One of my hats (chef) resides at the Optimum Health Institute where we design all the guests meals with the right food combinations to optimize healthy digestion and maximum absorbable nutrition. A major part of any detoxification in the body has to include the right food combining in order to allow for properly digestion and the elimination of toxins. This is one of the many aspects that makes our program successful in my opinion and elevates us to becoming a responsible leader in a health ministry.
How many of us really know what happens to our food as we eat it? This article is intended for those who are at least conscious of their healthy choices so as to keep their body in an alkaline state, which would include plenty of raw living plants to sustain optimum health. For anyone who is just reading about the whole food, plant-based diet for the first time, I encourage you to explore and expand your knowledge beyond your current dietary routine. As many of you already know, detoxification is crucial to good health and our lives literally depend upon it.
In my household we frequently enjoy mono-meals which are the easiest to digest and our energy levels are very stable without any need to stimulate or caffeinate. My advice is to give your self a week or two on optimum food combining and see how you feel. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if this is your first time.
From the very moment we plan our meal, see our food, and raise the fork to our lips, our brain is sending signals to our organs as to what kind of gastric/digestive juices and how much will be needed to break down even that one bite.
There is a world of science behind food combining as well as “why so many people are having digestive problems”. The enzymes in our raw organic foods along with our own “internally producing” enzymes are working overtime to breakdown, assimilate nutrients, process wastes for elimination and keeping the body in as much of a balanced state as it can.
The challenge today is to educate yourself and begin to shift your diet back to a more simple healthy combination of food groups. Ones that don’t stress the body and allow maximum nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Just shifting to a healthier food combining routine is a quantum step toward helping the body heal and detoxify.
Now there will be those who read this or hear about food combining practices and voice to discredit it right away. Well those who do, are misinformed and in some cases not aware of the chemical processes we call “digestion” and how important it is to maintain a healthy gut and it’s supporting flora. It almost seems that there are some who will defend their dietary lifestyle till death do them part. I for one want to learn all I can and allow my body the opportunity to be more peacefully digesting with each meal. Knowing that each bite enriches who I am and who I am becoming.
View this chart to understand food combining
Below are some combinations of food types that will help your body digest more easily.
Liquids Alone: watermelon Juice, wheatgrass juice, rejuvilac, water, etc.. (Don’t dilute your stomach juices during a meal)
Dense proteins, Fats, Fermented Foods and Non-Starchy and Green Vegetables can all combine
Starches, Fermented Foods and Non-Starchy and Green Vegetables can all combine
Sugars Alone – Sugars undergo no digestion in the mouth and stomach. They digest in the intestines and you don’t want them fermenting behind a bunch of food in the stomach. Sounds crazy but eating your dessert first is better on your digestion or you can just simply wait a couple of hours after your meal before indulging.
Acid Fruits are best alone but if you must, can be combined with sub-acid fruits. Adding them to a smoothie of leafy greens is ok and an exception to the alone rule.
Sub-Acid Fruits and Sweet Fruits are best alone, but can be combined if you can’t resist. Adding them to a smoothie of leafy greens is ok and an exception to the alone rule.
Melons Always Alone (they are very quick to digest)
Wheatgrass Always Alone (the detoxifying properties don’t need to be diluted and especially not mixed with other foods)
Proper Food Combining is very important because each type of food digests differently and can stay in the stomach for some time. The term “transit time” refers to the time it takes to typically move through the stomach.
Here are some of those times to act as a guide to help you know when the food or liquid has moved on.
water: 0-10 minutes
Juice: 15-30 minutes
Rejuvelac: 10-15 minutes
Fruit: 30-60 minutes
Melons: 30-60 minutes
Sprouts: 1 hour
Wheatgrass: 60-90 minutes
Most Vegetables 1-2 hours
Grains and Beans: 1-2 hours
Dense Vegetable Protein: 2-3 hours
Cooked Meat and Fish: 3 – 4 hours +
Shellfish: 4-8 hours +
All foods have a digestive secretion associated with them internally and when the combinations are not aligned for the correct secreted juices to break down those foods, we suffer from indigestion, toxic poisoning and a whole array of other illnesses.
The Book Food Combining Made Easy by Herbert M. Shelton is a real eye opener as to the why, and how of cracking the combination of food-combining for optimum health.
Image source: sweetbeetandgreenbean
Food combining chart: Food-Combining-Chart-2.jpg