Healthytarian Minutes with holistic teacher Evita Ochel. This episode explains the basics of food combining and how to use these guidelines for best health, energy, weight and digestion.

Learn how to eat an optimal diet for your health and weight with the Eat Real Food: Whole-Food, Plant-Based Eating online video program.

Video transcript:

The types of foods you eat and the amounts you eat them in both play a role in the creation of proper health, energy and weight, or lack thereof. But how you combine your foods, as part of your meals is also important to consider, as different types of food require different enzymes, pH levels and digestion times.

Food combining is based on the concept that certain foods go well together and complement each other biochemically, while others interfere with each other’s digestion resulting in many problems, like malabsorption of nutrients, fatigue, mental fog, bloating, indigestion, excess or unpleasant gas, constipation or diarrhea, toxicity and food sensitivities.

If you have poor digestion, or would like to improve or support your digestive system’s function and your energy levels, here are the most useful and important food combining guidelines:

  • In general, fruits should be consumed on their own, on an empty stomach either before or in between meals, as they are the fastest and easiest to digest.

  • Some fruits combine well with leafy greens, for example as part of green smoothies, and some can be paired with real grains, such as a bowl of oatmeal or buckwheat.

  • Non-starchy vegetables combine well with starchy vegetables, such as asparagus with potatoes.

  • Most vegetables also combine well with beans and real grains, for meals like veggie soups, chilis and whole-meal salads.

  • Animal foods, like meat or eggs combine well with most water-rich vegetables, but not starchy vegetables or grains. If you eat such foods, having some meat or eggs with a common salad would be fine, where as having them with potatoes, rice or bread would not.

  • Isolated and concentrated fats, like oils do not go well with most foods high in starch or protein. Eat healthy fats from whole plant foods instead, like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts and olives, predominantly with vegetables.

  • Overall, simple meals and ones made of whole, real plant foods are the best, rather than meals made of many different foods, refined foods or animal foods.

Note, that food combining is not nutrient combining, and some food combining guidelines can be faulty, complicated or impractical by focusing on isolated nutrients too much. Food is a collection of nutrients, not a single nutrient. Beans, for example, are high in both protein and starch, and animal foods are high in both protein and fat.

Be sure, therefore, to use conscious discernment with any food combining guidelines you choose and most importantly pay attention to how your body feels.

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