I want to start out by saying that I am in no way trying to persuade you to be “food combiners”, but I found this topic really interesting and have researched it a lot over the past few months. I wanted to give you my knowedge and let you decide what you want to do! I have found that since I have stopped combining some food groups, it has greatly improved my digestion, but other groups I just can’t seem to stop (like a warm piece of toast with melty almond butter – starch and nuts)! I don’t really notice any digestive issues after eating my toast with AB, so why stop?! 🙂 Everyone’s body reacts differently to food, so please always do what is best for you!
The idea of food combining was completely foreign to me until I read about it on Gena’s blog a few weeks ago. It intrigued me, maybe this was the cause of some of my stomach issues? I needed to read more and do more research to figure it out!
Wow! There is a lot of information out there about food combining, but I tried to boil it down to the basics – for now! It seems like once you get the hang of it, it might be easy, but right now it seems very overwhelming! I’m just going to give you a little snippet of the basics that I have learned behind food combining because I could go on for days with all the info out there!
The idea behind food combining is that we should only eat certain foods together. Different types of foods take a different amount of time to digest, so why would you combine them? For example, meat can take anywhere from about 4-8 hours to digest while fruit only takes about 30 minutes (a huge difference!). So, when you eat those 2 items together (say a turkey sandwich and an apple for lunch) your body gets a signal telling it to spend it’s time digesting the turkey, since it will take longer. Makes sense, right? However, while your body is spending hours upon hours digesting that turkey from lunch, your apple is just sitting there, fermenting! That fermenting is what causes gas, bloating, IBS, etc! Another example, that seems to be used in almost every article or website that I have read is the combination of steak and potatoes! Combining meat and a starch is a big no-no in the food combining world! My husband was in shock when I told him this, he will not be giving up his meat and potatoes.
Here is a chart that I found on food combining and digestion times for different food groups.
I would say that up until a few weeks ago, I ate a piece of fruit after lunch everyday. And, I would get bloated and feel gassy. I do not eat a lot of meat, so it was rare that I would combine a turkey sandwich and an apple, but I do eat carbs and dairy with my fruit which also have longer digestion times. I always thought that my bloated feeling was a combination of what I ate, but never would have thought it was my healthy fruit! Once I read that, I immediately stopped eating fruit with my lunch. Instead (and as food combiners say to do), I eat my piece of fruit as a mid-morning snack or about 30-45 minutes before my meals to give it ample time to digest. And, I am happy to say that I have not felt gassy or bloated once after a meal in the past few weeks! This also allows me to enjoy my fruit more.
Basically, there are 4 “groups” which you do not want to combine together. They all digest at different rates, so why put your body through that type of stress (at least that is what food combiners believe)?
The four groups are:
- Nuts & Dried Fruit
- Meat & Dairy
Vegetables are freebies, as they combine with everything!
I have felt better than ever since I started combining different types of foods, and I love it. This does not mean that you have to give anything up, but if you are like me and have been told by doctors for years that you just suffer from IBS, then maybe this is something for you to try.
I’ll continue to post how I feel when I combine certain foods, to help me track it myself and for you to see the basics of food combining in action. It really does make sense when you learn about it and try different things out!
If you are interested in learning about food combining more in depth, check out these websites: