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The time of digestion of foods in the stomach: important aspects in gastroenterology

To maintain good health, a person must adhere to various recommendations, among which a balanced diet is important. Within the framework of this topic, an important term is digestion, which determines the duration of food in the human stomach. The duration of digestion of food corresponds to the time required for their breakdown.

In a slightly different way, everything happens with carbohydrates. This process can be described using the terms “digestion” and “assimilation”. They account for a significant proportion of the diet of people who practice raw food. However, regardless of food preferences, the rate of assimilation of products is important for any person who is trying to eat properly.

But in the modern world, very few people monitor what they eat. The basic element of good nutrition is separate meal, which involves not only adhering to a specific food consumption schedule, but also the right choice of foods that must be ingested in a specific sequence. Therefore, in each case, certain products will be absorbed at different speeds.

Digestion mechanism

All food consumed by humans is a natural source of nutrients, vitamins, which are so necessary for the health of the body. The complex digestive mechanism clearly divides the combined substances into simple ones, distributes all substances into the necessary parts of the human body.

All that is not acquired is excreted with feces. So you can simply explain the whole digestion process. Clinicians talk about the following stages of food digestion:

  • grinding food in the mouth and breaking down carbohydrates with saliva,
  • food enters the stomach and is treated with hydrochloric acid for about 4 hours (during this time, primary cleavage and antibacterial treatment occur),
  • the transformation of the food lump into gruel in the duodenum,
  • nutrient absorption
  • excretion of undigested food from the colon with feces.

Food is pushed through the intestines at different speeds by reducing the smooth muscle - the peristaltic process.

Note! Thus, the digestion time is the interval between the ingestion of food in the stomach and the penetration of the food lump into the small intestine to distribute beneficial substances.

Factors affecting the rate of digestion of food

The following factors affect the speed and speed of digestion of food in the cavities of the gastrointestinal tract:

  1. Temperature mode. Hot foods always take longer to digest than cold ones. So, for assimilation of okroshka 1 hour is enough, and for digesting hot soup or baked potatoes with meat - 3-4 hours.
  2. Meal time. Digestion of food occurs faster and more actively at lunchtime, therefore these hours are the main ones for receiving the bulk of food.
  3. Heat treatment. Raw vegetables are digested in the stomach and intestines much faster than steamed or fried foods. In the latter, there are no special enzymes that are responsible for the processing of food components.
  4. The compatibility of food ingredients. Popular dishes that increase the rate of digestion of food in the stomach include salads and complex dishes. So, for example, a salad with an apple and hard cheese will be digested for about 4 hours, despite the fact that a fresh apple is digested quickly enough.

The problem of excess weight is also due to non-compliance with the rules of clinical nutrition. Do not eat until the previous food lump has been digested.

Important! Compliance with simple recommendations will solve the problem of overweight, eliminate the problem of congestion, bloating, stool disorder and nausea as a result of chronic intoxication.

Digestibility classification of products

Clinicians gastroenterologists and nutritionists conditionally classify all foods into several main groups. The classification is based on the digestion time. The following groups are distinguished:

  • Carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing products. The processing time of food components is about 30-50 minutes. This group includes salads, freshly squeezed juices, raw vegetables or fruits.
  • Protein foods and certain types of fats. The processing time of food from these ingredients varies within 2 hours. This group includes low-fat varieties of meat, fish, all seafood, chicken eggs, milk.
  • Complex carbohydrates and starchy ingredients. Processing such food requires about 4 hours from the digestive mechanism. This group includes nuts and legumes, hard cheese, fatty cottage cheese, cereals, potatoes.
  • Non-digestible or hard to digest food. The food ingredients in this group are digested long enough or not digested at all. Such products include coffee and coffee drinks, preservation, mushrooms in any form, fresh flour and confectionery products, pasta, especially from wholemeal flour.

How long does food digest

Food is an integral component of the life of not only humans, but also of all living creatures that inhabit our planet, since it is fuel for the body, a source of energy for future achievements. Without vital nutrients, the development, protection and regeneration of body cells cannot be carried out. The products that enter the body go an extremely long way before becoming an essential building block. It is worth noting that the energy consumption for processing certain products depends on their belonging to a certain group.

How much food is digested in the human body. The range is quite large and amounts to half an hour to six hours. How long does it take for food to enter my intestines? After 7-8 hours of slow movement along the small intestine with parallel cleavage processes, food gradually passes into the colon, where it can be about 20 hours. The average duration of the conversion of food to feces is one and a half days.

It is also worth paying your attention that the terms “assimilation” and “digestion” are completely different. The first involves absorption of useful nutrients and their use as energy needsserving to maintain the viability of systems and organs, as well as for the regeneration of cellular matter. Second determines how long the food stays in the stomach, undergoing phased processing in the form of synthesis into simple chemical compounds.

Everyone who cares about their health and the health of their loved ones should know how long the food is in the digestive organs, delimiting the time of digestion and assimilation of products. Doctors strongly do not recommend starting a new meal at a time when the old "party" has not yet gone through the process of complete processing.

The time of digestion of food in the human stomach: table

The rate of digestion is an indicator that indicates how long the food enters the intestines after processing in the stomach. Sometimes products radically differ with the characteristics relative to the specified parameter. Therefore, it is important to know how much cottage cheese, meat and other products are digested.

The table below will not only know the time, but also systematize the obtained indicators for splitting food into groups.

Based on these data, one can have an idea of ​​how long the stomach needs to digest the food it receives.

However, it is worth noting that a particular role is played by the method of processing and mixing products.

Let's highlight the main points that greatly complicate the life of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract:

  • equal digestion time, no heat treatment, sugar and fats are not added,
  • the same duration of digestion, spices, butter and sugar are added,
  • different digestion times, different processing and cooking methods, different fats and oils are added.

Nutrition recommendations

A competent approach will systematize the data and build an infallible nutrition algorithm that is ideal directly for your body. Let's get acquainted with the existing series of general rules, which will significantly facilitate the work of the gastrointestinal tract:

  1. so as not to overload the stomach, it is recommended not to mix foods that have different time parameters,
  2. cook dishes that are in the same time group,
  3. adding oils to food increases the duration of its digestion by at least three hours,
  4. dilution of undigested food with water helps to reduce the concentration of gastric juice, which entails the accumulation of undigested residues in the intestines, which undergo decay processes,
  5. products entering the oral cavity must be chewed thoroughly, treating them with saliva enzymes,
  6. products that underwent boiling and frying lose their original structure and a significant part of their useful properties, so the duration of digestion increases at least one and a half times,
  7. cold food is digested much faster, which contributes to obesity, since a person begins to feel hunger much faster, utilization and absorption processes are disrupted, rotting processes fill the intestines,
  8. Please note that the best time for processing food is lunchtime, so the desire to combine the incompatible will pass without consequences. As for breakfast and dinner, they don’t have such activity, so give preference to products of one group of digestion and quick assimilation,
  9. in the evening and at night, you are strongly advised not to fill your stomach, as food will begin to be digested only when morning arrives. Therefore, before going to bed, you will fill your stomach with not only useless, but also rotten food.

Conventionally, there are three categories of mixing food:

For clarity, consider products or foods conventionally divided into groups by the time of its digestion.

First group assimilation time no more than 45 min. These include mainly various carbohydrates.

  • - Fruits: watermelon, melon, orange, grapefruit, grapes - 30 min.
  • - Cherry, apple, peach, pear, cherry, apricot - about 40 minutes.
  • - Vegetables: raw mixed vegetables - 30-45 min.
  • - Broths and mixed fruit salads - about 30 minutes.
  • - Fruit and vegetable juices are digested 15-20 minutes.

Second group represent protein foods with a little fat. Digestion time no more than 2 hours.

  • - Egg (full) - 45 minutes
  • - Fish (not fatty varieties) - 30 minutes
  • - Fish (salmon, trout, herring, more fatty fish) - 45-60 minutes
  • - Chicken (without skin) - 1-2 hours

TO The third group include foods that include complex carbohydrates and starch, assimilation time of about 2-3 hours.

  • - potatoes
  • - cereals from all types of cereals,
  • - mushrooms
  • - whole milk curd - 125 minutes,
  • - seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame) - about 2-3 hours,
  • - nuts, almonds, peanuts (raw), pecans - 2.5-3 hours,
  • - bean.

Fourth group , the digestion time of these products is more than 3-4 hours, while many of them are excreted from the body without being digested.

  • - Coffee and tea with milk,
  • - Fish and canned fish,
  • - Meat and various stews, pastes, etc., (lamb and beef 3-4 hours, pork 5-6 hours).
  • - Hard cheese made from whole milk - 4-6 hours.
  • - Pasta from durum wheat.

How long is food digested in the human stomach

The interval spent on digesting food is a significant indicator, but usually no one takes it into account. Nutrients are a source of energy.

Having correctly compiled the components and calculated the time spent on processing a particular product, you can not keep up with strict diets, always be in shape and not feel hunger.

It is not necessary to keep an infinite number of numbers in your head, for this a tremendous work of nutritionists has been done and a generally accepted table of food digestion over time has been drawn up. You should not lay down meals without the need, feelings of hunger, and if the body did not have time to process the product eaten the day before.

What determines the time spent in the stomach?

When using the culinary delights, it is important to consider that the benefits, the absorption of the body and the return of nutrients depend on many factors. Freshness, the method of preparation of the additive, compatibility - everything is important and requires special attention.

The main stage of digestion of products is carried out in the stomach and can take from 30 minutes to 6 hours, while the processing period to the time of defecation takes about 20 hours.

The rate of digestion is determined by the moment when the food enters the intestine, to simplify the task, the food products must be properly systematized:

Given the time of digestion of food, health can be significantly improved. Ignoring this indicator, a person carries an impressive amount of rotting products, which adversely affects health, causes diseases of the digestive system, cardiovascular system. Moreover, an unhealthy, unhealthy diet negatively affects life expectancy.

In order for the processing to be complete, it is important to follow simple rules:

  1. Using at the same time products requiring a different interval for digestion, the body is subjected to excessive stress, which makes no sense. Self-eaten boiled potatoes could get into the small intestine after an hour, when combined with pork, it is doomed to digest for 6 hours.
  2. The best solution for preparing your favorite dishes is a combination of products that require the processing of the same amount of time. This will allow you to spend a little more time than with mono-nutrition, but this approach is most acceptable when mixing.
  3. Using vegetable oils as a dressing for salads, it should be borne in mind that the processing time in the stomach will increase several times (2-3). Oil creates a shell on vegetables, this complicates the processing of salad components by gastric juices and enzymes.
  4. It is impossible to drink food immediately after its intake with teas, water, and any drinks. After the meal, it is necessary to wait for the transition of products from the stomach to the intestines. In violation of the rule, there is a decrease in the saturation of gastric juice, digestion worsens and the load on the digestive system increases. Water, diluting food, eliminates complete digestion, because of this, whole food fragments penetrate the intestines and, as a result of the active action of putrefactive microorganisms, expose undigested food to decomposition and fermentation.
  5. Drinking water in its pure form, without additional inclusions, it immediately enters the intestine without delay.
  6. Any meal does not endure fuss. Consuming a product, you must carefully, slowly chewing food.Thanks to this simple action, it is possible to significantly accelerate the process of digestion, since the stomach will not need to spend energy on grinding the ingredients, and enzyme treatment takes place carefully in the oral cavity.
  7. When consuming food of animal origin rich in protein, it is important to understand that in a pre-heated state it is digested for 2-3 hours, then it goes into the thin section to continue the breakdown of valuable components from food components.
  8. It takes less time to digest cold dishes, proteins do not have time to digest and enter the small intestine, where they create favorable conditions for the reproduction of bacteria, which subsequently cause unpleasant sensations in the digestive apparatus (gas formation, constipation). It is the use of cooled or chilled food that leads to the accumulation of excess weight and the acquisition of a diagnosis - obesity.
  9. The best time to ferment food is lunchtime. If there is a need to mix incompatible products, it is best to do this during the day. Breakfast and dinner do not fully utilize the body's reserves. In the morning he had not yet woken up, in the evening he was ready for bed.
  10. Night time is a period of rest. During this period, food lies in the stomach with a dead weight until awakening. Deposits of products are decomposed and have a negative effect on the body.

The time of digestion of food in the human stomach can be controlled. It is important to understand how quickly each product undergoes enzymatic processing.

The most popular and commonly used ingredients are presented in the table.

What determines the digestion of food?

The rate of assimilation of productsconsumed by a person depends not only on his individual characteristics, but also on the mass of other factors.

  1. Food processing. The use of methods of heat treatment of products, such as cooking and frying, leads to the destruction of enzymes contained in raw food, as well as the destruction of its original structure. Such dishes are usually digested 1.5 times longer.
  2. Food temperature. It takes more time to digest if a person constantly eats cold food, for example, cottage cheese from the refrigerator.
  3. Meal time. The body works most actively at lunch, during breakfast and dinner, food is not digested so quickly. This feature should be taken into account by every person who wants to speed up this process: for this, for breakfast and dinner you need to eat foods of the same digestion time and at the maximum rate of assimilation.
  4. Mixing food. It is known that all products differ from each other in the time required for their assimilation. So that the body can digest the apple, it needs 30-45 minutes, and hard cheese - 4-6 hours. There are special foods that the intestines cannot digest at all. Therefore, it is necessary to mix the products correctly before eating, whether it is cottage cheese or buckwheat, since this directly affects how long the process of digestion of food will take place.

It is customary to highlight the following main categories of food mixing:

  • The first category. For mixing, products with the same digestion time are selected. They should not undergo special heat treatment and mix with fats and sugar. A good example of this is vegetables and fruits.
  • The second category. This includes products that have one digestion time, which is used with various oils, sugar and spices. However, they will be absorbed much longer. This is due to the presence of oils and fats that envelop the food, as a result, the stomach has to produce additional amounts of stomach acid and increase acidity in the stomach. Therefore, such food has to be digested longer.
  • The third category. Products with different digestion times are selected for it, which also differ in the processing method and involve the use of different oils and fats.

For a better understanding of what is at stake, imagine special group productsdivided by digestion time.

First group

It consists of products that require up to 45 minutes to digest. For the most part it is various types of carbohydrates:

  • Fruits (watermelon, grapefruit) - 30 min,
  • Cherry, apple, peach - 40 minutes,
  • Vegetables (raw) - 30-45 min,
  • Broths, fruit salads - 30 minutes,
  • Juices from fruits and vegetables -15-20 minutes.

Third group

It is based on products containing complex carbohydrates and starch. It takes about 2-3 hours to assimilate them.

  • potatoes,
  • all the porridge
  • any mushrooms
  • cottage cheese (only from whole milk) - 125 minutes,
  • seeds (sunflower, sesame) - about 2-3 hours,
  • Nuts - 2.5-3 hours,
  • legumes.

Fourth group

It is represented by products that are fully digested in 3-4 hours or more. Most of them often do not have time to fully digest and in this form are excreted from the body.

  • Coffee and tea with milk,
  • Fish and canned food from it,
  • Meat and its semi-finished products - at least 3-4 hours,
  • Hard cheese - 4-6 hours,
  • All types of pasta (only from durum wheat).

Good Nutrition Tips

You can only be glad for those who realized that proper nutrition is the key to health. However, those who are just starting this way will not hurt to get acquainted with the following recommendations.

  • When drinking fasted water, it reaches the intestines in a few minutes.
  • When oils are absorbed into the body, they are not absorbed by the intestines, but envelop other foods, forcing the stomach to produce an additional amount of stomach acid to break down.
  • A big mistake is made by people who, after heavy meals, drink water, tea or other drinks. When extra fluid is in the stomach, it lowers the acidity level of the gastric juice, which increases the burden on the body, which is busy digesting food. Therefore, the gastrointestinal tract begins to work in an enhanced mode. As for the liquid, it brings with it into the intestine undigested particles that cause them to ferment and sometimes rot.
  • While eating, it is recommended to thoroughly chew it, as this helps to accelerate digestion and improve its absorption.
  • In order to bring the greatest benefit to the body, it is recommended to consume protein products in a warm form, since food heated to such a temperature requires about 2-3 hours to digest. The whole process of protein splitting takes the same amount.
  • Usually, nuts and seeds are consumed raw, but in this form they are digested for a very long time. To speed up this process, you can do the following: you need to soak them at night, and in the morning before use, crush them.

Interesting Facts

The body begins to prepare for digestion before food enters the stomach. This is due to work. salivary and digestive glandsthat respond to hunger or the smell of a tasty dish. The body functions in this way thanks to conditioned reflexes.

Human salivary glands are constantly under heavy load - during the day they have to produce more than 1.5 liters of saliva. Perhaps many will be surprised to hear that, on average, each of us absorbs up to 500 kg of food per year. The total surface area of ​​the small intestine is 250 square meters. m

The stomach plays an important role in the work of the body, not only because it is involved in the breakdown of food, but also due to the fact that most of the serotonin is produced here - a special hormone that is responsible for joy and high spirits. When chewing gum enters the stomach, it is not digested, therefore, once in the intestines, nothing happens to it, although in some cases it can provoke constipation or blockage of the intestinal lumen.


The transition to proper nutrition is an important decision in the life of any person who wants to continue to remain healthy. However, in order to change your view of eating, you need to not only choose the right moments for a meal, but also determine the right products, which will make up the menu, and the frequency of their entry into the body. Indeed, many people love fermented milk products, but few people know how much cottage cheese is digested.

An important phenomenon in the proper functioning of the body is the digestion of food. From how much and in what combination it enters the stomach, and then into the intestines, how long this process will take. Therefore, it is very important among the correctly selected healthy foods to make the best combinations that will form the basis of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Features of the digestion of food

Given the medical interpretation of the digestion process, its duration is determined by the period of time during which the food is in the stomach. The process of processing begins from the moment the food is in the mouth, where it is chewed and processed at the same time with saliva. Some substances are absorbed into the blood already at the initial stage of processing. After chewing, food enters the stomach, and in it, under the action of enzymes, its breakdown begins. The next stage - the assimilation of products - occurs in the small intestine, where they also continue to break down. In this section of the gastrointestinal tract, food is stored for 7–8 hours. After this, the remnants are sent to the colon. At this point, products may linger for 20 hours.

Effect of age and gender on duration

The duration of the digestion process is affected by:

  • physiological characteristics of a person - age, gender,
  • general health, stressful situations,
  • the functioning of each internal organ,
  • individual characteristics of a person and his digestive system.

The older the child, the larger the volume of his stomach becomes, and the time required for digesting food approaches the values ​​that are for an adult.

The body of a seven-year-old child, in comparison with an adult, needs 2 times more time to process food. Upon reaching a child’s body of 10-12 years old, the ratio of the considered values ​​is 1: 5. After 15 years, the food in the stomach of a person in both a child and an adult is digested the same amount of time.

In the female body, this process lasts a little longer. With age, the digestive system begins to work more slowly, so more time is spent on digesting food.

Minor factors affecting the processing process

The following factors affect the duration of a meal in the stomach:

  • Heat treatment of products. In the process of cooking, some of the nutrients are lost, and the digestion process increases.
  • The temperature of the dish. Food eaten in the hot form can linger in the stomach a little longer, in the cold - it gets into the intestine faster.
  • The best option is warm food.
  • Meal time. Foods eaten at noon are digested and excreted faster than morning and evening meals.

The compatibility of the ingredients of the dish. In order to avoid undue burden on the organs, the food used for cooking should be digested by the body about the same time. Subject to this rule, the duration of food in the body will not differ much from the time of digestion with separate nutrition. The presence in the lunch component with a long period of splitting leads to a delay in the whole dish in the stomach.

Physical activity - a person’s physical activity after a hearty meal helps to slow down digestive processes.

Snacks during physical work should contain mainly foods containing carbohydrates. Such food is quickly digested and does not cause severity. If the food is digested for a long time, bloating, heaviness occurs.

In the process of digestion, an important factor is the rate of absorption of nutrients, and not the presence of food in the body.

Health Tips for Improving Digestion

All products should be thoroughly chewed, manipulation contributes to better processing and assimilation of food.

It is better to eat protein food in a warm form, in this form it will stay in the stomach longer - 2-3 hours, and all healthy proteins will have time to break down to the state necessary for their further digestion into the intestine to amino acids. If you do not adhere to this rule, the stomach will not have enough time for their digestion, products in this form will go to the intestine, where they can linger. Protein-containing cold foods often cause constipation, digestive upsets, and bloating.

Complex carbohydrates in the stomach are almost not digested, the process of splitting is carried out under the influence of saliva, swallowed with food.

The simultaneous ingestion of food and water should be avoided. Under the influence of diluted gastric juice, food is digested longer, the quality of digestion decreases. Water promotes penetration into the small intestine of food that has not gone through the entire digestion process. Such food does not break down and is not absorbed, so it begins to rot. Together with food, bacteria and bacteria enter the intestines, which is why such food is not only not absorbed in the intestines, but also causes digestive upsets.

Nuts and seeds, soaked in water at night, and then chopped, are digested better and faster than in whole form.

The use of oil in the preparation of vegetable dishes prevents the breakdown of products in the stomach due to the fact that it covers them with a greasy film. Food lingers in the body for 60–90 minutes, but this will not lead to better absorption of food.

Example of calculating the duration of digestion of products

To calculate how much food is digested from several ingredients, you need to add up the digestion time of each product and divide by their number - the arithmetic average.

The obtained value is approximate, in addition, the amount of the ingredient prevailing in the dish must be taken into account. If vinaigrette contains vegetables, the dish is digested within 1–1.5 hours, and peas –3 hours. The arithmetic average is 2 hours. There are more vegetables in the salad, so the nominal digestion time of the dish is 1.5–2 hours.

Digestion table

The indicators given in the table on the duration of digestion of food are average values ​​and are valid provided that the products were consumed separately. For different people, these numbers may vary slightly.

The subtleties of eating

Products should be consumed in the correct sequence, given the time they are digested. If you eat fruit immediately after a meat dish, discomfort can not be avoided. The main lunch will not let the fruit slip into the intestines first until it is digested, so the fruit will begin to ferment and cause bloating in the stomach.

Kilograms of rot located in the intestine cannot but affect the state of health. A person who does not observe the time intervals necessary for complete digestion of food dooms himself to illnesses, poor health, which ultimately affects the life expectancy of a person.

Watch the video: Gastrointestinal Anatomy and Physiology (February 2020).