There is a lot of debate over the science behind food combining, without much evidence to back it up. (There is little money to be made in this field, which probably accounts for the lack of funded studies.) Personally, I think why food combining works for me, and for many others, is that it encourages you to make better choices, without feeling restricted. When you’re choosing just ONE food category at a time, then filling the rest of your plate with raw and cooked vegetables, you’re bound to be making healthier choices! So, despite the lack of scientific evidence, food combining may just work because it encourages the consumption of more whole foods and simpler meals.
Remember, you can eat ANYTHING you want– just not necessarily all at the same time.
1. Fruits should be eaten first
Most fruits have plenty of water, sugars, anti-oxidants, and other nutrients. However, they can ferment and encourage yeast if they stay long in the stomach. Because of this fact, fruits should be eaten alone when the stomach is empty. They will be digested in half an hour or so. Your body will be able to extract the nutrients in the fruit even if you have a weak digestion. You should therefore consider eating fruits in the morning as breakfast.
2. Starch should not be eaten with protein
Starch needs an alkaline environment in order to be digested. Protein on the other hand, needs an acidic environment for digestion. When you combine starch and proteins, your stomach will be forced to multitask, which causes fermentation due to slower digestion. You will then begin to experience indigestion, bloating, and flatulence, all of which are never a good thing.
3. Low starch vegetables can be eaten with anything
You need to worry if your body cannot tolerate leafy green vegetables, which are among the most nutritious foods available. It means your body is acidic, which is never a good thing. Leafy green vegetables should be in your diet on a regular basis because they can be eaten with alone, with grains, starches, and even proteins. They digest very well in the stomach.
4. Oils and fats can be eaten with most foods
While oils and fats contain plenty of calories, they are still needed in the body. You need to take oils and fats in moderation. They can be taken in combination with other foods within minimal repercussions. Since they require an alkaline environment for digestion, you should eat them with very little protein. Otherwise, they will delay protein digestion for many hours, which can lead to bloating and flatulence.
Oils and fats go very well with starch and vegetables though, so you should eat these combinations regularly
5. Liquids should not be taken with food
Your stomach requires enough acid to digest most foods. Water or watery liquids tend to dilute stomach acids. This in turn tends to shut down digestion of foods in the stomach. Your stomach will then experience very high levels of indigestion, which will cause problems for your body. Cold drinks are much worse, because they can cause the digestion process to come to a halt.
The best thing to do is to drink liquids, especially water, at least half an hour before meals or an hour after meals to allow for better digestion.
6. Melons are unique
Melons are fruits. However, their digestion rate is very different from other fruits. They also contain plenty of water. When eaten with other foods, they do not combine very well. That is why you should eat them alone, preferably in the morning, and on a very empty stomach.
7. The 80/20 principle is a great idea
The Japanese have been using the 80/20 rule for years. Maybe that accounts for their ability to live well into old age.
The 80/20 rule simply refers to eating until you are 80% full. The 20% space you leave in your stomach ensures that you never overeat and digestive juices have working room.
Overeating is a very bad idea. It creates a high residue situation. Your digestive system will slow down and food will start to ferment in your stomach. The result is a bloated stomach, flatulence, and even constipation.
8. Time Length
Because foods digest at different rates, you can lessen the taxation on your body by waiting until the previous food has exited the stomach and is being digested in the intestines. Wait the following amount of time between foods that don’t combine:
- Two hours after eating fruit
- Three hours after eating starches
- Four hours after eating protein