What is food combining?
Food combining is a health conscious system where you consume foods that demand different digestive environments separately and more people have become aware of the topic in the last decade or so.
Our stomach uses various enzymes to digest different foods at different rates. If you are looking to improve digestion, eliminate bloating, reduce weight, improve digestion, or feel better overall, the following food combining tips are sure to help.
EAT FRUIT FIRST
Some things are better off when left alone. Fruits can be included in this statement as they don’t digest properly when mixed with other foods.
Do not mix fruits with green veggies and foods rich in fat if you are concerned about blood sugar levels. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Abundant in water, antioxidants, and essential nutrients, fruits are one of the food items that our body will digest the fastest. However, in order to better aid digestion, they need to be consumed first or alone.
DO NOT MIX STARCHES AND PROTEINS
Mashed potatoes along with meat/dairy might be a treat for the tongue, but not so for the stomach. It is one of the worst combinations with huge scope for improvement.
Our body requires an alkaline base to digest starches but needs an acidic-base for digesting proteins. Mixing proteins and carbohydrates can result in gut fermentation, increase in digestion time, more stinky bowel movements, and indigestion.
MELONS SHOULD GO ALONE
If you are a regular visitor to barbecue feasts, you may have noticed watermelon being served after the main course.
This can sometimes result in a slight drop in blood sugar levels, nausea, and gas.
For optimal digestion, melons should be eaten on an empty stomach or without mixing with other food items.
GREEN VEGGIES ABOUND
Leafy greens are one of the essential food items for humankind and they go great with proteins and starches.
Ideally, leafy greens should regularly be present on our plate as they are loaded with essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and magnesium along with amino acids and fibre.
For example, a salad with green veggies like Kale, broccoli, spinach, etc. can be included with your meals and will help with digestion.
Different types of food take varying amounts of time to digest. So a shift in the length of time between meals can aid digestion.
Leaving the following amount of time between eating these types of foods will be ample:
- Fruits – 2 hours
- Starches – 3 hours
- Protein – 4 hours
- Try to curb your unnecessary fat intake to aid digestion. Fat is calorie dense and slows down digestion. Give at least 4-5 hours for your body to digest the food properly before eating your next meal.
- Proteins present in cheese, fish, and meat need lots of stomach acid and may take up to three hours to digest. So, your next meal should be eaten after a bit of an interval.
- Leafy greens can help prevent constipation and can facilitate the growth of healthy bacteria.
- Many people consume oatmeal with milk and orange juice in the morning. This is not advisable because citrus fruits and milk, when mixed, can be difficult to digest. Acidic fruits can also destroy the enzymes present for digesting starch in the cereal.
- Combinations of yoghurt and fruit, bananas and milk, beans and cheese, meat and cheese omelettes, etc. are also an uphill task for your stomach when it comes to digestion.
It is important to note that everyone’s body is different, and the sensitivity levels towards bad food combinations will also be different. Many people attribute problems in the stomach to certain food items. But, in a lot of cases, it’s the combination that causes the problems.
Certain exercises might help in aiding digestion and keep you fit in the long run. Try this 10 minute HIIT exercise by Kay Cammack (although don’t do it straight after eating!).
Digestive discomfort is not a constant occurrence, and many of us might not be able to relate to it when it occurs. If you adhere to the food combination rules listed above, it gives ample rest to your digestive system and your digestion will become stronger and more efficient.
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