Health
3/16/11 at 03:09 PM 0 Comments

Food Combining for Better Digestion and Health

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If bloating, indigestion, heartburn, reflux or other digestive problems are interfering with your health, you should definitely consider the principles of food combining. Yes, the good Lord gave us all the food to eat to nourish our body, but the simple fact is, some food combination's are more difficult to digest than others. The fact that your digestive system is irritated and inflamed would suggest that you should eat a meal that is easier to digest as opposed to a more difficult meal.

Food combinations that are difficult to digest are....

Proteins and Starchy carbohydrates

  • Steak and baked potato
  • Chicken and rice
  • Shrimp pasta
  • Fajitas with rice and beans

If your digestive system is working well, you may not have a problem with this combination. But if your gut is irritated and inflamed...you should look for an easier meal to digest.

Protein and fibrous vegetables are better combinations.

A protein is basically beef, fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, etc.

Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, squash, etc...combine very well with proteins.

You can eat starchy carbohydrates (beans, rice, potato, corn, etc.) with fibrous vegetables; they combine well.

Don't Eat Fruit with Your Meal....Eat them separately between meals

The simple sugars found in fruits, juices, soft drinks, as well as, breads and anything made with refined white flour or sugar digest fairly rapidly. This isn't much of a problem when eaten separately. However, they tend to ferment in your stomach when they have to wait around for your stomach to digest the proteins and fats in your meal. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates digest at different speeds. Proteins and fats take about 2-4 hours to digest.

Protein shakes and fruits are not an easy mix!

Do you get bloated and gassy shortly after a protein meal or shake? If that's you, it's a good indicator that you probably don't have enough hydrochloric acid (HCL), which is needed to breakdown the protein from your meal. It is the undigested protein that putrefies and rots in your stomach that irritates your intestinal lining and causes a lot of the digestive problems.

How can you expect your stomach to make adequate levels of HCL when you are constantly eating on the run or under lots of stress? It can't, because your body is in that 'fight or flight' mode, not the 'resting digesting' mode! So the argument that it is too much acid is incorrect!

Whether we can say it is by His design or not...the meal should be something that is done in a relax state. When you are relaxing and enjoying a good meal, your body will produce all the digestive juices (enzymes and acid) necessary to digest your meal. He designed HCL to be there because it is also needed to sanitize and kill off any microbes, bacteria, virus, parasites or fungus found in our food. Remember we haven't always been eating our meals off of lining table clothes and sterile plates. Using antacids or acid blocking drugs could be allowing some of the harmful microbes to enter your body and further attack your immune system.

Additional tips

  • Don't eat your food on the run or in a hurry. Your digestive system won't 'turn-on' if you are eating on the go, stressed or anxious.
  • Don't dilute your meal with more than a few ounces of liquid. All the liquid will dilute the concentration of your digestive juices and make it harder to completely digest your meal.
  • Don't drink cold beverages with your meal. The cold liquid inhibits the release of the necessary acids to breakdown the protein. Haven't we gone a few thousand years where everything we drank was room temperature?
  • Give Thanks! Take a moment before you eat and give thanks.  Researchers have even confirmed this action as being beneficial. 

Food combining isn't difficult. I would also suggest looking at possible hidden food allergies, as well as adding a good digestive enzyme with hydrochloric acid.

FYI....most digestive problems are a result of Too Little Acid – Not Too Much! The symptoms look alike. Antacids and acid blocking drugs are probably the worst things you can be doing for your overall health. HCL has an important part to our overall health, besides breaking down protein, and killing off harmful microbes it has many other functions.

Most of my patients who complain of digestive problems are given digestive enzymes with HCL and the problems begin to subside. Again, the rule of thumb regarding whether or not you are making enough HCL is if you get bloated and gassy shortly after a meal, especially a protein rich meal. If that's you I would recommend the Metabolic Assessment to test and see if your digestive issues are a result of too little acid. Once you correct those digestive problems the faster your healing becomes, and the better results you will get from your workouts.

One of the reasons I like the Meal Balance Eating Program is that all their meals are designed along the food combining principles. Proteins with vegetables! So if you are looking for an eating program that will help you stay in your 'fat-burning' zone, and keep your blood sugar stable give them a try.

Digestion is a huge key to the healing model! How can you expect your body to become stronger and overcome whatever health condition it is facing if your digestive system is inflamed and irritated. I hope this helps clear up and calm down your inflamed tummy.

Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert, as well as creator of The Work Horse Fitness Trainer.  You can learn more about health and fitness and the more natural, holistic approach he takes when you follow his Blog at www.DrLensBlog.com.  Dr. Len has been speaking and teaching about natural, holistic medicien for over 15 years in North Dallas.

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