What affects the time of the digestive process?
After eating food, it is digested in the human body. But what does it actually depend on how long the body needs to digest the food ingested? Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist Dr Christine Lee, Key Facts About The Digestive Process And How Long It Takes For Food To Be Fully Digested.
Digestion affects, among other things, how long you feel full after eating food. But what exactly happens when the body digests food, which factors influence the process and how long does it take the body to do this?
What does the digestive process include?
Digestion is the process by which food is broken down into the nutrients that the body can use. This process begins in the mouth and ends at the end of the so-called terminal ileum (small intestine), explains the expert.
“Seeing and smelling food sets the process in motion. In response, your body begins to produce extra saliva, which contains enzymes that help digestion. As soon as the food has been chewed and swallowed, the real work begins in the stomach, ”reports Dr Lee.
Nutrients are absorbed through the small intestine
In the stomach, the food consumed mixes with these digestive juices and a watery brew is created, which then finally reaches the small intestine. There, the walls of the small intestine absorb the necessary nutrients and water. Unnecessary ingredients are passed on to the large intestine. “The colon (colon) then takes what your body hasn’t used and prepares to get rid of it through a bowel movement,”
How long does it take to digest food?
The entire digestive process can take several hours. According to the expert, the food generally stays in the stomach for between 40 and 120 minutes. In addition, there are another 40 to 120 minutes in the small intestine. In general, according to Dr Lee, the denser the food is, so the more protein or fat it contains, the longer it takes for digestion.
Simple carbohydrates such as normal rice, pasta or simple sugar stay in the stomach for between 30 and 60 minutes on average. On the other hand, a toast with a thick layer of peanut butter can linger in the stomach for between two and four hours, according to the expert.
How long do liquids stay in the stomach?
Liquids leave the stomach much faster because they don’t have to be broken down as much as solid foods. In general, it can be said that water only stays in the stomach for about ten to twenty minutes long does it take to digest food. Simple liquids, such as clear juices, tea and lemonades, on the other hand, remain in the stomach for twenty to forty minutes and more complex liquids take forty to sixty minutes, reports Dr Lee. However, these times are only estimates because many factors play a role in digestion:
- The body type
- the metabolism,
- medication taken,
- the type of food consumed,
- the level of physical activity and general physical fitness,
- whether there is an active lifestyle or rather the opposite,
- previous operations,
- the general stress level.
Role of genetics indigestion
Genetics and age also play a role in digestion that should not be underestimated. “Some people are born with a faster metabolism,” said Dr Lee. With increasing age, however, the metabolism and motility (ability to actively move) slow down.
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