How Long Does it Take to Digest Food & Why is it Important to Know?

Proper digestion is of vital importance for the whole body and it is proceeded in several stages. The first stage is when the food enters the mouth when the first breakdown of foods occurs then entering the stomach and transferring the nutrients to the bloodstream through the intestinal wall till it reaches the last one, the removal of the stool.

In the process of digestion, the nutrients are being extracted from the food and absorbed by the blood. The food is being digested in the stomach for 2-6 hours depending on the intake of foods, but here is only partially digested as the final process of digestion and absorption of nutrients, occurs in the small intestine and can last from 5-6 hours. In the end, the body throws away the waste through the large intestine in the form of feces.

When weight loss is concerned it is very important to know which foods are slowly digested thus offering the feeling of satiety and which ones are quickly digested which will make you almost immediately hungry.

Slow digesting foods

Foods that are slowly digested offer the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. But, have in mind that if you focus on only this type of food your digestive system will get overworked which will affect your whole body.

Fast digesting foods

This type of food will get quickly digested, but that will make you hungry very soon thus making you to reach for more food. In the end, the body will receive plenty of glucose which cannot all be turned into energy and in that way it turns into fat.

According to experts you should not mix these two types of foods, especially not over breakfast and dinner. These two meals should be lighter for instance this type of breakfast will offer an immediate boost of energy and this dinner in the evening a peaceful rest during the night.

The best meal for combining these two types of foods is at lunch because at this time the digestive system is more active.

Digestion time of various foods and beverages

  1. Pork – digestion time: 5 hours.
  2. Lamb – digestion time: 4 hours.
  3. Beef – digestion time: 3 hours.
  4. Nuts – digestion time: 3 hours.
  5. Dairy products – digestion time: 2 hours.
  6. Starchy vegetable – digestion time: 1.5 to 2 hours.
  7. Cereals, including rice, buckwheat, quinoa – digestion time: 1.5 to 2 hours,
  8. Chicken – digestion time: 1.5 to 2 hours.
  9. Fish – oily fish like salmon or trout the digestion time is 45 to 60 minutes, and for cod or sole the digestion time is 30 minutes.
  10. Salad drizzled with oil – digestion time: 1 hour.
  11. Cooked vegetables – digestion time: 40 minutes.
  12. Raw vegetables – digestion time: 30 to 40 minutes.
  13. Fruit or vegetable juice – digestion time: 15 to 20 minutes.
  14. Water – it goes straight into the intestine.

Eating Habits

  1. Consuming fruits after a meal

This is not a good idea because the body will need extra time to digest it and because of that it can ferment in the stomach.

  1. Sleeping after a meal

Although this is something that most people would like to do it is not recommended because it will hamper the proper digestive process. This will slow down the movement of the food towards the intestines which in turn will slow down the digestion. In order to gain the optimal effects of the nap you should wait 2 to 3 hours after the taken meal.

  1. Sitting after meal

You should avoid sitting after eating, but this is difficult, especially if you have a sedentary job. It would be best after the lunch break to take a short walk for 10 to 15 minutes.

  1. Drinking tea

Tea contains a compound known as tannins that can impede the function of certain digestive enzymes. Plus, its consumption can complicate the iron absorption in the body.

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