Many people are only eating for pleasure, or for the short term ‘feel good’ factor that comfort foods can bring. Far too few equate the food on their plate with any nagging health symptoms – bloating, wind or chronic bad breath, leading to chronically bad health.
Ancient traditional and natural health systems like Chinese medicine, naturopathy, and modern day nutritional medicine, consider the digestive tract to be the potential place of most health issues. The key to health, prevention and wellness, is not only found in proper diet and lifestyle choices, but also in understanding food combining rules for digestive tract health.
Food combining awareness has been around for several decades. The science behind it lies in the fact that different enzymes are required to breakdown different foods. For example, the enzymes to breakdown protein are produced in the stomach, and the ones for starches in the mouth. If too many foods that require differing enzymes are eaten together, then this can lead to: indigestion, rancidity and fermentation. The end result of this eventually leads to uncomfortable symptoms like; bloating, constipation and excess wind.
Golden rules for food combining:
· Avoid eating dense protein (especially animal based) together with starchy carbs. Poor examples are; chicken and potatoes, pasta with meat balls, cheese on toast, or nuts on porridge. Positive examples are: goats cheese salad, mackerel with a salad and green beans, lentil soup with side salad or humous served with carrot sticks.
· Avoid drinking 30 minutes before meals so that digestive enzymes aren’t diluted, and wait for at least two hours after. A small amount of liquid with meals is OK. Aim for 6-8 glasses of pure filtered water daily.
· Fruit must be eaten alone, never together with protein or carbs, and ideally first thing in the morning. Fruit only takes around 30 min to digest and other foods take at least 2 hours. Melons also take a bit longer – so must be eaten alone or left alone!
· Avocados (technically a fruit) go well with either vegetables or fruit, as do onions and garlic.
· Low starchy vegetables combine well with denser proteins. Aim for plenty of green vegetables to ease the digestive transit time.
Where possible include plenty of fresh organic vegetables, drink adequate amounts of water and incorporating these basic food combinations into your daily routine. The results will be greater health, and a vast reduction in uncomfortable digestive upsets. Try it and feel the difference!
Elizabeth Montgomery is a London-based Holistic Nutritional Therapist who has been studying and exploring; nutrition, eastern medicine, astrology and medicine way healing practices for many years.To find out more: www.holisticnutrition.co.uk