Food Combining for Digestive Health by Medicinal Foods founder Sky Kubby
Sky explains his experiences with following food combining guidelines, and how his health and digestion have improved dramatically.
One of the hardest things our body does is Digest Food
Just imagine what happens when you put food anywhere else—it begins to compost, rot and smell terrible.
Our organs are no different—we cram food down our human ‘garbage disposal’ without thinking about how much stress this puts on our bodies.
It really is a miracle that our body not only goes into instant action, but is also able to glean crucial nourishment from what we feed it.
Our goal, then, is to make this process a little easier for our organs, and we can do this by following some simple food combining rules.
5 Simple Food Combining Rules
Eat Starches and Proteins Separately
Eat Starches with Vegetables
Eat Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables
Avoid combining anything Sweet with Starches or Proteins
Fruit and Melon should be Eaten Alone
(Bonus Rule) Starches and Sugars should be Eaten First, before Oils, with ample time to digest.
Starches and Proteins: Why Separate?
When these types of foods, starch and proteins, are combined together it is is more difficult for the human body to digest. This is especially true if your digestive fire is low, constitution is weakened, or if you are dealing with any other health issues.
For example, take the classic Steak and Potatoes food combination. Although there’s some protein in potatoes, its only about 8%, while the rest is mainly starch. Digestion of starch begins in the mouth as the Amylase enzymes in your saliva begin breaking down starch while you chew.
That’s why it is so important to chew your food thoroughly, before swallowing!
"Chew your drink and drink your food."
The enzyme Ptyalin, a type of Amylase, breaks down starches into Maltose and Dextrose, which are sugars!
Once the steak ‘n’ taters hits the acidic environment of your stomach, the Amylase stops working and the Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) kicks in, activating pepsin and then breaking down proteins.
The starches move on into your small intestines, while the protein will sit in your stomach for a few hours, or longer, especially if it’s meat.
Digestion of starches requires an alkaline environment, so getting mixed up with the protein (steak) in the acidic environment of the stomach isn’t going to do your insides much good. Once the starch enters your small intestines, then it begins its real digestion.
However, if there is some protein mixed in, which is likely with the steak ‘n’ taters example, then the protein is bound to remain undigested, and rot. Not good for digestive health, and the immune system will have to work to clean that out.
Starches and Sugars: A Bad Combination?
While some schools of thoughts on food combining believe that it’s the breakdown of beans or other foods that cause gas, and not the combination of foods, I have to disagree.
If you experience gas or bloating on a regular basis, then I highly encourage you to follow the food combining rules above and see if it makes a difference for you.
So, what’s wrong with a little gas, you might say? Well, this fermentation process is the same chemical reaction that makes alcohol. That’s why many recovering alcoholics switch to sweets when they get sober.
Also, acetaldehyde is created during the formation of gas, which may cause liver toxicity as well as an overall bad feeling like a hangover.
While acting as one's own home brewery may sound enticing to some, in reality, it causes a whole other set of problems. For one, the starch-sugar combo creates a feast for opportunistic organisms, such as candida (a fungus), yeast and myco-bacteria (a fungus/bacteria hybrid).
These organisms can spread throughout the body, feeding on the starch, sugars and undigested fats in the blood, skin and organs—leading to many of the mystery ailments people experience today.
These organisms can grow roots down into the Lymph and infect the blood.
One great product know to eliminate Candida in 3 months, without changing the diet and killing these roots is the Vitae Elixir, a laboratory extracted concentrate of powerful herbs such as Graviola (Soursop) and Bloodroot. The Synergy of the herbs is gentle and very effective in eliminating lots of issues such as Lyme Disease, and the mystery ailments such as Psoriasis, Eczema and Candida.
Proteins and Sugars: A Gaseous Food Combination
While starches and sugars ferment to make gas, proteins and sugars putrefy (rot) to make stinky gas! Enough said.
Do the best you can to keep proteins and starches away from each other.
Eat proteins with greens and starches with greens.
Eat fruit by itself in the morning.
Eat sweets by themselves not in combination with starches or proteins.
Food Combining Chart
But Don't Overthink It
"Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly."
—The Dalai Lama
First, we will get clear about proper food combining that will work best for your Ayurvedic body type, and for your goals.
Once you’ve got the basic food combining rules down, you’ll see what you can successfully get away with.
It’s important to not get too caught up in worrying about food combining details.
However, it can be extremely effective in helping people with chronic illness, digestive problems or who just want to lose weight.
The following rules don't need to be followed strictly, but instead used as guidelines that will be easy for you to follow.
After time, with your own observation on your body's responses, you can determine what food combining rules work best for your body's constitution.
Controversy with Food Combining Rules
Just to be clear, there is a bit of controversy on the topic of proper food combining. It is important to know your body type, according to Sahara Rose, certified holistic Ayurvedic Nutritionist.
It appears that some people get better results than others. This, of course, has to do with the fact that everyone is different.
The goal is to balance these qualities within us by making the proper food and lifestyle choices for our unique body.
Kapha body types, for example, who have long, slow digestion and the ability to put on extra weight, may have more difficulty with certain food combinations.
Pittas, on the other hand, who have more digestive fire, may burn up everything they eat, possibly getting away with looser food combining rules.
And Vata body types may experience low body weight, gas, bloating, or constipation more easily; these body types as well may find stricter food combinations more beneficial.
Either way, try out various food combinations using these rules and see what works for you—I bet you’ll be surprised how good you finally feel!
Proper Food Combining for a Lighter, Healthier You
Food combining charts help make it simple to avoid bad food combinations. Experiment with the easy Ayurvedic recipes that follow, you will be better educated on how to choose the proper foods to include in your meals.
Ayurvedic Food Combining Recipes
Yogi Kim over at Yogitrition.com also as a large resource of yummy plant-based recipes with food combining rules in mind.
This is one of our favorites: Vegan Cauliflower Cream Sauce Recipe
Cauliflower, of course falls into the category of "All Vegetables" thus, it is a food that combines well with almost any other food, plays well with proteins and with starches. In addition, cauliflower has many other health benefits!
Here are 10 Health Benefits of Cauliflower, plenty of reasons to add it to your personal food combining diet:
Other Healthy Digestion Tips
- Wait 3 hours between meals. Give your system time to switch gears before digesting the next meal.
- Wait an hour after eating fruit, preferably your first food of the day, to eat a heartier meal.
- Don’t eat fruit on top of a meal!
- Avoid drinking water with meals, especially cold water as it slows digestion and dilutes the digestive enzymes.
- Sit upright, eat slowly and chew one mouthful thoroughly, before the next is taken.
- Eat more Whole, Live Raw Foods. They contain the enzymes needed to digest the food.
Eat chocolate away from meals...
Unless you're eating chocolate molé, of course! Specifically, sweetened chocolate with or around a meal can lead to digestion issues. The sweetener can be a bad combo with starches or protein and the chocolate itself could be binding and inhibit digestion. Unsweetened chocolate beans or nibs may be consumed, and cacao powder as well, but beware, Raw Chocolate may cause a sudden lack of appetite!
Remember, Food Combining Rules are Guidelines
Of course, these are all general guidelines for combining food types, and the exact rules will be different for everyone. It really depends on the person, what and how much they are eating. It is up to you who to find your perfect food combining diet.
These rules perfectly could be amazing for someone who is eating a majority of cooked foods, has an imbalance of healthy flora (Dysbiosis), has poor nutrient absorption, or is overweight.
Other folks who eat more of a raw foods diet may be able to handle some of the food combinations that should be avoided, because of the enzymes present in the raw food, and their systems being clean enough to absorb the food. This enzyme availability is another benefit of raw cacao.
You see, it really depends on the what and the how of the food combination.
"The key to prevention is healthy digestion."
Food Combining Diet for Weight-loss
Some people who are looking to lose extra weight could have great success with just the simple practice of not combining proteins and starches, which could really get things moving along in their bowels.
It is reasonable to say that 3-5 extra pounds of undigested colon matter could be shed, especially in combination with Colon Cleansing.