Some proteins and starches do not combine well in the stomach. Combining heavy carbohydrates and proteins can cause digestive problems. For example, eating meat and potatoes at the same time could be the cause of constipation and bloating.
Amylase is produced in response to eating carbohydrates, breaking them down for digestion. Amylase is active in an alkaline medium and destroyed by a mildly acidic environment. Pepsin is produced in response to eating protein, breaking it down for digestion. Pepsin is active in an acid medium and is destroyed in an alkaline environment.
Basic Food-Combining Guidelines
- Eat the most watery, least dense foods first (leafy salads, fruits)
- Eat the most concentrated or dense foods last (heavy starch, meat)
- Protein: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk, avocado, tofu, nuts and seeds; combine well with salads, vegetables and acid fruits (citrus, limes, grapes, lemons, oranges, berries, plums)
- Carbohydrate: potatoes, cereals, grains, legumes, pasta, bread, baked foods, bananas, syrups, sweeteners, honey or sugar; combine well with salads, vegetables, dried and sweet fruits (apples, pears, peaches, apricots, melons)
- Leafy Green Blossom low starch green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, kale, silverbeet, any green leafy vegetable that you can wrap around your finger); can be combined with all fruits, all vegetables, all carbohydrates and all proteins!
- Fresh Fruits are best eaten on their own at least 30 minutes before main meals or two hours afterwards as fruit is digested very quickly. A main protein meal can take two to four hours (depending on the strength of your digestive system)
- If you are choosing to eat animal protein, avoid combining two protein types in the same meal (this excludes plant-based proteins which are fine to eat in combination)
- Avoid mixing fruit and starchy vegetables
- Some carbohydrates combine very well (rice and lentils, beans on wholegrains)
- Remember that tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are fruits!
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