that we can enjoy what we eat.
Chewing, with food broken up into very small bits and mixed with saliva, represents the first stage of the digestive system. At this stage chemicals (called enzymes) in the saliva have already started to break down the starches in food to simple sugars which the blood can use. It has also prepared the food for the next stage of digestion which takes place in the stomach.
If man were to try to make a system to digest food, he would need complicated machinery, chemicals and acids, but still could never do anywhere near the job carried on by our wonderful bodies, designed with utmost wisdom by God—another evidence of the wonders of His creation.
If we know that, we should be careful about the food we eat. How much more should we be careful about what is fed to our minds and hearts. Jesus said, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world....I am the bread of life: He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst" (John 6:35,32-33). May God give each of us a fresh appetite for the One who is the true bread from heaven.
(to be continued)