Random Thoughts

Digestion Issues

I held a belief that what I ate for my breakfast would soon come out, even before lunch, if I did not relish it well. Then I came to know it is not the case.
Later I discovered, thanks to experts in medicine, that normally it takes six to eight hours for the food to remain in small intestines. Moreover, it first reaches stomach to stay there between 30 minutes and 2 hours, and then passes to small intestines to be there for six to eight hours.  Further it travels to the large intestines, and I don't know how long it stays there as it depends on many other factors. In large intestines the food in its digestion process, that is after it is 90% digested in small intestines, will take a break for 33 hours in men, and 47 hours in the case of women. I gathered this from the site of mayoclinic.

In some cases the food will take 2 days in colon, which are large intestines.

Food that goes inside our system (unless it is thrown out in the beginning) will not be in the control of our brain till it reaches the final part of intestines, anus. Only there it listens to the signals from brain.
I heard doctors advising patients to complain about their constipation only after a wait of two days.

“In summary, at the short end, digestion takes about 75 hours, but it can take up to 80 hours from the time it enters the mouth to the time it leaves the body in the form of stool.”, says wereyouwondering.
So it is better to eat lots of fiber (only dietary, both soluble e.g. fruits especially citrus and insoluble fiber –e.g. wholegrain and nuts) for easy 'digestion'.  Fiber can prevent excess cholesterol and also is good for faster bowel movement and speedier travel in the colon. Recommended fiber content is about 40 grams (10 grams of digestible and 30 grams of indigestible fiber in a day in average total intake of food suiting one's palate.

  • Next I was wondering whether I could take water along with my food as suggested by some elders in the family.
What I found later revealed that The water taken along with food will slow down the breaking down of food in stomach. This is because saliva and various enzymes and also the acid in the stomach get diluted, and thus the food that is not duly processed enters the small intestines and will delay digestion and due absorption. This water intake along with food gives some problems such as bloating, acid reflux/ burn for those who are already suffering from the same.

Hence, I found it is better if water is taken between meals rather than with them. I was advised to take water half an hour before my food or half an hour soon after food. With food I am allowed only take a few sips of water or soup. 

Commonly instinct says we let water drive the food faster into our stomach. Rather food travels on its own due to the natural 'smooth muscle' contractions in the esophagus, and not by flushing water down, like in a tube forcefully. One may ask, what about beer and food going well together at a party, and then the answer would still be big no, in case of large quantities.


More by :  Seshu Chamarty

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