The digestive system

The organs in the digestive tract

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The role of the digestive system


The digestive tract has an essential function. It transforms the food we eat into nutrients. These nutrients then move into the blood in the body, to fuel all of its cells.

This allows the body to build and maintain itself, protect itself and function throughout its entire life – provided we eat a wide variety of food. This variety is important because different kinds of food contribute to the body in different ways.


Some food groups, such as dairy products, help build and maintain the body. Such food is called body-building food.

Other kinds of food help us stay in good health; for example, fruit and vegetables that contain vitamins. These are called body-protective food.

Then there is energy-giving food, which allows us to walk or run thanks to the energy it provides to our cells. Bread and pasta are good examples.


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