Vegetables To Nuts How Long It Takes to Digest Different Foods

Do you ever find yourself curious about the time it takes for your body to completely digest the food you eat? Extracting nutrients from the food we eat is a complicated process that requires proper digestion. From the time we take our first meal until the time we pass it, our digestive system is hard at work transforming food into substances the body can use. To maximise nutrition absorption, it is important to be aware of the digestive process and the timetable it follows. Let's check out how the body processes various foods shared by MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria on her Instagram. 

Vegetables - 30-40 min 

Vegetables have a wealth of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but their digestion time may be longer than that of other foods. The digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth, where salivary enzymes start the process. The fibres are further dissolved by the stomach acid. Nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, while the large intestine ferments any fibres that were unable to be broken down. Vegetables take about 30–40 minutes to digest completely, but their beneficial nutrients and fibre are well worth the wait. 

Chicken – 90-120 min 

Chicken, being high in protein, takes longer for our bodies to break down than other foods. Proteins are among the first things digesting enzymes and stomach acid target after ingestion. The chicken, now partially digested, travels to the small intestine, where it undergoes final digestion and nutrient absorption. After about an hour and a half, we have the amino acids and other nutrients we need for sustained energy and repair. 

Potato - 90-120 min 

As a starchy vegetable, potatoes require 90-120 minutes for digestion. They first undergo preliminary digestion by stomach enzymes before being transported to the small intestine, where they undergo final digestion and nutritional absorption. When digested, the starch in potatoes is broken down into simple sugars, which are then slowly absorbed by the body. This method of digestion promotes satiety and helps keep blood sugar levels stable. 

Fish - 45-60 min 

The human digestive system can process fish's protein in about 45-60 minutes. Fish proteins are efficiently digested by the stomach's acid and enzymes into their constituent amino acids, which are absorbed in the small intestine. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial to the functioning of the heart and brain, are abundant in fish as well. It's a great option for a quick and easy to digest lunch because of how quickly it breaks down. 

Milk Products – 120 min  

Milk products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, take approximately 120 minutes to digest in our body. These dairy products contain lactose, a natural sugar, which requires the enzyme lactase to break it down into simpler sugars for absorption. Some individuals may have lactose intolerance, which can lead to discomfort, as they lack sufficient lactase enzyme to digest lactose effectively. Consuming lactose-free or fermented dairy products may be a suitable alternative for those with lactose intolerance. 

Nuts – 180 min 

Almonds, walnuts, and cashews, among others, require about 180 minutes for digestion. They contain satiating nutrients like fibre, protein, and healthy fats that take longer to digest. Additionally, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can be found in nuts. It's important to take them in moderation and pick kinds that suit individual preferences and needs because they may be difficult to digest or cause allergies in some people. 

Fruits and vegetables - 15 -20 min 

Fruits and vegetables take only about 15 to 20 minutes to completely break down in our digestive system. They aid health and digestion because of the high levels of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they contain. Because of their high-water content, fruits and vegetables help keep us hydrated and help keep our bowels regular. We can aid our digestion and general health by eating a diet rich in a wide range of fruits and vegetables in different colours. 

Water - 0 min 

Water can be absorbed almost instantly because it doesn't need to be digested. Through the stomach lining, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to all parts of the body, where it helps cells stay hydrated and organs do their necessary tasks. Adequate water intake is necessary for overall health, as it helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, and supports digestion.