Do you notice how sometimes after you eat certain foods you have a bloated belly or maybe feel like things aren’t quite moving through easily. Possibly, you can’t figure out why sometimes certain foods upset your stomach than other times don’t.
It could come down to one simple variable and that is what types of foods you are mixing together. For instance, you may notice that if you eat a burger in a lettuce wrap, 86 the fries you feel satiated without the heavy lethargic feeling but if you add in the bun and fries you feel like you are going to slip into deep hibernation. Another example could be if you are eating healthy foods like raw vegies but you still feel gassy.
Your blood type, food allergies or intolerances and when you mix certain foods on your plate impact your digestion. In this article we will cover in specific the concept of food combining for optimal digestion.
First let’s answer the question, how you will benefit from proper food combinations at the table.
1. Increase your energy level through proper assimilation of nutrients.
2. Optimize your digestion without “dieting”.
3. Solve many different digestive problems which in turn can cure a myriad of other health problems.
4. Diminish or rid yourself of allergies, and not just to foods.
The following are some got to food combination principles you can follow:
- Fruit Stands Alone – The biggest offender in Food Combining is fruit. Fruit should be eaten alone with the only exception being bananas because of their high starch content. This is important because the digestive enzymes our bodies use to break down fruit are very different than those that digest proteins and carbohydrates. This can cause gastrointestinal distress as well as inefficient digestion. Fruit can be combined with dark leafy greens such as in a smoothie, this is where bananas work well. When we say fruit should be eaten alone you should give yourself a digestive window of 3 hours on either side of fruit consumption. They make a great in-between meal opportunity.
- Proteins and Starches should not be combined…in general. This throws out the Comfort Food idea of eating meat and potatoes for meals. To keep this as simple as possible, don’t combine meats and grains, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash. Both go great separately with vegetables. There is nothing to say that you can’t have them in the same day, just avoid them in the same meal.
- Foods that are considered neutral are vegetables, cooked and raw (except the ones mentioned in #2), herbs and spices, cacao, most basic condiments, nut milks, lemons and limes.
- Fruit we traditionally eat as a “vegetable” go with vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados.
Another great way to promote optimal digestion is by alkalizing your diet and reducing acidifying foods which will also help support a healthy gut biome.
Don’t cry over spilled milk!
Though on the shelf milk holds a pH value of 6.5 – 7 (neutral), once introduced into the body it becomes acid forming. Though at first milk seems a good drink for heartburn or an acidic stomach. Milk, as well as other dairy products, becomes an acid forming food during digestion. The proposed marketing ploy to drink milk for strong, healthy bones could be argued on this premise alone. This has been a hot topic of dispute. Research has shown that the body draws calcium as well as other minerals from the bone and muscle tissue to help alkaline the body. Therefore, it can be deduced that drinking a lot of milk will increase the body’s acidity causing calcium and other minerals to be depleted from the skeletal structure. Doing the very opposite of building healthy bones but instead contributing to osteoporosis. The best way to both increases calcium and alkaline the body for strong bones is a balanced, healthy diet. If you do not seem to have an issue with dairy or lactose, then a moderate amount is ok. Another nutrient rich way to get calcium is by eating greens like kale, collard greens, broccoli, kelp, and seaweed, or add a honey almond butter spread on some green apple slices. Beverages like almond milk are calcium and vitamin D rich and can be substituted for milk.
Don’t be discouraged you can sneak some of the calcium filled greens in an amazing smoothie as well as kid friendly keeping them asking for more. You can also find milk and dairy substitutes like Coconut, Almond and soy milk in almost any store. Many of which are calcium enriched. Just check the labels. It is very hard to tell the difference in a smoothie, and they all deliver that creamy texture.
Apple cider vinegar should be used in place of all of the vinegar and is very alkaline and beneficial to the body, whereas other vinegar is acidic.
The following is a brief overview and examples of some acid forming foods to reduce or eliminate and other options to implement.
Acid forming Foods include refined sugar, chocolate, peanuts, wheat or white flour, beef, shell fish, cheese and any kind of dairy, black tea, canned foods, microwaved foods, any processed foods and preservatives, artificial flavoring, soda/alcohol.
All animal-based protein is considered acidic or acid-forming. A vegetarian or vegan this lifestyle will obviously not work for everyone, but consideration as to the amount of animal fat consumed in animal proteins like dairy should be considered. Even just swapping out a few meals a week with other protein substitutes can be helpful and are ideal.
You can refer to our Keys2Eating program videos for a complete in home kitchen coaching package with videos and implement and replace kitchen purging lists.