How Long Do Different Foods Take To Digest

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

Digestion has a crucial role in facilitating weight reduction. We are indeed what we eat, and we’ve been told this countless times. Although everyone’s digestive process is unique due to several factors including age, gender, health, and metabolism; in general, certain meals will pass quickly through your system while others may linger for a longer time. To put it simply, digestion is the process by which the food you eat is broken down into smaller and smaller pieces before being absorbed into circulation. Whether you’re attempting to slim down or keep the extra weight off, knowing how long it takes your system to process food is crucial. Read on to know more about how long each element in your meal stays in your stomach to know what you need to eat for speedy digestion.

Meals That Digest Quickly

Meals That Digest Quickly
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Foods that digest quickly leave you feeling hungry again so quickly that you may find yourself eating far more than you should. You’ll feel energized right away because of the spike in glucose levels caused by this sort of diet. While the idea of a quick energy boost may appeal, if the body is overloaded with glucose and cannot utilize it, the excess is stored as fat.

Meals That Take Time To Digest

Meals That Take Time To Digest
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Consuming foods that take longer to digest results in a more gradual increase in blood sugar, leading to more sustained and constant energy levels. Eating foods that take a long time to digest, on the other hand, might be taxing on your digestive system. Experts advise against combining rapid and slow-digesting foods at the same time and against eating quick food too soon before slow ones due to incomplete digestion. When you eat lunch, your gut flora is at its peak efficiency, making it the ideal time to process meals with components that have various digestion durations. Breakfast & dinner should be lighter and easier to digest so that you may start the day with a burst of energy and give your digestive system a respite before bed. Here are some common food elements and how long they take to get digested.

  • Water

Goes straight to the digestive tract.

  • Fruit Juice

15 Minutes

  • Raw Vegetables

30-40 minutes

  • Cooked Vegetables

40 minutes

  • Fish

45-60 minutes

  • Salad With Oil

1 hour

  • Starchy Vegetables

1.5-2 hours

  • Grains

2 hours

  • Dairy

2 Hours

  • Nuts

3 hours

  • Chicken

1.5-2 hours

  • Beef

3 hours

  • Lamb

4 hours

  • Pork

5 hours

Helpful Tips For Improving Digestion

1. Drink A Lot Of Water

Drink A Lot Of Water
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Maintain your body’s hydration levels by consuming water consistently. Constipation has been linked to drinking too little water, according to some research. You may help your body digest meals more quickly by drinking water or other non-caffeinated liquids. You may receive enough water by eating watery fruits and vegetables too.

2. Chew Your Meals

Chew Your Meals
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Digestion begins in the mouth, thus it’s important to chew our food thoroughly, say the experts. Not getting enough of the nutrients can lead to a host of additional health issues. Saliva production increases in response to increased chewing activity. Saliva aids digestion by assisting in the breakdown of food particles in the mouth.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise Regularly
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As most of us have a lot on our plates already, it may be challenging to find the time and energy to keep our bodies moving. Nevertheless, exercise has been shown to improve digestion, which is just one more way in which it benefits our general health. It has been shown that taking a long walk immediately after eating can help the digestive process.

4. Avoid Late Night Snacking

Avoid Late Night Snacking
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Avoid unhealthy food habits, such as snacking late at night. All of us have been cautioned by our parents about the dangers of certain behaviors, so we likely know what to avoid. You may be asking why you shouldn’t have a late-night snack at this point. In case you hadn’t realized, gravity also plays a role in the movement of your meal. There’s a chance that lying down can impede your digestive process to the point that whatever’s in your stomach will come up and give you heartburn. Adhere to a well-balanced diet. As we’ve already established, some meals can assist us in consuming enough water every day. The high fiber content of vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, melons, strawberries, pickles, etc. can also aid in satiety.

5. Avoid Processed Food

Avoid Processed Food
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Scientific research has shown that certain parts of processed foods are harmful to human health. Using artificial sweeteners can change the composition of your gut microbes. Diseases like Crohn’s may manifest as a result of an increase in such microorganisms. This is why it’s important to consider the health benefits of eating complete foods.

So now that you know how important it is to eat wholesome and healthy food, nothing can keep you from staying fit and healthy. So what is your secret to eating well and maintaining a healthy diet? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Water, Hydration and Health, NCBI
  2. Oral Manifestations of Crohn’s Disease: A Case Report and Review of the Literature, NCBI
  3. Physiology, Digestion, NCBI
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