Food Combining Aids Digestion and Weight Loss

Combining your foods for optimal digestion has a long and controversial history. Many people, as well as, health practitioners, swear by how it aids in digestion, assists weight loss, clears up acid reflux and chronic digestive problems. As it is a simple and not too difficult method of organizing your meals into specific food groups you can easily experience it for yourself.

Basically, foods are separated into groups that require a particular enzyme for digestive purposes. These can be an acidic gastric juice or alkaline pancreatic enzymes. When more than one type of food is eaten together the necessary gastric juices and enzymes compete with one another, which compromises digestion in the stomach. For example:

  • Protein foods depend on gastric acid, which consists of hydrochloric acid and an acidic enzyme called pepsin.
  • Fats are emulsified by bile, and carbohydrates require pancreatic enzymes and are mostly broken down in the small intestine.

Since enzymes decline as we age, heartburn and indigestion become more prevalent. We can help to alleviate these symptoms by eating more raw foods high in natural enzymes, following food combining guidelines, and/or taking digestive enzyme supplements with meals. Fermented, cultured vegetables are loaded with enzymes and should be eaten with your meals to aid digestion.

Next: Food Combining Guidelines

The Guidelines
Food-combining guidelines take some getting used to, but are easy to remember. Donít worry if you cannot always follow them exactly. If you manage the majority of the time you will notice a positive difference in your digestion and in your ability to lose unwanted weight:

  1. Fruits digest in 45 minutes, so eat them alone and on an empty stomach. If eaten with protein or grains they can ferment, slow down digestion, and cause intestinal gas.
  2. Animal protein digests in 6 to 8 hours. Combine with easily digested non-starchy vegetables and sea vegetables.
  3. Grains and starchy vegetables digest in 4 to 6 hours. These include all whole grains, dry cereals, and flour products plus winter squash, potatoes, peas, corn, lima beans, water chestnuts, artichokes, and Jerusalem artichokes. Eat them with non-starchy vegetables and sea vegetables.
  4. Large amounts of fat and fried foods delay the secretion of hydrochloric acid needed to digest protein. Avoid combining a large amount of fat with a protein food. Burping is your signal that oil and protein donít mix.

Here’s what it looks like, avoid eating protein (steak) and starch (potato) together or chicken and rice. Eat them separately and with lots of raw and cooked vegetables. Make 80 percent of the food on your plate cooked and raw vegetables. The remaining 20 percent can be protein or grains and starchy vegetables.

60 comments

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Rock S.3 years ago

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Past Member 3 years ago

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Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

mariam p.
mariam patrose4 years ago

We must keep it simple for eating is a continuous process, isn't it?
Thanks for the valuable info.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Brilliant, thanks.

Robyn L.
Robyn P5 years ago

I used to mock FC, based on a cultish FC book I owned about 20 years ago.
Recently, I started reading Elson Haas' books, and he explained it quite well.
One tidbit I can add is beans (dried beans) are protein AND starch but treated the same as flesh foods.
From the reading, I basically see that vegetables that are not starchy are the main food to east with starches (incl. grains, potatoes, carrots) and proteins, but not protein and starch. Fruit is on it's own, but that means either eating it first, or waiting a half-hour or so after eating other foods.
(info from Staying Healthy with the Seasons, Elson Haas, Celestial Arts, 2003.

sandra m.
Past Member 5 years ago

Good info,something I need to try.

Jean Sleigh
Jean Sleigh5 years ago

I've tried it - it worked. Not from a "oh wow, I lost x number of kgs" but just that it made me think before I ate... and in truth I DID feel better eating like with like. The more complex my diet gets the more my body starts doing strange things... keeping it simple has always worked. Combining correctly is not complicated, it just requires some self discipline :)

Vicynthia Tjahjadi

Thank you.