26. In summary
The stomach is the widest part of the digestive system. Your stomach not only digests food, but it also stores it. It can hold a bit more than a quart (1 liter) of food at once. The design of the stomach allows a person to eat a large meal that can be digested slowly over time. The stomach secretes acid and enzymes that digest food. Ridges of muscle tissue called rugae line the stomach. The stomach muscles contract periodically, churning food to enhance digestion. The pyloric sphincter is a muscular valve that opens to allow food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine.
The stomach has 3 main functions: temporary storage for food, which passes from the esophagus to the stomach where it is held for 2 hours or longer. Mixing and breakdown of food by contraction and relaxation of the muscle layers in the stomach. The digestion of food. It is part of your gut (gastrointestinal tract). A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.