Ideal food combining for optimal digestive health
As I mentioned in previous blog “Eat fruits first!”, fruits are best eaten alone or with other fruits for proper digestion and to maximize absorption of nutrients. This is because fruits are a concentrated source of sugar that go through the digestive system quicker than other foods. So, they should not be combined with other foods; especially high-protein and /or high-starch foods. This is an important component of promoting proper digestive process.
The other food combining I would like to mention this time is “how to eat protein foods” for better digestion.
According to food combining chart, you do not want to mix “high-proteins and high-starches” in the same meal. Then, how about hamburger in a bun, meatballs in tomato sauce pasta, Italian sausages with baked potatoes, fried chicken with French fries?
Eat High-protein and Non-starch vegetables together
When you eat proteins such as poultry, meat, fish, and eggs, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HCI) to create a highly acidic environment. On the other hand, when you eat starches such as potatoes, bread, and white rice, your stomach secretes different enzymes to create an alkaline condition.
Therefore, if you eat high-protein foods and high-starch foods together, they tend to neutralize each other and disrupt digestion. Now, the foods that are not digested properly go through the digestive tract and reach the intestines undigested.
Eating starch alone takes two hours to digest, whereas protein alone takes three hours to digest.
One excellent food combining is High-protein and Non-starch vegetables (including sea vegetables).
Non-starch vegetables and sea vegetables can digest well in acid OR alkaline environments. So they can go with anything.
High-protein includes: poultry, meat, fish, eggs
Starchy foods Include: wheat, rice, vegetable roots, Acorn and butternut squash, lima beans, peas, corn, water chestnuts, potatoes
Non-Starch Vegetables Include: artichoke, asparagus, bell peppers, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chives, cucumber, dandelion, eggplant, fennel, garlic, green beans, kale, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion, parsley, radish, radicchio, spinach, sprouts, squash, turnips, zucchini
When I told my children about this food combining, they were very surprised to find out that everything they like (meatball pasta, hamburger, sausage and baked potato…) are considered “poor combining”. They were also a little upset that they won’t be able to eat their favorite foods anymore, because they think I won’t let them have any “poor combining” foods! Well, I am not that strict (at least I don’t think I am) but I am committed to exploring healthier alternatives to achieve “excellent combining”. I feel an urge to create new ways to plan meals for my family.
I will be introducing some practical ways to create “excellent combining” meals in the next blog. In the meantime, quick changes you can make are: fish with steamed vegetable (instead of fries), roasted chicken or turkey with a leafy vegetable salad (instead of mashed potatoes), sausages with roasted vegetables (instead of baked potato).
Remember, you are in charge of the food you eat. You don’t have to follow traditional and/or conventional ways of eating. Let’s be open to explore new and different food combining for optimal digestive health.
All is well and all the best!