It smelled good. It tasted Good. But, boy-oh-boy, the digestive ramifications of that last meal. WOW. Suddenly your GI tract is screaming at you and simply wants to explode. Just like humans, some foods get along well with others, and some need to play by themselves.
From a nutrition perspective, three important ways to improve the digestion of food, reduce food allergies and increase overall general health include creating an Acid-Alkaline Balance, Food Combining and Food Rotation. This article will focus on Food Combining.
To enjoy the benefits of a healthy digestive system and to allow our bodies to utilize the nutrients from the food we eat, certain rules for the way food is combined within a meal need to be observed. The concept of combining food is to join two incomplete proteins (grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, and veggies) to obtain a complete protein. A complete or whole protein is one that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for our dietary needs and to support the biological functions in the human body.
In general, animal proteins (fish, poultry, meat, eggs, cheese and milk) are considered good sources of complete proteins, with gelatin the only animal protein not considered to be complete. On the other hand, vegetable or plant proteins (grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, and veggies) are incomplete proteins because they are missing, or do not have enough of, one or more of the essential amino acids. Quinoa, Buckwheat, Hempseed and Soybeans are the only plant-sources of protein that qualify as a complete protein. Remember our mission for combining food is to join two incomplete proteins to obtain a complete protein.
The Basic guidelines for Food Combining are as follows (with example:)
* Grains + Legumes (rice and beans)
* Seeds + Legumes (sesame seeds with garbanzo beans)
* Nuts + Legumes (tofu with sliced almonds)
* Grains + Milk (hot oatmeal with milk)
* Grains + Eggs (rice with eggs)
*Veggies + Milk (cream soups)
* Veggies + Eggs (salad with sliced eggs)
Digestive comfort is another major consideration when it comes to how food is combined. Calm and ease are preferable over explosive nastiness. Allowing the foods we eat to digest will also aid in allowing the nutrients from those foods to be absorbed into our bodies. Some food combinations create distress because they are unable to break down at the same rate. Digestion takes longer or simply does not take place. If foods are unable to break down their nutrients are unable to be utilized by the body. The following are some suggested guidelines to follow for combining food in an effort to assist the digestive system:
* Fruits are to be eaten alone or with other fruits (not melons)
* Milk is considered a food and is suggested to be eaten alone
* Protein foods (meat) are not to be eaten with Starches (bread, potatoes). WHY?? For the best digestion, Proteins require an acid digestive medium while Starches require an alkaline one. When eaten together, they interfere with each other’s utilization, making digestion take longer and inefficient. If these foods are in the same feeding, it is preferable to eat the protein, wait about 20 mins, then eat the starch.
* Eat One Protein source per meal (do not put steak with shrimp etc or cheese with meat). Mixing more than one protein source can be very taxing on the digestive track, and often provides an excessive amount of bad fats with the protein.
* DO Combine Protein + Veggies
* DO Combine Starch + Veggies
* Fruits and Simple Sugars are not to be eaten along with or after other food due to fermentation in the stomach, bloating, gas etc.
* Melons are to be eaten alone. Especially not to be eaten with other fruits
* Fruits are best eaten in the morning
These are simply suggestions that can be applied to your own routine. Try them out to see how they work in your life, with your digestive tract. If they work for you, GREAT. If they don’t, pass them along to another. Bottom line, all rules for comfort need attention and practice. If you have ever enjoyed a meal with two or more proteins plus with a waldorf salad and wondered why your stomach revolted, now you know. Till next we meet, Happy eating and Super Happy digestion.
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NADINE is a Naturopath and Holistic Nutrition Specialist with over 30 years experience in the Health and Fitness Industry and teaches her clients the Art of building and maintaining lean muscle tissue as they drop body fat in a unique program designed for them. Nadine has coached all levels and genre of people and has taught a variety of programs including but not limited to Personal and Sports Nutrition, Sports Psychology, and Weight Lifting/Bodybuilding. Nadine is available for seminars and workshops based on availability. For more information contact Dr NADINE at 970-443-2541, email: Nadine@CoachNadine.com or visit www.coachnadine.com
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