The digestive system through the point of view of fruit
By Nika Zamani
Header image by Jannah Sheriff
Sitting next to a plum, a mango and a few peaches, I had no idea what was in store for me. I spent my days in a white bowl snuggled in between the mango and peaches. Occasionally, I would see one of the fruits disappear and never return. I was always curious about what happened to them, so I decided I would share my journey after leaving the white bowl.
What I didn’t know, was that it would soon be my turn to experience what the fruits ahead of me had gone through. A hand lifted out of the bowl and held me in front of a large opening. I took a big breath and entered the opening, beginning my journey through the digestive system.
I saw what was called “the mouth” for the first time. It was a dark, room-like area with a large red snake, moving constantly and swishing around the area. Moving quickly and unpredictably, it was very difficult to stay clear of the tongue’s path, but that wasn’t the worst of it. 32 beaming white boulders crushed me into small, mashed up pieces. By that point, I was in a sea of wet saliva with an enzyme by the name of “amylase” which apparently helped me chemically digest. I didn’t understand what these terms meant or why the mouth was such a hectic place, but the next thing I knew, I was being pushed towards a demeaning black tunnel. Although it was not a very welcoming entrance to the digestive system, the next step would be much calmer.
This was actually the most enjoyable part of my journey. The esophagus was a warm, moist area that I was in for a fairly long period of time. Peristalsis, repetitive sequences of muscle contractions, allowed me to relax and recover from the harsh slaughter before. Eventually, the process of peristalsis ushered me into the stomach through the esophageal sphincter.
The stomach was a madhouse. Acids were coming at me left and right, and enzymes were making me weaker and weaker until I was fully liquid. The stomach was expanding and contracting, churning me round and round. I felt like I was burning and disintegrating into nothingness. At last I was pushed into the small intestine, through the pyloric sphincter.
I was in the small intestine for the majority of my time. I was referred to as chyme at this point, as I was made up of partially digested food, bolus, and other stomach juices, It was a pretty moist scene inside the intestine but it definitely making the absorption process of all my nutrients more bearable. 20 feet of small intestine provided me with a much needed break from the havoc before.
I eventually made it into the large intestine, not knowing that my journey through the digestive system was coming to an end. This five foot path was very dry and uncomfortable. A relatively small amount of undigested food was left, painfully making its way through the intestine. All the remaining water was absorbed by the large intestine, and what was left of me was compacted into a dry mass of waste.
At last, I exited the system through an opening and saw the outside world again.
I was relieved to make it out of the human body, but the experience was exhilarating. I learned so much, and experienced so many fascinating things. My time in the white bowl had lead me to such an amazing journey that truly displayed the beauty of the human body.