When it comes to nutrition and the composition of food, the possibilities are endless. Many people just don’t know how to approach such a broad subject.
Anytime you consider the topic, ‘food types’, asking yourself questions like “what is a healthy diet” or “how should foods be combined for best digestion?” can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get intimidated by questions like these.
With so much contradictory information out there, it’s hard to know who or what to believe.
We must always get all our nutrients through the food we eat, right? This is a simple fact of life. Fortunately, getting all your nutrients doesn’t have to be complicated.
Are you looking for the best nutrition guide? There are many out there that claim to be, but the real question is: which one is the best? If you are looking for the most accurate nutrition guide, then this is for you.
This nutrition guide is only the beginning when it comes to thinking about your diet. Even if you don’t have any problems eating healthy now, chances are you will at some point.
And what might start as a small change in your diet can quickly become a full-fledged issue. If you’re concerned with getting all of your nutrition from food, it’s important to learn about how foods interact with each other, and how different groups of food, or food combinations, affect your body differently.
1) What Is Food Combination?
Food combining is a method of eating in which foods are eaten in certain combinations during a meal. Combining certain foods can help reduce the amount of energy that one absorbs through food. It also helps to maintain optimal digestion and metabolism.
Why is it important to combine foods? To digest them completely. If the food reaches incompletely digested in your intestine, it goes rotting within your body.
This will give you a constant source of toxic substances that poison you every day, expose you to many diseases, and develop an excellent environment for the development of harmful bacteria.
All of these things expose you to many diseases such as cancer, digestive diseases, various intestinal parasites, constipation, hepatitis, etc.
2) What Happens in The Stomach?
Nutrition is the process of absorbing nutrients from food, which are then used by the body for energy and growth. Food also contains water, vitamins, and minerals that are needed to keep the body healthy.
Food is broken down in the stomach through a chemical reaction called digestion, which releases nutrients into the bloodstream.
When the food reaches the stomach, the gastric juice adjusts its acidity and enzymes so that the food is digested as well as possible.
By consuming together two foods that need different adjustments of the gastric juice, it results in gastric juice that does not digest completely any of the 2 foods.
The stomach then passes the partly digested food into the small intestine where it continues to break down into smaller particles.
The small intestine absorbs most of the nutrients from the food we eat. A small amount of undigested food moves into the large intestine or colon. In this part of the digestive system, there are no digestive juices so it cannot break down any more nutrients. It simply stores waste until it is removed from your body as feces.
The food reaches the intestine incompletely digested and goes into rot, the result being: the accumulation of toxic substances in the intestine, as a result, some internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys may collapse, thus resulting in chronic disease.
All this happens even if we eat the most bio and natural foods but we combine them wrong.
3) The 3 Food Combination Rules
When it comes to food combinations, there are a few rules you should follow.
The main idea behind food combinations is that the body can digest one food category at a time. For example, if you eat meat with vegetables, your body has to digest both proteins and carbohydrates at the same time.
This slows down digestion and makes it difficult for your body to break down and absorb these nutrients. This can cause bloating, gas, indigestion, and other digestive problems.
In addition to slowing down digestion, combining foods from different categories can also lead to nutrient deficiencies.
For example, when you eat meat with vegetables, it’s harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals from the vegetables because they’re competing with one another for absorption by the small intestine.
Food combinations are divided into 3 categories:
1. The optimal combination – is the best choice you can make to have complete digestion.
The optimal food combination is a method of eating that focuses on combining foods to maximize the nutritional value and potentiate the absorption of nutrients.
It’s a simple concept: Choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and combine them with foods that contain healthy fats.
Eating the right combination of foods is important for your health and well-being. Eating the wrong foods together or eating too much of one food can cause an upset stomach or digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Choosing healthy, nutritious foods that complement each other helps you get the most out of your meals and snacks.
The best way to figure out what foods go together is to understand what nutrients they provide. Protein and carbohydrates are essential nutrients that provide building blocks for cells, tissues, and enzymes throughout the body.
Protein is made up of amino acids that are used for growth and repair. Foods high in protein include meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and legumes (beans).
Carbohydrates contain sugars that provide energy for your body’s cells. Carbohydrates can be either simple or complex depending on their chemical structure:
Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly into glucose (sugar) while complex carbohydrates take longer to digest but still provide energy to your body.
Examples of simple carbohydrates include table sugar (sucrose), honey, fruits, and fruit juices; examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grains such as brown rice or wheat bread as well as starchy vegetables like potatoes.
- Complete Guide to Carbohydrates: Simple “Bad” vs Complex “Good” Carbs – What Are They? Role, Benefits, Sources, Classification
- Top 23 Most Popular Vegan Protein Sources for a Healthy Plant-Based Diet
2. The neutral food combination
With little effort the digestive tract can cope with such a combination, it is good not to abuse such combinations as it could damage you.
3. The harmful food combination
Thus combining the foods you have all the chances of your digestion being a failure.
You will get bloating, constipation, and gas, and by repeating this for years, you will get chronic diseases.
But to understand the principle of combining food, I will present the approximate digestion time of food:
- 10-15 min: water
- 15-30 min: most of the raw fruits, vegetable and fruit juices
- 40 min-2 hours: raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, greens
- 45 min-4 hours: cereals, beans, potatoes, soy, peas
- 2-4 hours: nuts, raw seeds
- 4-10 hours: various types of meat, fish, processed dairy.
Try to guide yourself through the table below and consult it daily before the meal you will learn a habit of combining the right foods.
|Proteins||Neutral Food||Foods rich in starch|
|Soy||Sauces, Sour cream||Pasta|
1. The nutrition guide: The Bad Food Combinations
As a rule, the combinations that are best for your health and digestion are those that contain foods from each of the four food groups.
However, there are some combinations of foods that can be problematic for your health and digestion. Here is a list of the top bad food combinations:
- The stomach cannot digest 2 concentrated foods at the same time (A concentrated food involves any food that is not a vegetable or a fruit), especially those containing protein sources, more specifically, do not mix them never at the same meal: meat with eggs with cheese and legumes (beans, peas, lentils).
- Never mix animal proteins (meat, cheese, eggs) with those rich in starch (pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, pastries, legumes).
Animal protein requires a type of enzyme to digest while starch needs a whole other enzyme, resulting in a large no to combinations such as French fries with steaks, meat pasta, but with vegetable sauce, a pastry stuffed with meat.
- Never combine fruits and sweets with the rest of the food. Fruits must be eaten only on the empty stomach. So at least half an hour before or 1-2 hours after a meal. Sugar, honey, fructose inhibits the secretion of gastric juice so that mixing it with the rest of the food will make you feel bloated and uncomfortable after the meal! So no dessert!
- Do not mix fatty foods (butter, lard, sour cream, bacon, and oils) with high-protein but neither with the ones rich in high-starch.
First, fats mixed with protein greatly hinder the passage of food from the stomach into the intestine.
Secondly, fats mixed with starch forms an extremely rich bowl of empty calories (not supplemented with the nutrients needed to be used by the body they are depositing).
- Do not drink water before or during your meal!
Consuming water at the table, you do nothing but dilute gastric juices and so digestion becomes very slow.
Consuming the water right after the meal, you do the same thing.
Drink water at least 30 minutes before and after a meal!!!
- Do not combine acidic and sweet fruits at the same time!
The acidic fruits like oranges, apples, berries, can be combined but the sweet ones are consumed one way at a time, either bananas, either just pears, etc.
2. The nutrition guide: The Good Food Combinations
Good food combinations are the key to a healthy diet because they help your body get the most out of the food you eat.
The combination of different foods in one meal or snack can affect how much energy your body gets from the food, and how well it absorbs vitamins and minerals.
- Combine animal proteins with low-fat starchy vegetables, especially green and water-rich like parsley, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
- Fats are also very well associated with light vegetables.
- Starch-rich foods: pasta, potatoes, bread, corn, rice, etc. are greatly complemented with legumes: beans, peas, lentils, grains, chickpeas.
- Consume only on the empty stomach: the fruits and the milk and when you eat melon don’t combine it with another fruit.
- All that is sweet is consumed only on the empty stomach!
Give up the desert after the meal! sugar of any type strongly inhibits enzymes responsible for digestion.
REMEMBER: The dessert, be it only a fruit, is a very unhealthy habit that seriously spoils the quality of digestion!
One of my biggest pieces of advice for anyone looking to improve their body composition is to focus on eating real, whole foods. At the end of the day, you can’t out-train a bad diet, so you must do your best to avoid fake, processed junk food.
Begin by removing refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugary treats, then begin making incremental improvements over time, cutting out one unhealthy food at a time. Eventually, you’ll be well on your way to a leaner, fitter body!
There is one very important lesson I want you to take away from this article: there is no one right way to build a meal plan. Your body, your lifestyle, likes, and your goals are all unique to you.
That means that what works best for someone else may not work at all for you. Learning how to balance the best combinations of food for your body and your daily life takes a little bit of trial and error.
Just remember that it’s not a race, experimenting with healthy eating doesn’t mean that you won’t see results.
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