Easing Digestion

Written by rebeccah

Did you know it can take hours to digest our food?

Even though we eat our food quite fast, it takes a long time to be fully digested by our bodies.

Poor digestion can make you feel uncomfortable, give you cramps and cause changes in your bowel habits.

Light green background with dark green text reading "how long does it take to digest food?".

So how fast do we digest food?

Different foods can take longer to digest than others. Generally, the higher amount of fibre contained in your meal, the longer it will take to digest. Additionally, the more food you eat also impacts the digestion time.

Overall, food takes around 24 to 72 hours to be digested by the stomach and the small and large intestines.

What things can impact digestion?

  • Eating processed foods
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Intolerance to different foods such as dairy
  • Stress and anxiety

What can help digestion?

  • Aim to eat a variety of food including high fibre (such as wholemeal, brown rice, leafy greens and lean protein) and healthy fats¬† – avoid very fatty, fried, spicy and processed foods and caffeinated or fizzy drinks.
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Eat or drink probiotics (such as yoghurt) to protect the stomach.
  • Reduce your stress levels by trying relaxation techniques and getting enough sleep.
  • Exercise – movement can help encourage digestion and also increases blood flow to your digestive muscles.
  • Avoid specific foods that you think might be triggering your digestive problems – such as dairy or gluten.

Visiting a Naturopath can help to identify issues that may be contributing to poor gut health and help to create a treatment plan for resolving them such as a change in diet or supplementation.

Book an appointment with our naturopath here or call us on 9651 5559.

Find more of our health tips here.


John Hopkins Medicine. 5 foods to improve your digestion. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-foods-to-improve-your-digestion

Leonard, J. 2017. Tips for better digestion – how long does it take? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319583

NHS. 2019. Good foods to help your digestion. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/digestive-health/good-foods-to-help-your-digestion/

Sissons, C. 2022. 8 ways to improve digestion. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325822

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