Each year, America invests nearly $1 billion on non-prescriptive digestive remedies. From fizzy drinks and tablets to syrups and powders, antacids are often just as necessary in the pantry as salt and pepper. The amount of money spent on digestion problems shows that we’ve come to accept it as a part of daily life. It doesn’t--and shouldn’t--have to be this way. Food combining is an underrated, albeit extremely effective, part of the puzzle to solve our digestive woes.
Food combining refers to the combination of foods most compatible with each other based on their digestive chemistry. It is at the core of holistic nutrition because it enables the body to digest and assimilate the nutrients in our foods to their full extent.
Food combining is one of the most useful tools in feeling better after meals and succeeding in healthy digestion. It is based on the science that different foods require different digestion times and should be eaten accordingly. For example, you can imagine that an apple would flow with much more ease through your system than, say, a piece of dry bread. Furthermore, the stomach releases specific enzymes to digest certain foods. The enzyme amalyse digests carbohydrates, protease digests proteins, and lipase digests fats. These are just a few of the many enzymes your stomach releases to break down food for proper assimilation. If you eat two foods that the stomach requires conflicting enzymes to digest, then both foods will take more time and require more energy to properly digest. The great news is you have some control in this process!
This chart outlines food combining rules. There is a library full of literature devoted to the practice, but you don’t need to be a stickler about the rules to reap the benefits. Try incorporating the major rules: Avoiding a starch and protein combination, as well as trying to eat fruits alone on an empty stomach. The smaller details can be incorporated later, if needed. You can also just pay attention to food combining whenever you feel especially bloated or are trying to lose stubborn weight.
Being conscious of what food combining is and how it works will significantly benefit you when the time comes to boost your health, digestion and even weight loss efforts. Happy combining!