Food Combining for Digestive Ailments

rules of food combining

If you struggle with bloating, heartburn, reflux or other irritable bowel problems you need to look at Food Combining as a possible solution to your digestive problems

Think of Food Combining like mixing and matching your wardrobe. Some shirts and pants look great together, while other combinations are simply wrong.  Or like there are just some people that don’t go well with each other.

A poorly combined meal is harder to digest and can further inflame your tummy. So the goal of food combining is to create a meal that combines foods that are easier to digest. Keep in mind that a healthy functioning digestive system should be able to digest pretty much any meal.  The problem for a lot of people is that we often eat foods that don’t combine well and our digestive system is still irritated and inflamed from the last meal.

The Simple Rules of Food Combining

When you sit and eat, all the food you eat at that one sitting will churn-away in your stomach for anywhere between an hour to a few hours depending on what you ate.  This is where your digestive juices (enzymes and acids) are produced in order to begin the breakdown of what you ate.

  • To digest proteins you NEED hydrochloric acid (HCL).
    • without HCL, you don’t breakdown proteins!!!
  • You don’t need HCL to digest fats and carbohydrates.
  • Proteins and fats can take 2-4 hours to digest, while fruits and vegetable can take less than an hour.  
  • Your Classic Protein and starch (steak and potato, chicken and rice, shrimp pasta) don’t combine well
  • You Don’t want to eat fruit with your meal or with proteins
    • simple/processed sugars and starches, found in fruits and processed foods digest fairly rapidly and can begin to ferment in your stomach as it is churning, waiting for your proteins to be ready to move to the next stage of digestion, the small intestine.
  • The more liquids you drink, the more you dilute your digestive juices that are needed to breakdown your food.
    • cold drinks inhibit the production of HCL
  • Raw foods are easier to digest than cooked or packaged foods.

Most Importantly – our digestive system is designed to turn-on when we Sit, Eat and Relax.  When we eat on the go, on the run, in a hurry, in the car at our desk – we don’t allow our digestive system to turn on and produce those all important Digestive Juices, which are Needed in digesting your meal, more so especially if your meal has protein (chicken, eggs, beef, fish, jerky, protein shakes, etc.).digestive enzymes for better digestion

Proteins need an acidic environment in order to be broken down. Without enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) you don’t completely breakdown protein.  This leaves you with undigested protein running through your digestive tract, rotting and putrefying as it travels.  Undigested protein is a huge cause to so many of our digestive problems.  So, don’t assume all that protein you are eating is being used to help build muscle.

Starches (beans, rice, potatoes, etc.) are best digested in a more alkaline environment. When you eat a protein and starch (steak and potato, chicken and rice, shrimp pasta, etc.) you dilute the acidity needed to breakdown the protein in your meal, which doesn’t allow for complete digestion. Therefore Don’t eat Proteins and Starches together.

FYI….A classic sign you aren’t making enough HCL is that you get bloated and gassy soon after a protein rich meal. Most digestive problems are because we don’t have enough HCL….not too much!  If you eat on the run, in the car, in a hurry, etc…you are not giving your digestive system a chance to make that important HCL. This is why a good digestive enzyme with HCL is important to add to your nutrition protocol, especially if you are Eating On The Run.

Proteins combine OK with fibrous veggies (avocadoes, broccoli, asperageus, etc.) and salads.

Antacids or acid blocking medications Do Not Address the Cause…they ONLY address YOUR Symptoms.  So if you are dealing with a health issue that is not getting any better, maybe you need to address the real underlying cause to your problem.  

Eat fruits by themselves. Don’t combine fruits and proteins (smoothies and shakes). The sugar in fruits digest rapidly and begin to ferment in the stomach as they wait up to 4 hours for the protein to be digested. The fermented sugars aggravate your digestive process, contributing to leaky gut, irritable bowel, and not helpful for anyone dealing with yeast, fungal over-growth or candida.

If you eat dessert, which is probably loaded with simple sugars…it would be best to wait a couple of hours and than really dig into it.

It’s not you are what you eat – it’s you are what your body absorbs and can’t eliminate! How do you expect to strengthen and nourish your body if every time you eat your stomach gets irritated and inflamed?  Test Your Digestive System and see if that is the health challenge you need to first address.

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