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Digestion Time of Various Foods

(c) Photo: Lisa Muhammad


When eating remember that certain foods take longer to digest than others. Eat first those foods that digest faster to avoid setting up gas on the stomach. Remember the old rule to eat fruit separately? Our grandparents taught us not to mix fruits and vegetables. Today people commercialize on everything and do not care what people eat. 

The reason you do not eat fruit with vegetables or mix with other foods, is because fruit digest faster. If eaten AFTER or with other foods that take longer to digest, the fruit will spoil while waiting in the stomach for the other food to digest. This causes gas.  

It's common to see fruit salads with nuts and vegetables included. 
Always eat melons (especially water melon) before a meal and with nothing else. Do not mix them with other fruits as melons digest very fast. 

DIGESTION TIME OF VARIOUS FOODS
 (approx. time spent in stomach before emptying).

Water
When the stomach is empty, leaves immediately and goes into intestines,

Juices
Fruits, vegetables, vegetable broth - 15 to 20 minutes.

Semi-liquid
(blended salad, vegetables or fruits) - 20 to 30 min. 

Fruits
Watermelon - 20 minutes digestion time.
Other melons - Canteloupe, Cranshaw, Honeydew etc. - 30 minutes digestion.
Oranges, Grapefruit, Grapes - 30 min.
Apples, Pears, Peaches, Cherries etc. - digest in 40 minutes.

Vegetables
Raw tossed salad vegetables - Tomato, Lettuces, Cucumber, Celery, Red Pepper or Green Pepper, other succulent vegetables - 30 to 40 minutes digestion. 

Steamed or cooked vegetables
Leafy vegetables - Escarole, Spinach, Swiss Chard, etc. - 40 min. - Zucchini, Broccoli, Cauliflower, String Beans, Yellow Squash, Corn on the Cob - all 45 minutes digestion time
Root vegetables - Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Turnips etc. - 50 minutes digestion.

Semi-Concentrated Carbohydrates - Starches
Jerusalem Artichokes & leafy vegetables, Acorn & Butternut Squashes, Corn, Potatoes, - all 60 minutes digestion. 

Concentrated Carbohydrates - Grains
Brown rice, Millet, Buckwheat, Cornmeal, Oats (first 3 vegetables best) - 90 min. 

Legumes & Beans - (Concentrated Carbohydrate & Protein)
Lentils, Peas, , etc. - 90 min. digestion time

Seeds & Nuts
Seeds - Sunflower, Pumpkin, Pepita, Sesame - Digestive time approx. 2 hours (120 minutes).

Dairy
Skim milk, cottage or low fat pot cheese or ricotta - approx. 90 min. digestion time
Whole milk cottage cheese - 120 min. digestion time.
Whole milk hard cheese - 4 to 5 hours digestion tim.e

Animal proteins
Egg yolk - 30 min. digestion time
Whole egg - 45 min.
Fish - cod, scrod, flounder, sole seafood - 30 min. digestion time
Fish - salmon, salmon trout, herring, (more fatty fish) - 45 min. to 60 digestion time
Chicken - 1½ to 2 hours digestion time (without skin)
Turkey - 2 to 2 ¼ hours digestion time (without skin)
Beef, lamb - 3 to 4 hours digestion time