As with every dietetic principle, there are fanatics and there are nay-sayers. I encourage you to try new things and see if they work for you, rather than taking my word for it!
What exactly is it?
Food combining is the idea that different types of foods are digested and absorbed at different rates in the body, and that combining foods properly may improve digestion and elimination, and help optimize health!
The scientific community has not recognized the validity of food combining, and so you will see mixed messages about it. I, personally, don't require various "scientific studies" to prove the validity of health and wellness methods before I try them. It is important to keep in mind who pays for these studies in the first place. More often than not, there are companies that seek to make money off of their results.
This is not to say that food combining is the be-all-end-all way of eating that will solve all of the worlds problems! All I'm saying is that some people SWEAR by it and I have noticed benefits from keeping food combining "rules" in mind throughout my day.
Food combining may be considered an ancient practice
For many older cultures, proper food combining is just taught from the get-go, it is not questioned. No one is asking for the “scientific proof”, because it’s just part of their lifestyle. In Ayurveda, the ancient medicine of India, there are food combining rules that most people grow up practicing-- especially those that prevent consuming hot (either physically or energetically) foods with cold, or drinking cold beverages alongside meals. There are many other intricacies that vary between region in India and religion. When I spent time in India, my food combination choices were often questioned!
Why you might benefit from trying it!
If you feel tired after meals or struggle with poor digestion or elimination, and have tried other methods without success, I urge you to experiment with how proper food combining feels in your body.
I find it has also helped me be more mindful of what I am eating and when. I believe that snacking constantly throughout the day is not the best thing for health because when our bodies are using energy to digest and assimilate food, there is less energy going to other processes like detoxification, elimination, healing, repair, and more. For this reason, we heal most efficiently in a fasted state.
Food Combining Guidelines
Here is a simplified outline of which foods combine optimally. Essentially, the types of foods from the first category do not digest well together and are best kept apart.
Step 1—pick ONE of the following categories for each meal:
Starches- squash, potatoes, avocados, coconut meat, grains, beans and legumes
Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
Step 2— fill up the rest of your plate with cooked or raw, non-starchy vegetables!
Step 3— wait 3 to 4 hours before switching categories. If you become hungry between meals, snack on non-starchy veggies, as they combine with everything.
There are a few exceptions to the outlines above:
Fruit is best when eaten alone, especially melons as they digest extremely quickly. Most fresh fruit can be combined with leafy greens and herbs without compromising digestion, if desired.
Bananas can be combined with fresh fruits, or nuts/seeds/dried fruit.
Avocados can be combined with starches, fresh fruit, or dried fruit.
This is the most basic form of food combining. As with any new habit, I suggest starting here with the basics. Without changing the foods you usually eat, combine them properly to start. Then, when you’re comfortable, move forward with better food choices if necessary.
It is my intention to give you the knowledge that has made a difference for me personally, so that you have the information and can then make more informed decisions when it comes to your health and lifestyle. Feel free to take one baby step at a time. A step in the right direction is worth a thousand steps in the “wrong” one.
All the love,