Food Combining is intentionally ordering foods based on their digestion time and process. This prevents “traffic jams” in your stomach and side effects like bloating, belching, pain and fermentation.
I follow the Food Combining rules because it is the best way for me to avoid feeling bloated and heavy after eating. Eating should make you feel better, energized, and ready to carry on with your day. However, when we eat improperly we often feel the opposite: heavy, tired and sleepy.
The Four Basic Food Combining Rules
- Eat fruit alone – thirty minutes before or two hours after a meal.
- Eat protein with non-starchy vegetables.
- Eat starchy food with non-starchy vegetables.
- Do not combine protein and starch at the same meal.
Common Questions About Food Combining
Why do I have to eat fruit by themselves?
Fruit digests differently than other food. Normally fruit will exit the stomach within 30 minutes, but it can take protein up to 2 hours to leave the stomach. Fruits also aren’t chemically broken down until they reach the small intestine unlike other foods. So if you eat fruit after or with a meal, like a fruit salad at dinner, it gets trapped in the stomach where it begins to ferment. Fruits are abundant in nutrients, anti-oxidants and water so they make excellent snacks but they need to be eaten alone.
Why does eating protein and starch at the same meal cause problems?
The stomach digests food at varying rates and using different enzymes. For instance, the body requires an acid base to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest starches. Combining a protein and starch at a meal, like steak and potatoes, lengthens digestion time since the digestive process of each neutralizes the other.
What should I eat with starches?
Starchy foods include potatoes, corn, peas, butternut squash, rice, grains, cereals and pasta. It is best to combine starchy food with non-starchy vegetables:
- Leafy greens
- Bok Choy
- Green Beans
- Red radish
- Yellow squash
What should I eat with protein?
Eat proteins with non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens or steamed asparagus. Non-starchy vegetables digest well in acid or alkaline environments so you can mix them with proteins, fats, grains, citrus or starchy vegetables.
Where can I find more information?
The foremost authority on Food Combining is Dr. Wayne Pickering. He is a naturopathic physician, nutritional performance coach, and the founder of the Daytona Beach Centre for Nutrition and Life Management. He wrote many books on the topic of Food Combining that can be found quickly on Amazon.
Dr. Pickering’s three basic principles of health are:
- You are automatically healthy, by design, and sick only by default.
- You don’t catch disease; you “earn” it.
- You get well by what comes out of you, not only by what goes into you
He understands ridding the body of toxins and other harmful substances is just as important as optimizing your nutrition.
Proper Food Combining can help elevate the causes of constipation and poor digestion, but it can’t reverse build-up that is already present. It’s best to flush the colon before beginning a new diet so your system can have a fresh start.
If you’re interested re-booting your system, or just have more questions about food combining, call me at (780) 906-2316.