The purpose of food combining is a simple, scientifically based system of selecting foods, from among different types, which are compatible.
This facilitates easy and efficient digestion and ensures after-meal comfort.
Why is Combining Foods Properly Important?
The digestive system is responsible for receiving food, breaking it down into nutrients, absorbing the nutrients into the bloodstream, and eliminating the undigestible parts of food from the body.
The chemical part of digestion is accomplished by a series of juices and their enzymes.
The juices alternate between alkalis and acids, and their character is determined by the requirement of the enzymes they contain. These enzymes remain active in suitable media of well defined acid-alkaline ranges and are destroyed in unsuitable media.
For instance, the salivary amylase (ptyalin) or starch-splitting enzyme of the mouth is active only in an alkaline media and is destroyed by a mild acid. The gastric enzyme, pepsin, which initiates protein digestion, is active only in the acid medium and is destroyed by alkalis.
A noteworthy feature of the digestive secretions is that the body suits its fluid and enzymes to the character of the food eaten. There are, however, severe limitations in this process.
It is possible to suit the juices to a particular food, however, complex it may be, but not to a variety of foods taken together. It is the combining of many varieties and incompatible foods at a meal that causes 90 per cent of digestive disorders.
The goal is in eating similar foods, or, food combining, at one time in order to accomplish the most complete digestion.
Understanding the Types of Different Foods
The most important rule for combining foods is to avoid mixing protein and carbohydrate concentrated foods.
Although every food contains some protein, those regarded as protein concentrated foods demand the longest digestive time. They are held in the stomach for some hours until the gastric juices has performed its task.
This may vary from two-and-a-half to six hours, depending upon the complexity of the protein in the food.
If a protein food is mixed with starch-concentrated or sugar-concentrated foods, it will usually result in fermentation. This may lead to indigestion and gas in the stomach.
Animal-food proteins, such as meats, fish and cheese, require very high concentration of hydrochloric acid.
Their gastric digestion will be greatly inhibited by carbohydrate fermentation in the stomach. This will produce more gas and increased discomfort.
Eating meat, potatoes, bread and sweets should, therefore, be especially avoided.
Best Suggestions for Food Combining
#1. Protein foods are best digested when eaten with fresh vegetables (different vegetables can be eaten together)
Primary protein foods such as nuts, seeds and soybeans also combine very well with acid fruits like oranges, pineapples, grapefruit and lemons, and fairly well with sub-acid fruits, like grapes, pears, apples, berries, apricots and peaches.
These vegetables and fruits are rich natural sources of vitamin C which helps protein digestion.
#2. Avoid mixing proteins and fats at the same meal
Fat in foods inhibits the secretion of gastric juice through the small wall. When fat-concentrated foods are taken with protein foods, gastric catabolism will decrease by the degree of liquid concentration in the stomach.
Fat will remain undigested in the stomach until gastric juices complete their work on the complex protein molecule.
Although all primary protein foods contain high concentration of fat, such lipids will be held in suspension, awaiting catabolism in the intestine, without impeding gastric action.
Free fats like oil, butter, and milk tend to coat the gastric mucosa, thereby inhibiting its effort to secrete gastric juice. Fat surrounding fried foods is also regarded as free fat and it interferes with gastric catabolism.
#3. Avoid mixing carbohydrates and acid fruits in the same meal
The starch-splitting enzyme ptyalin in the saliva plays an important role as the food is chewed. It converts the complex starch molecules into simple sugars. Ptyalin requires a neutral or slightly alkaline medium for proper functioning and this is the normal condition of the saliva in the mouth.
However, when acid foods are taken, the action of ptyalin is halted. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid acid fruits in the same meal as sweet fruits or starches. Tomatoes should not be eaten with starches especially potatoes or bread.
Refined sugar products are also acidic, both in the mouth and in the blood stream. The acidifying of the saliva by sucrose is one of the main causes of tooth decay. It can also cause severe damage to the digestion.
Food combining is designed to facilitate easier digestion.
An important point to remember about meals is that the smaller the number of courses they consist of, the better it will be. They should approximate to a one-course meal as much as possible.
Simple meals in every way are more conducive to health, than more elaborate ones, no matter how well they may be combined.
A meal consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and fats may remain in the stomach for six to seven hours before the stomach is emptied.
If carbohydrates are eaten without proteins, they remain in the stomach for a relatively short period. A fruit meal remains in the stomach for even shorter time.
It is advisable to eat these different foods at different meals — a fruit meal, a starch meal and a protein meal.
The ideal practice for combining foods is a fruit meal for breakfast, a starch meal with salad and non-starchy vegetables for lunch, and a protein meal with a salad and non-starchy vegetables for dinner.
- Proteins: Nuts, seeds, soybeans, cheese, eggs, poultry* meat*, fish*, yogurt.
- Fats: Oils, olive, butter, margarine.Starches: Whole cereals, peas, beans, lentils.
- Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables, sprouted seeds, cabbage cauliflower,broccoli, green peas, celery, tomatoes, onions.
Anti-Aging – A Longer, Healthier Life
Some scientists and physicians suggest that aging is a ‘disease’. This is not a fair description.
Aging is not a disease but part of the process of life itself! You cannot reverse aging but you can help slow it down to an optimal level which nature intended.
So, how long should we live for? This is a subject of much debate and disagreement.
Some scientists claim extraordinary times…200+ years. However, this is really in the realm of science fiction. The position of Xtend-Life is that it is possible to live to the projected maximum human life span of 120 years.
To achieve this, your life has to be well balanced! In other words, your lifestyle, your diet, the amount of exercise you do, the environment you live in and your nutrient intake have to be as close as possible to optimal.