Proper Food Combining
and Tips for Better Digestion
Proper food combining is all about eating your food in a way that most supports your digestive system.
Do you feel bloated, heavy and tired after meals? Do you belch, burp and have gas? Do you want more energy? Proper food combining can help with all of this.
Digestion is Designed by Nature to be Effortless
Indigestion is extremely common in our modern culture and over-the-counter digestive aids like antacids are a multi billion dollar industry.
It doesn't need to be this way.
Indigestion is not part of our natural design and taking a look at how we eat can help us all to reclaim our healthy digestion and to leave those antacids on the store shelves.
Looking back in time, our ancestors did not eat the way we do now. They ate just a few foods at once and not to the over abundance that many do today. They also did not eat the huge amount of 'non-food' items that many consume regularly today.
Digestive distress, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues are new phenomenon that didn't exist long ago.
Our digestive system works hard to break down the meals that we eat. And if we eat continuously throughout the day and into the evening our digestive system never gets a rest.
Poor Digestion means Poor Health
Digestion takes up huge amounts of energy. In fact digestion takes priority over everything else, with the exception of acute crisis or wound healing.
What this means is that, no matter what else you are doing, once you put food in your stomach your body makes it a priority to digest that food and all other jobs take second place.
The harder any particular meal is to break down the more energy that is required and for a longer period of time. That means more energy for longer periods of time that is taken away from anything else your body is trying to do (eliminating toxins, healing chronic issues, maintenance and prevention functions at a cellular level, immune system functioning, reading a book, studying, parenting, doing a project, etc., etc.).
Have you ever noticed how sluggish and tired you feel after eating a huge meal? This is your body telling you to lie down and go to sleep because the job it has just been given is so big that it can't handle you doing anything else at the same time.
If you ask your body to digest heavy, poorly combined, non-nutritive meals over and over your health will suffer. It's that simple.
You Can Choose
Doesn't it make more sense to help your digestive system rather than hinder it? Doing this will not only help your digestive system but every single aspect of your health will also improve.
Make choices that will help your digestive system to function easily and efficiently, and you will have energy and health to do everything else in your life more easily and efficiently.
Proper food combining is one of those things that you can choose to do.
What is Proper Food Combining?
The idea of proper food combining is that we choose to eat in a way that best supports our hard working digestive system. Eat in a way that helps your digestive system to do its job as easily and efficiently as possible.
Different categories of foods require different environments in order to best be digested.
See below for some basic proper food combining principles;
- Eat fruit on an empty stomach. On an empty stomach, fruit will go through your digestive system very quickly allowing your body to absorb its nutrients with ease and to benefit from its many cleansing effects. Fruits digest very easily but if eaten after heavier foods the fruit will get caught up in the gut where the fruits will start to ferment instead of being digested with ease. This can cause digestive upset such as bloating, belching, gas, heaviness, headaches and sluggishness to name a few.
- Always eat melons by themselves. In addition to the above, when eating fruits always eat melons by themselves. This is because, of all the fruits, melons have the highest water content. They will be digested the quickest so to aid your body in digesting these, and obtaining the nutrients from them with absolute ease, eat melons on their own.
- Don't eat proteins and carbs at the same time. A concentrated protein (eg. nuts, olives, seeds, meat, poultry, fish) requires a more acid digestive environment to be broken down efficiently while a concentrated carbohydrate (eg. grains, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta) requires a more alkaline environment. If you eat both at the same time you are asking your body to create two different (and opposing) digestive environments. Looking at it this way it is easy to understand that it will be a much harder job and will take much longer to break down a meal containing both proteins and carbs. Eating these foods separately and away from each other will allow your digestive system to work with much more ease and will leave you feeling much lighter and more energized.
- Eat plenty of fresh whole vegetables. Eat salads and green leafy vegetables on their own or combined with either the proteins or the carbs mentioned above. Fresh whole greens will aid in digestion by helping to move heavier foods through your system.
- Consume fresh vegetable or fruit juices and water on an empty stomach at room temperature. On an empty stomach liquids will easily assist in cleansing and all available nutrients will be readily absorbed with no hindrances. Drinking at room temperature ensures that no extra burden is placed on the digestive system to either warm up or cool down the food. Chew your juices.
- The less ingredients the better. A meal that contains many different ingredients will be harder for your body to break down than a meal with fewer ingredients. Keep your meals simple to support your digestion and to avoid digestive distress.
A discussion on proper food combining can go into much greater detail than this but the above gives you a basic idea of how to use proper food combining to support your digestive system and, therefore, your overall health.
More Digestion Tips
Aside from the above proper food combining advice, some other tips for better digestion include;
- Always leave your stomach 1/4 empty. Your stomach needs room to be able to churn and coat your food with digestive juices. Eating until your stomach is completely full leaves very little or no room to do this.
- Don't drink lots of liquids when eating (small sips are okay). Drinking large amounts while eating will dilute your digestive juices making them less effective at doing their job.
- Don't drink ice cold drinks when eating or immediately after. Cold drinks slow the process of digestion. Chinese medicine talks of the digestive fire that is necessary for health - cold drinks dampen this fire.
- Chew your food well. Digestion begins with the saliva in your mouth. Sufficiently break down food and coat it with saliva by chewing well. Chewing also signals your brain to send enzymes to your stomach in preparation for digestion. By chewing well you will make the rest of the digestive process much easier and more efficient. Be sure to also chew your juices.
- Don't eat late into the evening or at night. Evening and night times are when your body is breaking down and assimilating the day's food. Taking in more food at this time will hamper that process and keep you digesting food into the night which will also hamper the quality of your sleep.
- Eat while in a good state of mind. If you eat when stressed, angry or in a negative state of mind digestion cannot happen to its full potential. Your body processes the food it is digesting much better if eating takes place with a positive, loving attitude.
- Eat with consciousness. Use all your senses when eating. Try not to be distracted by TV or other outside stimuli while eating. Staying aware of your body and what you are feeding it will help you to hear/interpret the signals your body is giving you about when you are full and if a particular food is good for you right now.
- Eat with an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for the food in front of you and for everyone and everything that went into that food being available for you. Remembering gratitude before you begin eating will raise the vibration of your food and the experience of eating it. This will help your body to better make use of the food you are eating.
Do You Eat to Live or
Do You Live to Eat?
Food is nourishment for our bodies. Eat in a way to nourish and support your body in its growth towards its positive potential.
Eat the most nutritive foods possible and in the ways that best support your digestive system's breaking down of that food.
Yes, nowadays many of us eat for other emotional or social reasons too. Let's keep a balance here of making sure that nutritional support comes first. Feed your body well first and it will be much less likely to crave for unhealthy things later.
Enjoy Your Food, Enjoy Your Life
Following the proper food combining and better digestion tips provided here can help you to better enjoy your food, not only eating it but digesting it as well.
Digestion, assimilation and absorption of nutrients, and elimination are meant to be effortless. Choose well in what and how you eat to help you to always be in touch with your birthright of a healthy digestive system. - You are worth it!!
|If you've found this website helpful to you, please consider offering a donation.|
Leave 'Proper Food Combining', return to 'How to Eat Healthy'
Leave 'Proper Food Combining', go to 'Making-Healthy-Choices' homepage