Food combining is a science unto itself. Many people don’t necessarily pay attention to how they combine their food. But believe it or not, how we eat is just as important, if not more important, as what we eat.
When we look at our dinner plate, we rarely think about how the food will be broken down or how the body will utilize the food as energy and repair sources. Many times people defeat the purpose of eating “healthy” if they are wrongly combining the foods they eat. Poor food combination can have serious, dangerous and long-lasting negative affects on your GI tract as well as your body ecology. Poor food combination goes beyond uncomfortable bloating and gas. These are only the initial symptoms to a larger phenomena occurring.
There are two most commonly recognized patterns of dysbiosis associated with poor food combining, putrefaction and fermentation. Dysbiosis refers to a condition with micro-bacterial imbalances on or within the body. Dysbiosis is mostly associated with the digestive tract.
Putrefaction occurs when foods are not well digested. When this occurs food is essentially rotting inside us. This is usually characterized and defined as indigestion. The typical Standard American Diet, which contains high fat, high animal protein, low fiber diet predisposes people to putrefaction. This condition goes beyond indigestion. Putrefaction causes an increase in “bad” bacteria, which can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency causes fatigue, depression, diarrhea, memory loss and numbing of the hands and feet. Putrefaction also decreases the amount of “good” bacteria in the GI Tract, which has been traced to colon and breast cancers.
This is characterized also by bloating, constipation, diarrhea and gas. People who experience fermentation dysbiosis usually have problems digesting carbohydrates, i.e. sugars, grains. Fermentation produces hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases, which can lead to breathing complications among other diseases. This disorder also is most commonly associated by an over-production of candida bacteria in the GI Tract. Candida infection has been associated with more than 30 diseases, including eczema, PMS, low sex drive, even athletes food.
SOME BASIC RULES TO REMEMBER ABOUT FOOD COMBINING
Starch & Proteins Are Not Friends
Starch and proteins should be eaten separately because they digest differently. Starch begins to break down in the mouth, as all carbohydrates do. Whereas protein breaks down in the GI tract. Also, the digestive system shuts down when it’s digesting fat, which most protein, especially animal protein, contain large amounts of. This is to prevent an over absorption of fat into the blood stream, which can prove deadly. Because of this, protein digests at a rate of 10 grams per hour. So, do the math. If a piece of chicken or tofu contains 30 grams of protein, it would take up to 3 hours to digest. If a person eats a starchy carbohydrate with the protein, such as pasta or rice, the carb will sit in the stomach acid and fluids, ferment and putrefy while the system is digesting the protein and fat. It’s best to eat starches and proteins with vegetables but never combined.
Drink then Eat
There was a method to the madness when grandma required us to eat before we drank. But there’s more than folklore to this custom. Eating while drinking is one of the most common mistakes people make. This reduces saliva production and discourages chewing, which both aid digestion. Also beverages added to meals dilute digestive enzymes found in the stomach and in the mouth that are being produced to break down the solid food. This also leads to fermentation and putrefaction.
Eat Most Fruit Alone
Not all fruit you eat is created equal. Some fruit have more water than others. This is an important factor in determining which fruits to mix and which fruits to eat alone. This is for the same reason why you should not eat and drink at the same time. If some fruits that are high in water are mixed with fruits that contain significantly less water, the fruits that contain more water will digest differently than the fruits that are drier. This also can lead to a lesser degree of fermentation as well. Remember to eat high water fruit, such as watermelon, alone and lower hydrating fruit with its like kind, i.e. banana and apple or mixed berries and plums.
All bodily functions and processes begin and end with digestion. It is the core where nutrients, vitamins and minerals absorb and disseminate. We must begin to think of our bodies as living organisms or even living computers. Of course how we combine our food will produce different affects in and on the body.
So be gentle, and analyze your next meal. Have fun and experiment. Put this information to the test. Try applying the above suggestions and experience for yourself if it makes a difference in your life and well-being.