These food combinations should not be eaten together!
Having digestive issues or feeling fatigued after a delicious meal should not be a normal experience. Right!? But for so many of us it is! It is sucks to know that bloating, cramping, and general discomfort after eating a meal is what we have to look forward to. Instead of leaving us full of energy and satisfied, we feel sluggish and uncomfortable. What can we do? In this article, we’re going to reveal some of the common food combination mistakes people make when cooking, or eating out, that may cause massive discomfort.
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Why do we have digestive issues?
As it turns out, you might be surprised to find out that there are certain combinations of foods that, when eaten together, could be the culprit for your after dinner cramps.
In the article below, we are going to be looking at some food combining rules to help you think about the food you eat. These rules should not be seen as hard and fast, but recommendations to change the order of eating certain things. This will help you to absorb and digest more fully the foods you eat thereby maximizing your health goals and keep your gut feeling good and satisfied.
So, why is food combining significant?
The reasoning is that each food group requires a different enzyme and digestive environment in order to be broken down. And each nutrient will digest at different rates.
Now, why would that matter?
It matters because when you combine food properly, you are not eating foods together that have opposite requirements for full digestion causing a “log jam” in your intestinal tract. Eating bad food combinations can result in abdominal bloating, gas, and cramping. Continuing in this way could lead to longer term digestive problems like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or Leaky Gut.
Food Combining Rules:
- Eat fruit as a stand alone- What is the dessert of choice after a nice summer barbeque meal? Why fruit, of course! We generally feel quite good about ending the meal with healthy fruit. But in actuality, this is not a great choice. Why? Because after you eat a meal that is rich in protein or starch your body will digest those first taking up to 4 hours to do it. The simple carbohydrates in fruit require almost no digestion at all. Because of this, fruit tends to stay in the stomach longer and will ferment causing gas and bloating.
- Eat protein with leafy greens- When eating protein, choose veggies that either have a high water content (celery, broccoli, peppers) or your leafy greens. It is important to know that proteins require an acidic digestive environment to digest well. Non-starchy vegetables come packed with their own enzymes and therefore can digest well in the acidic solution that proteins require. They don’t compete with one another! In fact, leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables go with EVERYTHING. Starchy vegetables are not recommended because they require alkaline digestive juices; opposite of what protein requires, so they are to be avoided.
- Starch is best served with starch- Starch like legumes, quinoa, potatoes, and rice are best served with starchy vegetables. Starches need alkaline digestive juices (as mentioned above), so if you pair them together, they won’t compete or slow down the digestive process.
- Water can inhibit efficient digestion- How? By flooding your system with water, your stomach juices are diluted and this can put a slow down on your ability to digest your food. If you want to enhance digestion, it has been suggested that you put a little lemon and/or apple cider vinegar in your water and drink it 30 minutes before eating, it might help. Why? Both ingredients contain beneficial acids that actually help the digestive process.
- Go wild with spices and herbs- They are neutral and go well with everything.
So, now that we have learned some of the basic rules of food combining, what are some common food pairings that we love that might put us in the Digestion Danger Zone (Beware! Possible cramps and bloating!)
7 Food Combinations You Need to Know and Avoid!
- Burger, Bun and French Fries- You are mixing protein and starches here that have competing acidic/alkaline needs. You are forcing your body to choose which one to digest first. The other goes straight to fat storage.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup- This is an all time favorite; a classic! But it will likely give you some gut pain. Cheese is high in fat and and carbohydrate which clashes with the acid in the soup make them difficult to digest together. Not to mention that they are both high in sodium.
- Bean and Cheese Burrito- Pairing dairy protein and beans cause your digestive system to be overloaded and overtaxed. It is almost a guaranteed recipe for gas and bloating. And it is not just the beans fault!
- Meat and Cheese Omelet- As we just sited above, protein/protein meals are heavy. Go for the veggie omelet instead.
- Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce- The carbohydrates in the pasta mixed with the acid in the tomato sauce is not recommended (didn’t I warn you about disappointment?!). Add to that some parmesan cheese and you have added more complication to an already mismatched combination. Might I suggest pesto or sauteed veggies to go with your pasta instead?
- Yogurt with Fruit- Remember the eating fruit alone rule? A better idea with yogurt is to add some healthy fat in nuts or a dash of cinnamon. A little bit of honey or a few raisins go well too.
- Wine with Dessert- Alcohol is known to raise blood sugar/insulin levels. Combine that with all the extra sugar in desserts and you have sugar that will almost immediately turn to fat on your hips. Better to opt for the coffee or tea with dessert.
Everyone is different and that is why these rules should not be hard and fast. Just something to keep in the back of your mind so that when you plan your meal prepping, you find some combinations that work well according to the science of digestion. That way when you find yourself whimpering after a meal, you can go back to some of the things that we have gone over here and think back on what you have eaten. Keeping a food diary is always very helpful! You may discover that a bad food combination is the culprit.
Did you learn something useful? Give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.