Archive | September, 2012

Importance of Food Combining

30 Sep

Each mammal species has a specific type of digestive system biologically adapted to a particular type of food. There are carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and graminivorous animals living here on earth. There are many different opinions on what type of digestive system humans possess, but one thing is certain – humans definitely can’t have all of them, much like our Western diet has us assuming.

When we combine food groups improperly, the body cannot break food down or utilize the nutrients properly. It leaves us suffering from poor digestion and a list of symptoms such as boating, cramping and tiredness. No wonder Rolaids, Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Alka-Seltzer and Milk of Magnesia has turned into a billion dollar industry!

The Five Food-Combining Principles

  1. Eat fruit alone. If fruit is eaten with or after a meal, the sugar will ferment in the stomach because it’s held up by the other food, causing gas and bloating. Ideally, eat it alone for breakfast every morning. Fruit is a powerful detoxifier; the high water content makes it travel through the body quickly, and the fiber will brush out the intestinal walls keeping it clean and clear. Wait 1-2 hours before eating any other food. Our bodies don’t really need that much food in the morning, they are still utilizing the nutrients from food the night before.
  2. Do not combine protein with starch. Protein foods and starchy foods require different digestive juices in order to be properly broken down and used by the body. When eaten together, the enzyme for digesting starches is not produced in the mouth, so it will enter the stomach undigested and begins to ferment, producing gas. To make matters worse, protein needs to be digested in an acidic environment and starch in an alkaline environment, so when eaten together the digestive juices neutralize each other. All this decaying food is held up in the stomach, and the nutrients needed to replenish the cells are destroyed in the decaying and fermenting process. This dietary cycle can eventually lead to premature aging and illness.
  3. Eat protein alone or with vegetables. The enzymes in vegetables actually enhance the digestion of protein, and the fiber helps move the protein rapidly through the intestines.
  4. If you eat starches, eat them alone or with vegetables. Since vegetables do not require their own specific digestive juices, they can be digested in the alkaline environment required by starches.
  5. Do not drink with meals. Drinking with meals effectively dilute the digestive juices that are needed to break down the food, preventing it from being properly digested. Drink at least a half and hour before and after meals. Fruits and vegetables are high in water content so the food itself will provide plenty fluid to not feel thirsty after your meal. If you find that you are thirsty after eating, you may be using too much salt.

 

Following these five easy steps to food combining will be one of the best things you can do for your digestive system and health. If it sounds too complicated, let’s put it in simpler terms: Instead of eating tofu and rice together, eat tofu over a salad or steamed vegetables. Eat the rice mixed in a vegetable stir-fry or in a vegetable soup. Eat fruits only in the morning. If you like pasta, great! Eat whole grain pasta with vegetables or by itself with a veggie sauce. If sandwiches are your thing, have a grilled vegetable sandwich on whole grain bread, or wrapped in a whole grain tortilla. If you love breakfast foods, try having pumpkin oatmeal instead of banana (perfect season to implement that).

I’ve been experimenting with this the past few weeks, and I’ve experienced noticeable differences in my energy levels and bloating if I followed these rules for meals! I used to be a believer that carbs, fats and proteins should be present in the same meal to keep you full, but by leaving out the grains for lunch and just having marinated tofu over a big salad (delicious by the way), I didn’t experience that afternoon sleepiness like I do every other day! I am so grateful I learned this information, I hope it’ll help you too.

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