You might be wondering what exactly ‘time taken by foods to digest’ means? Well, it is the amount of time food takes to pass from your stomach into your intestine. Different kinds of food items have different digestion times, and knowing about them can help keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy and free from discomfort. If you are a patient of irritable bowel syndrome, learning about this topic will be especially helpful for you.

What are Fast and Slow Digesting Foods?

Talking about fast-digesting foods, they pass quite quickly through your stomach. Because of this, you might feel hungry more often as the stomach is emptied faster. This might lead to overeating and rapid weight gain. Artificially flavored fruit juice is one of the major constituents falling into this category.

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It is important to recognize fast and slow digesting foods. (source: www.MensXP.com)

In contrast, slow digesting foods pass through slowly. This means that they provide your body with a constant source of energy. However, this also means that your digestive tract will be working all the time. So you must make sure that you balance the two foods so that your digestive system gets adequate rest and enough activity.

It is a good idea not to mix fast and slow digesting foods in the same meal. Rather, try to consume fast digesting foods first and then follow up with slow digesting foods after the former has been digested. Eating something when your body hasn’t completely digested your previous meal can often lead to bloating, discomfort and other gastric issues. Eating fast digesting foods for breakfast and dinner, and slow digesting foods for lunch is key to achieving good gastric health.

Digestion time for different Carbohydrates and Grains

  • Oats, Brown rice, Cornmeal, Buckwheat- 90 minutes (1 and half hours)
  • Pulses and Beans- 120 minutes (2 hours)

Digestion time for different Fruits

 

Fruits (source: www.thedailymeal.com)
  • Watermelons- 20 minutes
  • Other melons- 30 minutes
  • Grapes, Bananas, Oranges- 30 minutes
  • Kiwis, Cherries, Plums, Pears, Apples- 40 minutes

If you are eating various kinds of fruits at once, should try your best to consume fruits that have the same digestion time. This will help prevent bowel irritation.

Digestion time for different Vegetables

  • Lettuce, Peppers, Tomatoes, Radishes- 30 minutes

    Vegetables (source: www.organicfacts.net)
  • Kale, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Cauliflower- 40 minutes
  • Carrots, Parsnip, Beetroot- 50 minutes
  • Corn, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Chestnuts, Butternut- 60 minutes (1 hour)

Digestion times for Seeds and Nuts

  • Seeds(such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds)- 2 hours
  • Nuts(such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews and pecans)- 3 hours

Digestion times for Meats and Dairy Products

  • Egg Yolk- 30 minutes
  • Whole Egg-45 minutes
  • Non-oily Fish- 30 minutes
  • Oily Fish-50 minutes

    Dairy and Meats (source: www.dietdoctor.com)
  • Skimmed Milk, Low-fat Cheese Products- 90 minutes (1.5 hours)
  • Cottage Cheese, Soft Cheeses- 2 hours
  • Hard Cheeses- 5 hours
  • Chicken and Turkey- 2 hours
  • Beef and Lamb- 4 hours
  • Pork- 5 hours

Digestion times for Water, Juices and Smoothies

 

Juices (source: www.youtube.com)
  • Water- If your stomach is empty, water leaves your stomach and enters your intestine immediately (so, having water in the early morning is an effective way to keep yourself hydrated)
  • Juices/ Broths- 15-20 minutes
  • Smoothies- 20-30 minutes

So now that you know the different digestion times for various food items, what are you waiting for? Have a healthy balance between quick and slow digesting foods and who knows… you might never have any gastric discomfort at all!

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