Digestion Timeline | How Long Does Food Take To Digest?

Oct 18, 2021 01:35 PM EDT | By David Thompson

Digestion Timeline | How Long Does Food Take To Digest?

(Photo : Image by Alicia Harper from Pixabay )

For nutrients to be distributed to the body, it has to undergo digestion. But exactly how long does food take to digest? Continue reading for all the answers.

How long does it take for food to digest?

Typically, it takes about a day to three days for food to move through your digestive system. To understand the exact time food takes to be digested, it's dependent on the amount and the type of food you ate.

Other factors that affect your digestion rate are your gender, metabolism rate, allergies, or any eating habits you may have adopted. The speed of digestion is also dependent on whether you have any digestive problems that could act as a catalyst or which could slow the process.

When food first enters your mouth, it travels quite fast through your digestive system. After about six to eight hours, the food has traveled through your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Once the food is in your large intestine, it can sit for more than a day. The half-digested food is then broken down more.

It's also worth noting that the food you eat plays a huge factor in the digestion process. For instance, research shows that eating lots of candy bars makes food digest very quickly. That is why you easily get hungry when you eat junk sugary foods.  This is mostly due to the high acid content.

On the flip side, fruits and vegetables digest quickly because of their high fiber content. They help your digestive system work more efficiently. Along with fruit and vegetables, certain herbs and spices can assist with healthy digestion. An instance is turmeric. Some people take turmeric supplements to aid with digestion. This is because the spice has anti-inflammatory properties that are known for gut health and various digestive issues.

What happens during the digestive process?

Digestion is when your body breaks down food and drains the nutrients your body needs to survive. What's not needed comes out as waste.

The human digestive system is made up of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. When you put food in your mouth, saliva is released. This breaks the starches in your food and creates bolus which makes it easy to swallow. The food then moves down the esophagus and after into the stomach.

Acids in the stomach break the food down, and this partially digested food then moves to the small intestine. Other digestive juices are then added to the half-digested food.

This is where nutrients are extracted from the food into the bloodstream and the undigested part moves to the large intestine. In the large intestine, any remaining water and nutrients are absorbed. The rest becomes solid waste which is stored in the rectum to be passed as stool through the anus.

Common digestive problems

Several problems can disturb the digestive process. Some of these digestive problems include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as heartburn, peptic ulcer, diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallstones, celiac disease, constipation, and diarrhea.

In conclusion, you now know enough about the digestion timeline. It, therefore, falls on you to eat healthy so that your system can undergo healthy digestion.

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