NUTRITION: HEAL YOUR GUT / FOOD COMBINING 101
DIGESTION is the number one energy ZAPPER out of all of our systems! It takes a GREAT amount of energy to digest every meal, and your body needs a healthy gut flora in order to do so properly. What happens if your digestion isn’t working properly? The undigested food stays in your digestive tract and isn’t broken down, creating a toxic environment and allowing yeast, viruses, cancer cells, and parasites to grow inside you. Making you more prone to illnesses, causing your blood to be more acidic, and essentially damaging your inner ecosystem... not to scare you, but it is important to be mindful of our digestion as this is where our immune system lives, and our HAPPY hormone Serotonin. So essentially when you have an UNhappy tummy, you in turn will be UNhappy.
FOOD COMBINING is a way of eating that allows food to be processed and broken down more efficiently. This way of eating also alleviates symptoms of bloating, stomach pains, indigestion, constipation and gas. All digestive related issues. Not only will food combing heal your digestive issues, but it will also help you lose weight. There are many guidelines to follow within this diet. Here is a breakdown of the basics:
1) Fruits should be eaten alone on an empty stomach and melon should be eaten alone entirely. (this is something I really follow as I notice a huge difference in my digestion when done so!) Fruits digest extremely quickly that by the time they reach your stomach (20-30min compared to starch + protein + fats which are 6 hours - 12 hours), they are already partially digested. If they are combined with other foods they will rot and ferment in your stomach (gross I know, but it's the truth even if we 'feel' ok, it's causing us internal + systemic distress), which cause bloating and stomach pains.
Melons shouldn’t be combined with any other fruits or foods because they will ferment those other foods in your stomach. “Melons are best taken alone because the sugar and other nutriments are in a less stable form than the nutrients of other fruits. It decomposes much more quickly than other fruits. Consequently, if it is held in the stomach awaiting the digestion of other foods, it will decompose (ferment) and cause a great deal of gastric distress.”
2.) Protein and starches should NOT be eaten together. (again ideal, but DO NOT stress if this doesn't occur at every single meal! Your digestive system will tell you what is OK.) If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The undigested food will then cause your blood to become more acidic. To prevent this from happening, its best to avoid combing proteins and starches including grains like rice and quinoa and starchy vegetables like potatoes in the same meal. Instead, have non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, and ocean vegetables like seaweed with your protein meals to achieve optimal digestion.
3.) Fats and oils combine with all foods except fruit, but should be used and eaten sparingly, ESPECIALLY if you suffer from Candida or major inflammation. They won’t inhibit the digestion process, but will slow it down.
4.) Foods digest at different rates, so it’s important to wait for what you ate previously to be digested before eating again. Here are the times to wait between eating foods that don’t combine (again these are guidelines & NOT steadfast rules! Being super strict about it is not good as well) :
1 hour after eating fruit
3 hours after eating starches
4 hours after eating protein (protein can take anywhere from 8-12 hours to digest!!)
This will ease the digestion process, and allow for the food to leave the stomach and reach the intestines before introducing a different food group into your stomach.
6.) Protein and starches should not be eaten together. (pretty surprising hey, especially as SO many meals are served this way - chicken + rice or quinoa, steak + mash, falafel...) If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The undigested food will then cause your blood to become more acidic, which you will have to work extra hard to re-alkalize your body! To prevent this from happening, its best to avoid combing proteins and starches including grains like rice and quinoa and starchy vegetables like potatoes in the same meal. Instead, have non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, and ocean vegetables like seaweed with your protein meals to achieve optimal digestion!
What are the benefits of following this way of eating, you might be wondering?
First off, you will avoid feeling bloated and gassy after meals, which I know troubles MANY people! You also will have more energy, and not feel sluggish after eating. FOOD IS NOURISHMENT, and you should feel rejuvenated after eating, not like you want to take a nap! (think of how you feel after a b i g holiday meal! ).
You also will have clearer skin. If you breakout on your forehead a lot, it’s a sign of poor digestion. I've experienced this MANY times before! After I eat something that I'm sensitive to ( almonds, pineapple, beans, grains) the next few days pimples will start to appear on my forehead!
You also will get rid of constipation and promote a healthy gut flora that will be able to break down food efficiently without harming your body’s ecosystem.
Your sleep will improve and you will be able to concentrate more easily throughout the day and think more clearly.
I highly recommend incorporating this way of eating to heal your digestive system and digestive symptoms that may be holding your back! Digestive disorders plague SO many of us, so if you are experiencing lots of distress, this might be the perfect option for you. It's worth a try IF you've tried everything ( including those 'pink bottles of stuff' that is marketed for relieving symptoms. Think of those things like a mask, you are not dealing with your issues + symptoms, merely masking them). Each time you eat those certain foods, or combine them multiple times a day, those issues will keep on arising. Our bodies are strong, and we tend to handle A LOT before more serious conditions arise.
All in All be mindful of what you are combining, and if you are experiencing LOTS of distress I recommend keeping a journal of your food intake for a week to see where + when symptoms are arising.
I hope this doesn't confuse anyone! Furthermore this isn't the be all and end all. Listen to your body, as no one else knows what you are experiencing.
Happy Saturday Beauties!