Nutrition Flow Chart

Proper Food Combining


Nutrition Flow ChartThe secret to proper food combining

How we eat is every bit as important as what we eat. The food that we enjoy is complex, yet our bodies have simple methods for digesting them.

The body digests each food in a unique manner, producing different digestive enzymes to break down what has been eaten. Some of these enzymes are acidic while others are basic. Eating foods requiring varied enzymes for digestion can produce a neutral environment in the stomach. A neutral stomach cannot properly break down any part of a meal. If food is not broken down in the stomach, nutrients cannot be absorbed.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” — Virginia Woolf

Without proper food combining techniques, we essentially throw nutrients down the drain without ever absorbing them. Our meal may not clear our intestines, and instead build up in our large intestine. Waste not properly evacuated from the body prevents other nutrients from passing into the blood stream.

We cannot alter the chemical processes behind digestion, but we can certainly create more effective environments in our stomach to digest food. Food combining seeks to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption by creating the proper acidic or basic environment necessary for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

Proteins need acid

Proteins require highly concentrated acids to be digested. The stomach produces these enzymes when meats and other protein-rich foods enter it from the esophagus. Acidic foods can impede the proper digestion of proteins by inhibiting the stomach from producing the proper acids. The stomach senses the presence of acid and slows its production of acidic enzymes accordingly, but these acids will not be the proper enzymes for breaking down protein.

Carbs need alkaline

Carbohydrates require a base alkali enzyme to be digested. When eaten with proteins, carbohydrate-digesting enzymes in the stomach effectively neutralize those needed to process proteins. On the same hand, the carbohydrates are not properly broken down themselves. A sandwich is among the most difficult things for the body to digest.

How to mix in Veggies:

Proteins and carbohydrates should both be eaten with vegetables low in starch, such as:

Asparagus Bok Choi Chives Fennel Lettuce Sprouts
Beets Cabbage Cucumber Garlic Onion Squash
Broccoli Celery Dark Greens Green Beans Radish Zucchini

Enjoy Dairy And Fruits Solo, or Paired

Fruits tend to be highly acidic or sweet and bypass the production of certain digestive enzymes. They quickly pass through the stomach in twenty minutes or fewer. When combined with other foods, they take longer to process, and may even ferment while still in the stomach. Leave twenty minutes between fruit and the next item eaten for maximum efficiency.

YES on raw and fermented dairy

Only unpasteurized or fermented dairy (see raw milk benefits) products are suggested when focusing on proper food combining, because few enzymes in the body can effectively digest the whole milk protein, casein once it has been “cleaned” of enzymes. Fermentation begins to break down the digestive process before a dairy product is eaten. Keffir is a fermented yogurt product and can be combined with fruits and even some non-starchy vegetables. Dairy does not pair well with protein, starchy vegetables or carbohydrates.