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How Long Does it Take to Digest food

How Long Does it Take to Digest Food?

The digestive system is one of the body’s organ systems and plays a vital role in supporting life. Improper digestion of nutrients in the body can lead to illness, fatigue, and loss of immunity. 

So one should pay utmost attention in case of any problem related to the digestion of food.

Ingestion or absorption, in simple words, is the step with which the digestive process begins. It is physically broken down into smaller parts by your teeth as you take in food. In order to moisten and lubricate the food, the salivary glands are stimulated, and saliva is released. The most excellent point about digestion is our swallowing kicks in and pushes the food into our esophagus from our mouth. 

How do you digest food?

Digestion of food is actually a complex biochemical process that takes place within our body. The digestive system is a network of hollow organs forming a continuous relation to your anus from your mouth. Every step includes different organs that are different in functioning but important indeed.

These organs include the esophagus; the stomach; the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum of the small intestine; and the colon, rectum, and anus of the large intestine. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are other organs that are part of the digestive system. Furthermore, many bacteria, known collectively as the gut microbiome, host the digestive system, which lets you digest certain foods.

How long does it take to digest food?

Time for digestion of food varies between individuals and between males and females. It takes approximately six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine after feeding. For further digestion, water absorption, and eventually removing undigested food, food then reaches your large intestine in the colon. For food to pass across the entire colon, it takes approximately 36 hours. 

All in all, depending on the person, the entire process, from the time you swallow food to the time it leaves your body as feces, takes about two to five days. That is why it is always advisable to have a proper diet plan to improve your digestive tract and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Which is the quickest way to digest food?

Several variables decide how long it will take to travel through the body for food. This includes what has been consumed, the level of exercise, psychological stress, personal features, and general health. There are several steps you can take to speed things up if your transport is a problem like the following:

  • Thirty minutes of exercise a day 

By a sequence of muscle contractions, food, and digested material is passed through the body. These contractions of the muscle are called peristalsis. Peristalsis is slowed down by being a couch potato, thus decreasing the transit period. Constipation and general discomfort can result in this. Exercise increases metabolism, which increases the frequency of muscle contractions.

  • Eat fiber more 

Fiber-rich foods can add bulk to your feces, such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits, and help encourage the intestines to drive food along. Since a fast fiber addition to your diet can result in gas, bloating, and cramps, it should gradually be added over time.

  • Eat yogurt 

Yogurt and other probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, soft cheeses, and sourdough bread, contain live cultures of bacteria that encourage healthy bacteria living in the intestines that improve digestion.

  • Always drink lots of water 

We all know that we are advised to drink eight glasses of water a day. For this recommendation, there are several health factors. Water helps to keep the feces moist in this situation, thus improving transit time.

 Which is the most extended way to digest food?

The most extended way to digest food is the intake of fats in the diet as fats take a lot of time for digestion and breakdown into smaller particles, which are fatty acids and glycerol. This breakdown occurs in the small intestine; hence, it is the longest step for digestion.

Food digestion time chart

Food digestion time chart

Image Source:

Water-soluble foods take the least time to get digested, whereas fat-soluble food requires a lot of time for a breakdown. Looking into the chart, one can easily conclude that it’s easy to digest fruits and vegetables compared with meat and flesh. So, one should always follow a routine of what to have when to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Digestion of food is essential for keeping oneself healthy and immunized. If digestion is not on track, one will feel irritated and uncomfortable. So consult a doctor in such cases.

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