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.


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.

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  1. You should post this article everyday…all year. When people advise you to do your research regarding your health….they mean it. Instead of indigestion….how bout we say…..”Dude….you got food rotting in your stomach. Stop eating bread with meat!” I am a strong believer in food combining. Once my system was clean….I found out that I can not eat grains at all. No grains= nothing that has to be processed. Works for me. Thank you for this article.

  2. Veggiechick, give thanks for your feedback. It’s inspiring. It’s true about grains. Grains are starch. Starch stiffens the system. And because most grains that people eat contain high amounts of gluten, i.e. “GLUE” , many people suffer from having their bodies glued up as well. Grains work well for professional athletes because their bodies heat up high enough through intense physical activity, which burns the grains into a simple sugar to be used for high energy. But the starch does still affect the ability for muscles to recover and heal as well. So, the kind of grain is important too. For example, the ethiopian grain Teff is virtually gluten free, vs. wheat, which is full of gluten. MAYBE WE’LL DO AN ARTICLE ON GRAINS AND CARBS…?

  3. @ India. God Bless you and thank you for this information. I have battled health problems off and on for years, and this post seems to explain 75% of the problems that I have had. It got so bad when I was an undergraduate that I was about to be placed on B12 shots, and there was a fear that I had celiac disease (I didn’t). I have forwarded this information to several of my family members, and I am printing out this post to tape in my apartment. I will try this.

    I determined that I have food allergies, so I no longer eat pizza (it looks like pizza strongly violates the first rule anyway). The saddest thing is that I have been to multiple physicians and not one ever brought up the possibility that the combination of the food eaten may be at fault. As usual, it seems as if I receive some of the most reliable health information outside of the physician realm. Looks like this means no more sandwiches………

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