The human digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract plus the accessory organs of digestion (the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder). In this system, the process of digestion has many stages, the first of which starts in the mouth (oral cavity). Digestion involves the breakdown of food into smaller and smaller components which can be absorbed and assimilated into the body. The secretion of saliva helps to produce a bolus which can be swallowed to pass down the oesophagus and into the stomach.
Digestion begins in the mouth when food mixes with enzymes in saliva. The matter transits the gastrointestinal tract to the stomach. Digestion continues in the stomach when the matter is introduced to hydrochloric acid (HCL) and pepsin. Food is liquefied in the stomach and it passes into the small intestine. It is further broken down by the digestive enzymes produced from the pancreas. Protease digests proteins, amylase digests carbohydrates and lipase digests fat. If the pancreas does not produce sufficient enzymes, digestion will be incomplete and absorption of nutrients will be inadequate.Most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients of the body occurs along the passageway that comprises the small and large intestines. Digestion works by moving food through the GI tract. Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and ends in the small intestine. As food passes through the GI tract, it mixes with digestive juices, causing large molecules of food to break down into smaller molecules. The body then absorbs these smaller molecules through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream, which delivers them to the rest of the body. Waste products of digestion pass through the large intestine and out of the body as a solid matter called stool. Digestion is important for breaking down food into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair.
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