1. In this world, you have the free will to work on whatever you want, sleep whenever you want to sleep and eat whatever you want to eat. But have you thought about the healthy and unhealthy foods that you put in your body? While digesting foods, they go through six main digestive steps. According to Saha, S., in her Digestive System paper, lists the six digestive processes as Ingestion, Secretion, Motility, Digestion, Absorption, and Defecation. The ingestion stage consists of placing foods and liquids into the mouth. Then, the secretion stage relates to the GI tract secreting water, acids, and buffers. and enzymes. Motility is when the smooth muscles in the GI tract contract and relax to mix food and secretions. She describes more in her book about digestion. During digestion, the process of breaking down digested foods takes place. The stomach and small intestine assist heavily in the digestion process by squeezing and softening the food. Also large molecules such as lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids split into smaller pieces and molecules through hydrolysis. Absorption happens from substances being moved into the blood from the GI tract. When these are absorbed, the substances circulate throughout the rest of the body. Vitamins, water, and ions are some of the few things that can be absorbed without going through the digestion process. Then there’s defecation. This consists of contents that cannot be absorbed in the digestive region, which are then discarded from the body out of the anus.

    By comparing natural foods and plant-based healthy foods, McClements (2023) found that natural animal-derived foods are highly digestible such as eggs, milk, fish, and various meats. However, when McClements compared this with plant-derived foods, the opposite was found. These foods consist of vegetables, whole fruits, and cereals. This happens due to the structures inside of the plant cell walls which are tough to digest. This causes any trapped molecules such as nutrients to not be released into the body which makes digestion and absorption possibilities impossible. Svihus (2016), also found that highly starch-rich foods such as various types of bread, potatoes, rice, and some kinds of pasta are classified as “slowly digestible starch” and/or “resistant starch.” Other foods classified as unhealthy with high starch levels include doughnuts and cake. He goes further in-depth with the digestion difficulties. Svihus (2016), Ingestibility may be caused by large particle sizes, ungelatinized starch granules, and retrogradation. Hemeryck (2022) has found that even though healthy foods such as fish, whole grains, and fresh fruits & vegetables provide many helpful substances, not all “healthy” foods are considered healthy. Certain foods labeled as healthy can contain harmful toxic materials that have the possibility to potentially form toxic metabolites. This would affect our metabolism which is the process of chemical reactions within the digestive system that converts your food into energy. Hemeryck also found that too many red meats and processed meats in your diet are dangerous too. Too many red meats such as beef and pork as well as too many processed meats such as meatballs, luncheon meat, bacon, and sausages can cause trouble for the digestive system which can lead to colorectal cancer.


    Saha, S., N.A. Digestive System. Paper CC-1. Unit 1.3.

    https://mankarcollege.ac.in/E-Gyan/Nutrition/Senjuti/1st%20Sem/08-08-2019/Digestive%20System.pdfLinks to an external site.

    McClements, I. F., & McClements, D. J. (2023). Designing healthier plant-based foods:

    Fortification, digestion, and bioavailability. Food Research International, 169, 112853.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2023.112853Links to an external site.

    Svihus, B., & Hervik, A. K. (2016). Digestion and metabolic fates of starch, and its relation to

    major nutrition-related health problems: A review. Starch – Stärke, 68(3-4), 302-313.

    https://doi.org/10.1002/star.201500295Links to an external site.

    Boland, M., Golding, M., & Singh, H., (2014). Food Structures, Digestion, and Health.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=rLEMAwAAQBAJ&dqLinks to an external site.

    Topping, D., & Bird, A., (1999). Food, nutrients, and digestive health. Australian Journal of

    Nutrition & Dietetics, 56(3), 13p.

    https://eds.p.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=6d00b60c-9683-4ed9-b67e-2dcd0460584e%40redis&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=2387072&db=aphLinks to an external site.

    Hemeryck, L., et al. (2022). Frontiers For Young Minds. Are red and processed meats bad for

    our health? doi:10.3389/frym.2022.72495

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frym.2022.720495/pdfLinks to an external site.

    Josh Putikka
  2. Josh’s project explains not only the steps a food goes through for a complete digestion cycle, but he also explains what foods are healthy, and should be eaten, resulting in easy digestion, and what foods are unhealthy, should not be eaten, and result in a difficult digestion. He explains the difference between natural foods and plant-based foods. He explains how starch plays a major role in the digestion process, how high levels of starch make items difficult to digest thoroughly.
    Josh’s explanation helps me as a viewer understand what I should be putting into my body, and on the contrary what I should prevent my urges from eating (like a really delicious doughnut).
    I truly thought that Josh’s gameboard was an amazing choice. The chutes and ladders game works really well in the process of digestion. Each ladder could represent like a step in the digestion process. I thought that his project was very unique and very well presented.

    Gabreall Craig

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