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combining' refers to the combination of foods which are compatible
with each other in terms of digestive chemistry. Food combining is
a basic component of optimal nutrition because it allows the body
to digest and utilize the nutrients in our
foods to their full extent.
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?
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
food combinations are important for proper digestion, utilization, and
assimulation of the nutrients in our diet. The principles of food combining
are dictated by digestive chemistry. Different foods require different
digestive enzymes to aid in the digestive process
- some acid, some alkaline. As any student of chemistry will assure you,
acids and bases (alkalis) neutralize each other. When acids and alkalines
come in contact, they neutralize each other and this retards digestion.
foods require a highly acidic environment for digestion while carbohydrates
(starches, fruit and sugars) and fats require
a more alkaline medium. Anytime 2 or more foods are eaten at the same
time, and those foods require opposite conditions for digestion, the digestive
process is compromised.
and proteins are combined their stimulation to the digestive juices generates
a conflicting response and produces a medium which does not digest either
food very well. This situation often leads to indigestion, bloating, gas,
abdominal discomfort, and poor absorption of nutrients. Any quick digesting
foods - such as fruit - must wait until the slowest digesting foods leave
the stomach before they can leave - a process which can take up to 6 or
8 hours. While waiting, the fruit and some of the starches undergo some
decomposition and fermentation, producing gas, acid and even alcohol along
of food combining advocate the following principles:
important rule, is this: Don't mix starch foods with protein foods at
the same meal.
the other principles which proponents of food combining adhere to:
Eat starches and acids at separate meals. Acids
neutralize the alkaline medium required for starch
digestion and the result is indigestion and fermentation.
2. Eat carbohydrate foods and protein foods at
separate meals. Protein foods require an acid
medium for digestion.
Eat only one kind of protein food at a meal.
4. Eat proteins and acid foods at separate meals.
The acids of acid foods inhibit the secretion of the
digestive acids required for protein digestion.
Undigested proteins putrefy in bacterial
decomposition and produces some potent poisons.
Eat proteins and fats at separate meals. Some
foods, especially nuts, are over 50% fat and
require hours for digestion.
Eat proteins and sugars (fruits) at separate
7. Eat starchy foods and sugars (fruits) at
separate meals. Fruits undergo no digestion in the
stomach and are held up if eaten with foods which
require digestion in the stomach.
Eat melons alone. Melons combine with almost no
9. Forget the desserts. Eaten on top of meals they
lie heavy on the stomach, requiring no digestion
there, and ferment. Bacteria turn them into
alcohols, acetic acids and vinegars.
chew all food close to liquid consistency
of food combining which I find hard to argue with is the idea of chewing
all foods close to a liquid before swallowing, to help digestion.
14th edition of Howell's Textbook of Physiology (p.777) is
some very interesting research:
(1729 - 1799), one of the oldest observers on gastric
digestion, found that grapes and cherries, when
swallowed whole, even if
entirely ripe, were usually passed unbroken in the
stools. "As proof
the triturating power (ability to reduce to a powder by rubbing or friction)
of the stomach is not very great, he swallowed some wooden tubes made
very thin, so that the slightest pressure would crush them, and they were
the tremendous importance of thorough mastication of all
foods. We can assimilate only those foods which are the most liquified.
try it for yourself
is a controversial practice. Many people swear by it, while others find
it ineffective and frustrating. There is no detriment to the food combining
diet - if it works for you, use it.
is an area where everyone seems to have an opinion. One way to find out
what is right for yourself is to experiment. Try it and see how you feel.
Listen to your body. What works for one person may not work for another
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properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
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