Food combining is not a new technique. It is an ancient philosophy of eating food that has its roots in our past. And today it has transcended the barriers of time and become increasingly popular. It is no wonder then that people from all walks of life are adopting its principles.
The idea behind food combining is incredibly simple! We know that different foods metabolise at different rates in the body and have differing requirements for an optimal digestive environment. And so, when foods with similar characteristics are clubbed together and eaten at specific times that complement these factors, we can reduce digestive stress and improve digestion. And allow for efficient and clean digestion.
Proponents of food combining believe that when foods belonging to these different categories are improperly combined and eaten together in a meal, it may eventually lead to toxicity build-up, inflammation and rampant conditions for disease and dysfunction.
Whereas, when food is combined and eaten properly, it can relieve these problems and alleviate stress. We receive more energy and nutrition. We feel satiated, nourished and rejuvenated.
In this week’s blog post I discuss the basic rationale behind food combining and why it works. And how we can benefit by following a few basic tenets in our own lives.
The theory behind food combining
Proteins need an acidic environment to be broken down, whereas carbohydrates require an alkaline environment. Different enzymes in the body digest proteins and carbohydrates, and if you eat them together it may cause digestive issues.
If you continue to eat the two together, you will have partially digested food in your system that just sits there in your gut while the other food you are intaking is being digested. During this period, the partially digested food will rot or ferment in your gut, causing a variety of problems ranging from bloatedness, gas, inflammation, constipation, diarrhoea to more severe issues.
The principles to follow
Other basic principles of food combining include NOT consuming fruit and vegetables at the same meal, and not drinking (cold) water during meals, or for at least one hour after the meal. Fruits and vegetables have different biochemical structures and therefore breakdown at different stages and at different time periods.
Here are the principles of food combining that you may follow:
- Eat a diet that is 70% alkaline and water-rich. Eat only one concentrated food (i.e. foods that don’t have much water content such as meat, potato and fish) at a time.
- Proteins and carbs should never be combined.
- A leafy green salad can be eaten with any protein, carbohydrate or fat.
- Eat fruits only by themselves. And, always eat fruits before a meal, not after.
- Fats inhibit the digestion of protein. If you must have fat with a protein, eat a mixed vegetable salad to offset the inhibiting effect on digestion.
- Never drink liquids with or immediately following a meal.
Why food combining works
The proposed benefits of food combining or eating foods that combine well together is that it will aid digestion. This way your digestive tract does not have to work half as hard to absorb the nutrients that your body requires for energy, as well as for alleviating any symptoms associated with poor digestion such as gas, bloatedness, constipation, diarrhoea, reflux, fatigue and tiredness.
There are many known benefits to food combining including – weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, reduced acne and skin blemishes, better absorption of nutrients, improved detoxification, and improved sleep quality.
The science behind food combining is fascinating and people are only beginning to discover the benefits for themselves. If you are interested in finding out more or applying some of the principles to your own life, talk to me today.
As a health coach and nutritional expert, I have the right knowhow to guide you. I can help you create effective meal plans as well as monitor your progress as you implement the changes. Having faced health complications myself, I can really understand your issues and inspire you to tackle your challenges head-on!