Food Combining

I have recently heard about “food combining”. I was not really familiar with this so I did a little research that I thought I would share with all of you. Food combining is a way of eating in which you select foods that are compatible with each other in terms of their digestive chemistry. It is based on the fact that certain foods digest differently than others and at different rates. Over two billion dollars is spent on antacids every year and it is almost considered normal to have problems with indigestion. So, food combining looks at the way each food category is digested and combines those that are similar, which in turn eliminates these uncomfortable symptoms and the need for drugs to combat digestive problems.

The chart below shows which foods are meant to be combined together at meals for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

(click to enlarge)

As you can see there are many dos and don’ts when it comes to food combining, which can make it difficult for some to stick to. However, with careful planning and knowing the basics, it could be quite simple to prepare your meals. Here is a list of food combining basics, as well as, food digestion times I found on the Alder Brooke Healing Arts website.

*Chew your food well
*Desert desserts or eat them first (recommended to stick with fresh fruit)
*Eat fruit 30-60 minutes before each meal
*Cinnamon sprinkled on fruit helps to lower its glycemic index
*Eat concentrated proteins (meat, poultry, fish and eggs) and starchy carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc) at separate meals
*Eat only one concentrated protein at each meal
*Cold foods (including liquids) may slow digestion
*Beans combined with rice create a whole protein – eat with a fresh vegetable salad (high water content and fiber)
*The small particles of blended greens increase bioavailability and are absorbed well with fruit – try a green smoothie!
*Most importantly eat whole, local, organically grown, seasonal, and fresh

Digestion time (in the stomach):
Water 0-10 mins
Juice 15-30 mins
Fruit and Melon 30-60 mins
Sprouts 1 hour
Wheatgrass juice 60-90 mins
Most vegetables 1-2 hours
Grains and beans 2-3 hours
Dense vegetable protein 2-3 hours
Cooked meat and fish 3-4+ hours
Shellfish 4-8 hours

I found it interesting that you are supposed to eat fruit 30-60 minutes prior to a meal. The reasoning for this is that the fruit prepares the digestive tract for more complex foods. The water rinses and hydrates, the fiber sweeps and cleans, and the enzymes activate chemical digestion. Another note about fruit is that melons should be eaten alone. They do not combine well with any food. It is also recommended that you chew your food to an almost liquid consistency to aid digestion. I have heard this recommendation before and I have been trying to work on my chewing. Taking the time to properly chew your food will slow down your eating, giving your body more time to tell you it’s full, and will help food pass easier through the digestive tract. Many people have even experienced weightloss due to food combining, but it may just be because they are being more mindful of what they eat. However, I say if it works for you, use it!

On the road to South Carolina today! Hopefully I have some good vacation updates for you all tomorrow 🙂

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