How long does it take to digest different foods?

When you know how much time it takes for a food to digest in your stomach it is much easier to plan or make adjustments to your diet. The gastric-discharge depends on the quantity of the food, its characteristics, its chemical composition, the pH of the stomach, the peristalsis intensity. For example, the liquid goes almost immediately into the small intestine, carbohydrate-rich foods quickly, rich in protein and fat-rich foods are the slowest.

Stomach muscles push, twist, and interfere the food with the gastric juice, and its walls are almost constantly moving. In normal digestion, they are working stronger in every 3 to 3.5 hours. The stomach can hold about 1.5 to 3.5 liters of food. From the stomach, the food moves forward and goes into the small intestine. And so ends the digestion and absorption begins.

Digestion times by food groups:

Water and juices 20-30 minutes.

Fruit, smoothies, soups: 30-45 minutes.

Vegetables: 30-45 minutes.

Beans, grains, starch: 2-3 hours.

Meat, fish, poultry: 3 hours or more.

More detailed information on digestion times


Fruit and vegetable juices, vegetable broth: 15 to 20 minutes.


Blended salads, vegetables, and fruit: 20 to 30 minutes.


Watermelon: 20 minutes.

Melons: 30 minutes.

Orange, grapefruit, grapes: 30 minutes.

Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, etc.: 40 minutes.


Salads (tomato, lettuce, cucumber, celery, bell peppers, other succulent vegetables): 30 to 40 minutes.

Steamed or cooked leafy vegetables (spinach, kale): 40 minutes.

Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, string beans, fresh corn: 45 minutes.

Root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, etc.): 50 minutes.


Corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, chestnuts: 60 minutes.


Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, maize, oat flakes: 1.5 hours.


Lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans, 1.5 hours.

Soybeans: 2 hours.

Nuts and seeds

Sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds, and the like: 2 hours.

Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, filberts, cashews, etc: 2.5 to 3 hours.

Dairy products

Skimmed milk, cheese and curd cheese lite 1.5 hours.

Whole milk cottage cheese: 2 hours.

Hard cheese: 4 to 5 hours.

Animal proteins

Egg yolk: 30 minutes.

The whole egg with white: 45 minutes.

Cod, flounder, seafood: 30 minutes.

Salmon, trout, herring and other fatty fish: 45 to 60 minutes.

Chicken: from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Turkey: 2 to 2.5 hours.

Beef and mutton, lamb: 3 to 4 hours.

Pork: 4.5 to 5 hours.

Last update: 2015-10-05 (Y,M,D)

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