These principles of food combining for strong digestion will help you increase your energy throughout the day even more!
Healthy eating starts with choosing the right options (and eating plant-based, duh). So, if you think you’ve got a pretty good idea of what nourishing foods to eat and what foods to not eat, then bravo beautiful! To take your eating lifestyle a step further, you may want to learn about food combining.
Food combining not only helps you obtain maximum digestion, it helps you maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day (because your energy isn’t being sucked into your poor gut that’s trying to process heavy meals). Another important factor to note, is that when we aren’t digesting properly and have food backed up in our system, we can’t absorb important vitamins and minerals during the digestive process. So essentially, you’re sabotaging your own healthy eating efforts!
By being mindful of food combining, you can help clear out your internal tract and make way for optimal digestion. A bonus? It may be easier for you to lose weight this way, too!
Food Combining 101
- Eat fruit by itself, preferably on an empty stomach: Since fruits tend to digest fairly quickly, eat them on an empty stomach or as a snack. I still add fruit to salads as I don’t experience much gestational distress from this.
- Eat grains and starchy vegetables with non-starchy vegetables: My favorite go-to grain is obviously quinoa, my second favorite is amaranth. I typically pair my complex carbs with leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, bok choy, and sprouts. For starchy veggies: squash or sweet potatoes, I typically like to pair them with zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
- Eat proteins with vegetables, NOT carbs: This one may make some of our heads spin, as you may have grown up in a meat and potatoes family. According to Dr. Pickering in an article on Mercola.com, his version of food combining, he states that pairing proteins with starches “neutralize each other and prevent proper digestion of either food”. So if you feel tired and bogged down after a meat and potatoes type of meal, this may be why.
- Do not consume proteins with fats: Now this particular rule of food combining principles I am on the fence about. Many sources state that it’s a no-no to combine proteins with fats – but personally, when I do so, I don’t feel bogged down or uncomfortable after doing so. Again, everyone is different, so you may have a negative reaction with this combo. Examples of protein and fat combos include animal proteins and butters, eggs and cheese or butter, or oils with meat or fish. You can always try the elimination method to see if this affects you.
- Do not consume different types of proteins at the same meal: This means animal proteins and beans or nuts in the same meal. According to the Acid Alkaline diet, eating two concentrated proteins at once calls for two different types of digestive juices, which may cause poor digestion.
- There is also an emphasis on non-concentrated and concentrated foods. Non concentrated foods are fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Everything else you consume is a concentrated food. Think of non-concentrated foods as foods that have a high water content (fruits and vegetables), and concentrated foods as dense (complex carbs, proteins).
- Typically, when we eat concentrated foods we should be waiting between three to four hours before we eat another concentrated food. This will help our gut maintain maximum digestion.