Food Combining: What is it and Why We Should Do It

Food Combining: What is it and Why We Should Do It
Photo Attribution: 
Joanie McCorry

The foods we choose to combine can either enhance our internal wellbeing or degrade it. Since the beginning of time, man has practiced combining one food with another to create one enjoyable meal. Our ancestors were not assaulted with the over-processed un-foods that we are faced with today, so their food combination were mostly healthy and natural, today however, the exact opposite is true. Today’s standard diet contains popular combinations such as burgers with fries, steak with potatoes, peanut butter with jelly and eggs with toast. While foods such as those may ease our hunger, consuming them together may cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas and the overgrowth of toxins and bad bacteria. Also, weight gain, sluggish metabolism and tiredness are all symptoms of bad food combining.

The Alternative Health Process of Food Combining:

In the general sense, food combining refers to the uniting of any kind of food and eating it as a single meal; however in the world of alternative health, food combining refers to the separating and combining of specific foods in an effort to aid digestion and gain health, energy and longevity. Some foods are more beneficial for our core when eating alone while others marry well together and the rest work against each other.

Proper Food Combinations:

  • Separate your protein and starch: Proteins and starch are two complete opposites; while proteins need acid base to digest, starch needs a more alkaline base, which is why some people experience adverse effects such as gas, bloating and tiredness when eaten together. Leafy greens and fresh vegetables will combine well with either starch or protein.
  • Combining Fruits: Sweeter fruits such as strawberries, apples, grapes and peaches should not be combined with each other because of the large sugar content. Although the sugar is natural, it can still cause the formation of yeast and bad bacteria. However, nuts can be paired with sweet fruits. Acid fruits can be combined with sweeter fruits; for example, grapefruits and pineapples can be combined with apples, grapes and peaches. Melons should be eaten alone as they digest quickly.
  • Using oils: Most oils slow down the process of digestion, although it can be combined with almost everything, caution should be exercised. However, oils such as coconut oil and flaxseed oil enhance the natural process of digestion.
  • Combining Legumes: Legumes can be combined with foods such as grains, pastas and breads.
  • Separate your drinks and meals: While it is common practice to chase meals down with a cold glass of water or juice, the practice is unhelpful to digestion. The process of digestion is slowed drastically when drinks are introduced, however if you practice chewing thoroughly before swallowing, you will notice that you do not need the intrusion of drinks to complete your meal. You should separate your drinks from your meals by up to 45 minutes.
  • Separate your starches: Only eat one starchy food in a single meal. The over consumption of starches can lead to internal fermentation.
  • Start your day with lemon water: Lemon water prepares your digestive tract for a day of work, the alkaline properties of the fruit improves the flora of the GI system. Consume on an empty stomach.

The rules of combining foods for optimal digestion and health may seem overwhelming for those who are just getting started, however, once you become aware of what foods to join and separate, food combining will become easier. Combining the proper food has the ability to eradicate illness, strengthen immunity and promote faster recovery.

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