Besides balancing of food, food combination is also important for proper digestion and absorption of its nutrients in the body. Without right food combination, the digestive system would not be able to digest the food properly which in turn will result into poor absorption of nutrients in the body. The poor digestion itself will arise several gastro related disorders. The food combination explains what digests best with what and what foods should not be combined together. For eg:- the protein rich food will digest better when taken with green salads (low carbohydrate food). Two different protein foods should not be combined together since it will cause improper digestion. For eg:- Never combine chicken with meat. In order to clearly understand this process lets give you eight basic thumb rules for food combination. Following are the thumb rules:-
1) Never combine Protein and Fats: Fats tend to prohibit the secretion of digestive juices required for digesting protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts etc. The improper secretion of digestive juices will affect the digestion of protein. This combination also delays the fat breakdown process since the digestive juices are busy working on the digestion of proteins. Some protein rich foods itself contains fats which also adds in delay in digestion process. Therefore, it’s a bad idea to combine protein and fats together. In short, do not fry protein rich foods.
2) Never combine two different proteins: Since every protein rich foods have their own characteristics and time span required for digestion, it is therefore not a good idea to combine them as it will result into delay in the whole digestion process thus causing gastro disorders.
3) Never combine protein and carbohydrates: Protein requires acid medium whereas carbohydrates requires alkaline medium in order to breakdown/digest. When both are combined with each other, they will not be able to breakdown/digest. Therefore both will remain undigested and will begin to ferment thus producing inflation and gas. The exception to this rule is that most protein foods digest well when taken in conjunction with low carbohydrate foods such as green salads.
4) Never combine melons with any other foods: Melons digest best when consumed separately without any other accompaniments of food. Since melons tend to decompose quickly during the digestion, it should not be consumed with any other foods as it will hamper the whole digestive process.
5) Never combine carbohydrates and sugar: The sugar tend to turn the environment in the digestive system acidic which affects the breakdown of carbohydrates. Since the carbohydrates do not breakdown they will remain in the tract and start fermenting thus resulting into gas and inflation.
6) Never combine acid fruits with carbohydrates: The enzyme in the saliva requires neutral or slightly alkaline medium in order to breakdown the carbohydrates/starch. Therefore, when acid fruits are combined, this makes the medium acidic which in turn slashes or halts the breakdown of carbohydrates. The indigestion of carbohydrates will begin to ferment which will cause bloating and gas.
7) Never combine acid fruits with protein: The acid fruits tend to hamper the protein digestion process and therefore both shouldn’t be combined as it will result into gastro disorders.
8) Never combine milk with any other foods: The digestion of milk doesn’t occur in stomach but in fact it takes place in duodenum. Therefore, the digestion of milk is never hampered when taken in conjunction with other foods; however the nutritional/antioxidant properties of the food may be lost when milk is combined.
Following is the list of foods categorized into carbohydrate vegetables, non-carbohydrate vegetables, Proteins, acid fruits, sub acid fruits, sweet fruits, grains, melons:-
|Carbohydrate Vegetables||Non Carbohydrate Vegetables||Proteins||Acid Fruits||Sub Acid Fruits||Sweet Fruits||Grains||Melons|
|Artichokes||Asparagus||Avocado||Cranberries||Apricot||All Dried Fruits||Amaranth||Cantaloupe|
|Banana Squash||Bell Pepper||Beans||Grapefruit||Mango||Banana||Buckwheat||Crenshaw|
|Beans||Broccoli||Cerals||Lemon||Papaya||Dates & Figs||Millet||Honeydew|
|Carrots||Cabbage||Flax Seeds||Orange||Sweet Apple||Prunes||Quinoa||Watermelon|
|Corn||Celery||Foul||Pineapple||Sweet Berries||Sweet Grapes||Rice|
|Hubbard Squash||Chard||Meat||Pomegranate||Sweet Cherries||Spelt|
|Jicama||Chicory||Nuts||Sour Plum||Sweet Peach||Wheat and Flours|
|Peas||Chives||Pumpkin Seeds||Sour Apple||Sweet Plum|
|Potatoes||Collards||Unhulled Sesame Seeds||Sour Cherries|
|Winter Squash||Endive||Sour Peach|
Following is the safe combination of food based on its category:-
1) Protein can go well with Non Carbohydrate Vegetables
2) Non Carbohydrate Vegetables can go well with Carbohydrate Vegetables
3) Non Carbohydrate Vegetables can go will with Grains
4) Sweet Fruits can go well with Sub-Acid Fruits
5) Sub-Acid Fruits can go well with Acid Fruits
Following list shows the digestion time taken for the category of foods:-
1) Time taken for Fruits to Digest = Approx 30mins to 1hr
2) Time taken for Sprouts to Digest = Approx 1hr
3) Time taken for Melons to Digest = Approx 30mins to 1hr
4) Time taken for Juice to Digest = Approx 15 to 30mins
5) Time taken for Water to Digest = Approx 15mins
6) Time taken for Vegetables to Digest = Approx 1 to 2hrs
7) Time taken for Meat to Digest = Approx 4hrs
8) Time taken for Fish to Digest = Approx 3hrs
9) Time taken for Shell Fish to Digest = Approx 8hrs
10) Time taken for Grains and Beans to Digest = Approx 1 to 2hrs