For most of us, just eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and less white flour, meat and saturated or hydrogenated fats would be a step up. But for others, who are already eating pretty darn well, but still have health issues or are carrying around some extra pounds, food combining may be your next best friend.
The premise of foot-combining is that digestion of different foods involves different digestive chemistry and occurs over different time frames. Some foods require an alkaline medium in the stomach; others acid. Some foods take hours to digest; others more quickly. Fruits generally require enzymes in the stomach for digestion, while proteins require acids to digest. Fruits also digest fairly quickly, while a meat like pork, takes up to five hours to digest. So, if you eat pork, you should probably avoid fruit at the end of your meal, unless your meal lasted five hours.
The thing about the tummy is that it mixes it all up, and the food that takes the longest to digest tells the stomach valve when to open. It doesn’t somehow mix and then strain the food back into its component parts and let out the parts that are digested and keep the ones in that aren’t “done” yet.
And here’s the other important thing about fruit. Fruit should always be eaten alone. If you eat fruit with a protein – you know that fruit and yogurt or fruit and cottage cheese that you love so much? – you have given your stomach signals to secrete an acid and an alkaline: an acid to digest the protein, which will compromise the delicate enzymes that you asked to stomach to secrete to digest the fruit. Here’s where we can use some of that high school or college chemistry: the acid and alkaline will work against each other, that is, neutralize each other. The not-so-lovely food melange will sit in the neither acid-enough nor alkaline-enough medium in your stomach and eventually do something like digest. But your stomach won’t be happy. Some people will get an upset stomach (go figure) and then take an antacid, which then interferes with the cottage cheese digestion. It’s just a mess. If you’re going to take any digestion aid, please make it digestive enzymes. But I’m getting in way too deep here.
So, here’s the deal in its simplest form.
- When you eat fruit, eat only fruit. In 45 minutes, the fruit, which digests fairly quickly (that’s why it doesn’t “stay” with you), will be out of your stomach and you can eat whatever you want next with impunity.
- And don’t eat protein with starches. You can eat non-starchy veggies with both starches OR proteins. Non-starchy veggies are our friends because we can eat them with anything. Except fruit.
I just want my peeps to be healthy.