For proper digestion and absorption, we need an abundance of live enzymes at every meal to help break down everything we consume. This includes fermented foods and beverages, sprouted foods, raw fruits and vegetables, and bone broths.
For example, having sauerkraut with a meal that is mostly cooked will provide those live enzymes needed to digest and absorb nutrients. Likewise, having a fresh salad with veggies is also ‘live’ food which contains enzymes. The more cooked food you eat, the more ‘live’ foods you need at a meal.
Making sure you either have a fermented food or raw foods at a meal will get your body running like never before.
Let’s be honest though, sometimes a home cooked meal with properly prepared food just is not an option. So, when eating out or eating on the run, I try to combine meals the best I can to support my body and not make it work harder than it needs to.
It is so important to combine our foods well because our bodies need different enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Some foods take a lot longer to digest than others. If you eat slow-to-digest and fast-to-digest foods together, the faster-digesting food will have to sit and wait for the slower one, fermenting and petrifying leading to gas, bloating, and disease.
Benefits of Proper Food Combining
*Improved energy levels
*Reduction of bloating and gas
Below is a basic guide to begin the journey
Fruit is best eaten alone, on an empty stomach.
*This is because fruit digests so quickly-Typically within 20-30 minutes.
*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.
*Having fruit on an empty stomach, in the morning is ideal
Starches + vegetables= YES.
*Starches should be eaten with vegetables only (not protein).
*Includes grains, squashes, sweet potatoes, yams, root vegetables, beans, cereals, breads.
*Starches take about three hours to digest
*Good combinations: salad and squash soup, quinoa and vegetables, brown rice and vegetables, beans and stirfry, veggie sandwich
Protein + vegetables= YES.
*Protein should be eaten with vegetables only (not starches).
*Includes nuts, seeds, beans, meat.
*Takes about 4 hours to fully digest non-animal protein, animal protein takes longer depending on the type
*Good combinations: Nuts on a salad, meat and veggies, flesh meat and salad, veggies and eggs
Combining all groups in one meal or combining starch and protein or fruit with other food slows the digestive system anywhere from 6-14 for hours which results in extra toxins building up in your system. We want our digestion to be a smooth 3 – 4 hour process which leaves a surplus of digestive juices available for detoxifying the body, not adding toxins to it.
I try to base my meals off a clean protein, healthy fat, antioxidant rich vegetable, and fermented food.