The discomforts of indigestion are so common in today’s society that indigestion is almost considered normal. The fact that over 2 billion dollars are spent each year on antacids is proof of this. Rather than using drugs to suppress symptoms, wouldn’t it be wiser to remove the causes of indigestion?
Food combining is based on the theory that different food groups require different digestion times. Digestion is helped the most by using foods which have roughly the same digestion time. [source]
Food combining is the little-known secret to eating that enhances your digestion to give you energy and to help you lose weight and keep it off! [source]
I almost always have food combining principles in the back of my mind as I make decisions about my meals– both at home, and when dining out. Following these guidelines has quickly become habit for me because I feel so much better when I eat this way!
Here’s a break-down of how certain foods combine:
Now, what are you supposed to do with this chart??
At each meal you simply pick ONE category (i.e. starch, flesh, nuts & seeds, etc.) and only eat out of that category during your meal. All of the foods listed within the same category combine well with each other, and you may also include anything from the “Neutral” column in any of your meals.
Wait 3-4 hours between each meal, before switching categories.
For example, a properly-combined starch meal might look something like this:
A sandwich on whole-grain bread, filled with avocado, mustard, lettuce, tomato and sprouts. Served with a side salad and a baked sweet potato topped with butter. You could follow this meal with some dark chocolate for dessert!
A flesh meal might look something like this:
A leafy green salad topped with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese, followed by a piece of baked fish served with a side of roasted broccoli and cauliflower. You could follow this meal with some dark chocolate or goat’s milk ice cream for dessert!
A nut & seed meal might look something like this:
A leafy green salad topped with dried cranberries and raw walnuts, followed by a platter of raw hummus served with raw crudités. Dessert could be a slice of raw cheesecake, a few raw macaroons, or a couple raw almond butter cups!
Fresh fruit is best eaten in the mornings, on an empty stomach. This is because fruit digests so quickly! (typically within 30 minutes of eating) If you eat fruit after a meal, it will sit in your stomach fermenting, causing gas and bloating, and promoting bacterial overgrowth in the body. You could also eat fruit as an afternoon snack or post-workout, as long as it’s been 3-4 hours since your last meal.
*Note: 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 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.