Food combining has been around for a long time. It is the art of putting the right foods together to help digestion and toxin elimination. There are certain foods that when eaten together can cause problems with digestion. The reason for this is because some foods are digested faster than others so if a food that is quickly digested gets eaten with a slow digesting food, it will stay in the stomach longer that it should. This can lead to food fermentation and this causes bloating and gas. Having these gases can cause tiredness as your organs have to work harder to remove them from the body. Toxic gases often cause irritability, headaches, and bad breath and sometimes inflammation, constipation, high blood pressure and arthritis. If food sits in the stomach or intestine too long and rots it can also mean that we are not absorbing all the nutrients that it has to offer.
Drinking liquids with meals dilutes the enzymes that your body uses to digest protein, fat and carbs. If you drink at least 10 minutes before a meal or at least an hour after a meal can help stop this happening.
Eating protein with other proteins can cause a loss of energy as it is hard for the body to break them down and having them together causes the body to have to work overtime to digest the food properly. Examples of this is bacon and eggs, meat and fish and yoghurt with nuts. If you are eating these together it will help if you also add foods that have a high-water content such as broccoli, lettuce and onions.
Starch eaten with animal protein, such as eating meat or chicken with potatoes and pasta can also lead to gas as the different digestive juices can ferment the carbohydrates and putrefy the protein.
If you combine fruit with a meal, such as salad with berries or apple pie for dessert, the fruit will sit in your stomach for too long and ferment. Fruit is a fast digesting food while meat, grains and even low water fruit like banana and avocados are a slow digesting food. The differences in digestion time causes issues. Fruits should be eaten by themselves at least 30 minutes before a meal.
Some foods eaten with the wrong type of fat such as meat fried in vegetable oil or tuna mixed with mayonnaise can cause problems with digestion because fats need bile salts from the liver and gall bladder to break down. If they are mixed with other digestive chemicals they can cause slow digestion.
If you are having problems with your digestion try cutting out some of these combinations and it will help relieve the symptoms. If symptoms still persist see your naturopath or nutritionist for better advice on what digestive enzymes and probiotics/prebiotics you need. Don’t just pick one off the shelf. These supplements need to be specifically suited to your needs and only a trained natural expert can advise on that not a shop sales assistant in the health food store or even a doctor. It is not their area of expertise. Seek out a good naturopath or a nutritionist.