How Long Does It Take To Digest Food?
Digestion is one of the most vital bodily functions of the human body. Without digestion, we can not break down our food into the different components that we need to build muscle, create energy, and stay healthy. Without the ability to properly digest our food, the entire body will eventually fail. This is why it’s so important to understand how your digestive system works and how to keep it as healthy as possible.
In this article, we’ll talk about how long it takes for food to digest, different digestive problems, how to improve your digestion, and how a healthy diet can help make things better.
How Long Does It Take To Digest Food
Generally speaking, it takes the body anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to fully digest food. The amount of time will depend on a variety of factors including quality of food, gender, age, digestive tract health, and metabolism. All of these factors have a role to play in digestion and speedy digestion does not always mean you’re healthy.
For example, a food that has very little nutrition and fiber may digest faster than a healthier food, but it doesn’t give your body anything it needs. It doesn’t improve anything. Fiber slows digestion considerably because your body cannot break fiber down, but it also helps keep your tract healthy and clean.
Additionally, eating large amounts of fatty foods can make your digestive tract less healthy and slow things down in the long run. While your body may be able to digest non-fibrous foods more quickly at first, it will slow things down later.
What Can Cause Digestive Problems
There are a variety of different kinds of digestive problems. Each one develops for a different reason.
Here are just some of them.
Acid reflux – Also known as heartburn, this is when stomach acid escapes and causes burning and discomfort in the throat. Leaving acid reflux untreated for long enough can cause major health problems down the road. Acid reflux is partially due to a weak esophageal sphincter but it can also be made worse by your diet.
Celiac disease – Celiac is an allergy to gluten. People with Celiac cannot eat foods with gluten in them. Consuming gluten when you have Celiac disease can lead to damaged intestines.
Constipation – If you’re constipated, it means you’re either having fewer bowel movements than you should or you’re having a hard time passing stool than usual. Either way, constipation leads to bloating, abdominal pain, and general discomfort. Constipation can be either a symptom of a larger disease or it can be due to too much fat or not enough fiber in your diet.
Inflammatory bowel disease – There are plenty of autoimmune diseases that can negatively impact your health. Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis can both impact your bowel health causing inflammation and pain.
Irritable bowel syndrome – Also known as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome causes gas, diarrhea, constipation, and extreme pain.
Lactose intolerance – Lactose is a protein found in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is similar to Celiac disease in that consuming lactose can lead to some intensely negative digestive problems including diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
Many of the above-mentioned digestive problems are conditions that people are born with. But some of them are not. Whether you’re born with one of these conditions or your poor diet has created a problem, there are different steps you can take to make things better.
How Do I Improve My Digestion
Eat healthily – A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber is a great way to improve most self-inflicted digestive problems. Cutting down on fat, dairy, and gluten can help reduce problems like constipation and acid reflux. Also, eating healthy meals and avoiding foods your doctor tells you to avoid can help with other conditions like Crohn’s and Celiac disease.
Hydrate – People forget that the body needs water. Without an optimal amount of water, your digestive tract will not be able to function at its best either. Drink plenty of water to help calm and heal your organs.
Exercise – This is helpful because it gets your whole body up and moving. Exercise works as a sort of wake up call and gets the blood flowing to all corners of the body.
Probiotics – A growing field of nutrition sciences deals with gut health. The healthier your gut biome is, the better digestion gets. Consuming probiotics can help improve digestion and your overall health.
Seek help when you can’t do it yourself – Many of the diseases that affect your digestion require the help of a doctor. Don’t try to treat your Crohn’s without consulting a doctor first. They can help you find the best way to avoid future complications.
If You Want Healthy Digestion, Try IONutrition
Eating healthy is a good idea no matter the state of your digestive system. Our healthy meal delivery system is great for those who eat to perform and it’s great for those who want to improve their digestion by eating better.
All of our meals are in-season, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nutritious. On top of all of that, IONutrition meals taste amazing.
Check out our different plans today and see which meal plan would work best for your diet.