Not long ago, I posted an article outlining what foods in our deli cases combine well. This was meant as a tongue-and-cheek play on different philosophies regarding food combining.
In order to give you the whole picture, I am borrowing from an article posted on Mind Body Green about food combining. Thanks to Nadya Andreeva for the content.
1. Fruit after a meal. Natural Hygienists have known for a long time that fruit doesn’t combine well with other foods. The reason is that fruit contains simple sugars that require no digestion. Thus, they will not stay for a long time in the stomach. Other foods, such as foods rich in fat, protein and starch, will stay in the stomach for a longer period of time because they require more digestion. So if you eat fruit after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for too long in the stomach and ferment.
2. Lasagna or Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Protein-starch combos inhibit salivary digestion of starch. Protein and starches need different enzymes and different levels of acidity to be digested. When eaten together, your body is forced to make a choice to digest protein but not starches. According to Dr Herbert Shelton, the champion of original Natural hygiene ideas, undigested starchy food undergoes fermentation and decomposition and overtime leads to poisonous end-products. Supposedly, adding greens to hard-to-digest cheesy dishes makes them easier for the stomach. Arugula salad, please!
3. Cheese and meat omelet. In general protein/protein combinations are not recommended. One single concentrated protein per meal is easier to digest and won’t require as much energy. Go for veggie omelet instead.
4. Tomato and cheese pasta sauce. Tomatoes are considered acidic and are not advised to be mixed with starchy carbs such as pasta. Food combining theory recommends to avoid mixing carbohydrates with acids. Adding dairy to this already difficult combo turns it into a recipe for digestive problems and after-meal fatigue since your body will require a ton of energy to digest this meal. Have pasta with pesto and grilled veggies instead!
5. Cereal or oatmeal with milk and orange juice. Acids in orange juice or any acid fruits destroy the enzyme that is responsible for digesting starches present in cereal. Also, acidic fruits or juices can curdle milk and turn it into a heavy mucus-forming substance. To keep your breakfast healthy, try having fruit or orange juice 30 min before the oatmeal.
6. Beans and cheese. Dairy protein and beans is a common combo in any Mexican restaurant. Eaten with a hearty serving of guacamole and hot sauce, it is almost guaranteed to lead to gas and bloating. It is not the beans on their own that cause it, but the combination as a whole. Try skipping cheese and tomatoes if you have a weak digestion or working on detoxifying your body.
7. Melon and Prosciutto. Melons should be eaten alone or left alone. The same rule goes for all high sugar fruits. In general, it is preferred to eat fruits separately from proteins or starches, especially if you are looking for a quick energy boost from a fruit.
8. Bananas and milk. Ayurveda lists this combination as one of the heaviest and toxin-forming. It is said to create heaviness in the body and slow down the mind. If you are a fan of milk-based banana smoothies make sure that banana is very ripe and add cardamom and nutmeg to stimulate digestion.
9. Yogurt with fruit. Ayurveda and food combining theory, don’t advise mixing any sour fruits with dairy as it can diminish digestive fire, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins and cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies. Ayurveda suggests avoiding congestive and digestive fire dampening foods like cold yogurt mixed with fruits. However, if you can’t resist the temptation of a yogurt parfait, there are ways to make it more digestion friendly. First of all, go for a room temperature natural unflavored yogurt. Secondly, mix a little bit of honey, cinnamon, and raisins instead of sour berries.
10. Lemon Dressing on Cucumber and Tomato Salad - Nightshades such as potatoes, chillies, eggplant, and tomatoes are not supposed to be combined with cucumbers. While lemon does not go well with either.
So there it is, a sample of food combining at its finest, all highly specific to different “popular” food combinations, but, it gives a nice explanation of why certain foods don’t combine well with others.
There are plenty of resources out there on this particular topic, but everyone’s body is different, and it is prudent to be conscious of what you are eating and how it is affecting you, during and after the meal.
You can also include your primary care provider in this loop, but as I said, there is tons of information out there on this kind of thing, so finding something to fit your personal style and body type should not be too challenging.