How long does it take to your body to digest fish? Can you do something to shorten this time? What cooking method should you use if you want to reduce the digestion time of the fish? Let’s find out!
How Long Does It Take to Digest Fish?
Generally, your stomach will need about 30-90 minutes to digest a fish. However, the exact time it will take may vary on several factors that are different for each body.
In general, fish is considered a relatively easy food to digest, and it is not known to cause digestive issues in most people.
If we are referring to the total time until it leaves your body, it should pass anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for fish to be fully digested.
This time may change depending on how this fish is cooked and what type of fish you plan to eat because a leaner steak of cod will digest quicker than a fatty steak of salmon.
Does Fish Digest Faster Than Meat?
Yes, fish usually is digested faster than meat by our bodies because it is lower in fat and is a leaner source of protein than meat.
Because of that, it is simply easier for our digestive system to break it down and digest it.
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Also, it is worth mentioning that when we speak about cooked fish, we usually cook it using methods that retain moisture. The most popular ways of cooking fish are baking, grilling, or steaming, making it easier to digest.
On another side, when we are referring to meat, it is usually cooked on a high heat like grilling or roasting, and as a result, the proteins from it will denature, and they will be more difficult for our bodies to digest this meat.
Quick Note: As a simple rule, the less fat and healthies method used for cooking, the quicker this meal will digest in our stomach.
Benefits of Eating Fish
If you are not eating fish every week, you should change your diet as fish meat is a great source of proteins essential for our bodies.
Also, fish meat is a great source of vitamins A and D, minerals like selenium and iodine, and most importantly, fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and may protect us against heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Is Raw Fish More Difficult to Digest?
As a general rule, yes, especially if fish is cooked at a high temperature which can cause the protein in the fish to denature, making it more difficult for the body to break down and digest.
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However, it is not a solid rule. Some people may find that it is a lot easier to eat cooked fish.
Quick Note: Be careful with eating raw fish as it may contain different harmful bacteria and parasites which may harm you. Eat raw fish only from trusted sources and not in large quantities.
The best way to find this is to listen to your body and notice how you will feel after eating a raw piece of fish or a cooked one.
Tips for Better Digestion
Choose Lean fishes
Try to choose lean fishes that are low in fats. A few suggestions will be cod, tilapia, or sole. Those types of fish will be easier to digest for your body.
Right Cooking Method
Use those cooking methods that will retain the fish moisture inside of it. A few examples will be baking, steaming, or poaching if you will cook the fish on high heat, like if you grill or fry it, the protein from the fish will denature, and it will be more difficult for the stomach to digest it.
Cut the fish into smaller pieces and chew slowly. Take your time to chew slowly so you will break it down into smaller pieces, and your body will digest it easier.
You should keep your body hydrated if you want to help your digestive system move and prevent constipation. As a reminder, you should drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
Can Fish Cause Digestive Problems?
In general, you should be fine with eating fish without causing problems. However, a few people may be allergic to fish, especially certain types of fish that may contain high levels of mercury, which may be harmful to the human body if you eat them in large quantities.
If you know that you have issues with your stomach, try to avoid large predatory fishes like sharks, swordfish, and king mackerel. Those fishes have a higher content of mercury in comparison with others.
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