Happy Herbivore Blog

Food Combining

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

There’s a lot of questions going around about food combining, so I thought I would give you some information and tips, if you want to try it and see if it works for you!

Food combining sounds complicated, but must of us already do a little on our own without knowing it! 

Anyway, "Food combining" is exactly what it sounds like- pairing certain foods together in a meal for better digestion and getting the most nutrients and minerals out of your meal. These are basic food rules that are supposed to help your stomach with digestion, which is why these practices can offer relief from people who have sensitive systems or tummy troubles. If all else has failed, and you don't have an allergy, give food combining a try! 

Food combining basics (rules): 

1. Eat fruits alone, and at least thirty minutes before your meal. If you want to eat fruit as dessert, you should wait until your body has already started digesting your dinner.

2. Foods that are starchy should be eaten with non-starches or protein, but you should be eating twice as much starch as protein. You also want to keep your starches to a minimum, don’t eat several starches in one meal (think potatoes and rice in one meal).

3. Protein should be eaten first, so your body can properly digest the protein and you can absorb it.

4. High fat or high protein is hard on your stomach and both of these should be eaten moderately.

5. You shouldn’t have more than two types of starch and one type of protein on your plate.

The take away? Always make sure you’re getting every component on your plate- you want a protein, a non-starchy vegetable, maybe a starch or carb, and some naturally occurring fat (though, remember, all foods have fats naturally, so your protein, veggie or starch/carb might be be delivering fat, too -- soy, for example, his high in protein and fat).

I also like that food combining encourages simple foods. While I love cooking, sometimes basic beans and rice and vegetables are the easiest and healthiest option available. Food doesn’t have to be fancy; you can get everything your body needs in simple, cheap foods.

A word of warning: Try not to get too caught up in the micro-nutrient ideas of food combining, the idea is to make eating healthier simpler, not more confusing or difficult, etc. Look at food combining on a grander scale and focus on having a varied diet with balanced options.

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