Digestion is the process of breaking down food and drinks into smaller parts so your body can absorb what it needs and eliminate what it doesn’t. Your digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal or GI tract, a series of interconnected organs joined in a long tube from the mouth to the anus. After you chew and swallow food, it heads to your stomach. The digested food then moves into the small intestine which absorbs nutrients into your bloodstream, and into the large intestine where it absorbs water and is changed into stool. From there, the stool moves out the body through the rectum and finally out your anus.

Your hormones and nerves also help control the digestive process, with signals flowing back and forth from your GI tract to your brain. Working together, they keep things moving to keep nutrients in your body and waste out.