Food Combining and digestive issues

Did you know that digesting food requires more energy than any other function in the human body?

Do you ever feel bloated or sluggish and heavy after eating?

Do you know that feeling digestive discomfort or fatigue after eating isn’t normal?

Even though it’s common, we should feel the contrary, feel energized, and refreshed.

But why this happens and how can we reversed it?

First, let’s take a look at a protein and starch, like a beef burger with a bun.

Protein requires an acidic environment to digest and the digestive enzyme pepsin, while carbohydrates require an alkaline environment and the digestive enzyme, ptyalin.

Since beef and bread have opposite digestive requirements, eating them together at the same meal causes the body to release both acid and alkaline solutions. Acid and alkaline solutions neutralize each other, which can slow down digestion and cause bloating or fatigue, food has the opportunity to putrefy and ferment in your digestive tract causing the release of toxins.

So, if you suffer from annoying symptoms that make you regret the last meal you ate, your body might benefit from following some simple food combining rules.

Food combining rules are simply meant to be guidelines for improving digestion, promoting gut health, and easing existing digestive symptoms.

When food is poorly digested, undigested food particles can end up in our bloodstream and cause food sensitivities or feed the “unfriendly” bacteria in our gut, such as yeast, which can result in digestive conditions like candida.

Food combining is one of my favourite tricks to streamline the digestive process. Though food combining principles can get very complicated, I prefer to keep them simple. Pick just one dense food at each meal, whatever you’re craving most at that moment, and then fill the rest of your plate with raw and cooked non-starchy vegetables.

From personal experience of practicing food combining for a couple of years now, I have noticed many benefits and can definitely feel the difference after consuming an improper food combination.

Some of the benefits can include the following: 

  • Better absorption of nutrients
  • Reduction or elimination of gas and bloating
  • Elimination of acid reflux or heart burn
  • Reduced or elimination of cravings
  • Increased energy after eating ​a meal

Properly combined meal will look like:

  • Baked potatoes or any other starch with a leafy side salad or cooked vegetables.
  • A leafy green salad topped with vegetable of your choices, followed by a piece of baked fish served with a side of cooked vegetables.
  • A leafy green salad topped with dried fruits and nuts.
  • Fresh fruit is best eaten in the mornings, on an empty stomach or as an afternoon snack, 3-4 hours since your last properly-combined mea​​​l.

However, fruit can be combined with leafy green vegetables in a green smoothie, for example. Fruit is not recommended as a dessert after a meal, as it could potentially cause fermentation, gas and bloating, and promote bacterial overgrowth in the body.  

Next time you experience digestive distress, don’t forget to take note of what foods were on your plate to see if a bad food combination was to blame.

As you begin to follow proper food combining rules, I can guarantee you’ll start to notice a positive shift in your energy levels, digestion and overall well-being.

 If you ever forget the specifics of these food combining rules, just remember that meals with fewer ingredients digest the best because they require fewer enzymes.

So, when in doubt, choose one major macronutrient and pair it with a non-starchy vegetable or leafy green and remember to always eat fruit alone, at least twenty minutes before a meal.

A couple of things to keep in mind:


Digestion begins in the mouth. Smaller pieces are digested easier and starch digestion requires the enzyme: ptyalin, wich is found in saliva.


The enzymes that help digest proteins requires acidity, while starch digestion enzymes require alkalinity.


Generally best to combine sprouts according to their original bean, seed or grain.


Eat only one type of concentrated starch or protein at a time, as each will have its own gastric juice and timing needs.


Sugar doesn’t mix well with anything and taken after a meal it will cause fermentation and putrification.


Fruits are best on their own, on a empty stomach. Melon pass through quickest, so eat them solo.


It is a low-sugar acid fruit whose acids interfere with starch digestion. It goes best with vegetables.


Legumes and grain contain both protein and starch; and nuts conteins both protein and fat. Eat these with vegetables only.

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