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Food Combining and Digestion


If you feel bad, are not losing weight, feel tired and worn out, have indigestion—even though you have been eating organic foods—then consider this. Even eating organic foods, which are great for you, must be combined correctly to receive the full benefits.


The food we eat, how we eat it, when we eat it, how we combine it, etc., might seem like a complicated subject, but with a bit of practice, it becomes easy. Proper food combining is essential, and it must be done properly for better digestion, absorption, and overall health. Foods in our digestive system should be able to agree rather than conflict. It’s not a matter of just WHAT we eat, but what we eat with what. Simultaneously eating foods which are not the correct combination could impede the complete digestion of other foods.


One example is combining fruit with other foods. Fruit should be eaten alone—not with protein or other foods. The following is from Angie Reginato, RHN, Natural Nutritionist and Health Consultant:


“Fruit has a different digestive process. It is NOT digested in the stomach, but in the intestinal tract. If there is food in the stomach already, the fruit will sit on top and cause fermentation and putrefaction of proteins (fruit contains sugar and our body is warm). This compromises the digestive process and facilitates toxins which can be absorbed through the intestinal walls along with nutrients. The body will then have to deal with these toxins over-exerting the liver and lymphatic system. Over time, if these toxins accumulate, it can lead to diseases such as arthritis, allergies, and auto-immune (auto-intoxication) as well as affect the immune system. Eating fruit as a snack is the best way to consume it. Try eating fruit mid-morning or mid-afternoon, two hours after your last meal and a minimum of half an hour before you eat again. Also, avoid eating jam on toast if you are eating protein, as the digestive processes of protein and fruit, in particular, produce a large amount of toxins.”


Principles of Combining Foods Properly

By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton

from Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review

There are sound physiological reasons for eating foods in compatible combinations. In other words, some foods, if mixed in the digestive system, will cause distress! The principles of food combining are dictated by digestive chemistry. Different foods are digested differently. Starchy foods require an alkaline digestive medium which is supplied initially in the mouth by the enzyme ptyalin. Protein foods require an acid medium for digestion—hydrochloric acid.


As any student of chemistry will assure you, acids and bases (alkalis) neutralize each other. If you eat a starch with a protein, digestion is impaired or completely arrested! The undigested food mass can cause various kinds of digestive disorders. Undigested food becomes soil for bacteria which ferment and decompose it. Its byproducts are poisonous, one of which, alcohol, is a narcotic that destroys or inhibits nerve function. It plays havoc with nerves of the digestive tract, suspending their vital action such that constipation may well be a result! As set forth in Dr. Herbert Shelton's FOOD COMBINING MADE EASY these are the salient rules for proper food combining.


The Basic Rules of Proper Food Combining:

1. Eat acids and starches at separate meals. Acids neutralize the alkaline medium required for starch digestion and the result is fermentation and indigestion.


2. Eat protein foods and carbohydrate foods at separate meals. Protein foods require an acid medium for digestion.


3. Eat but one kind of protein food at a meal.


4. Eat proteins and acid foods at separate meals. The acids of acid foods inhibit the secretion of the digestive acids required for protein digestion. Undigested protein putrefies in bacterial decomposition and produces some potent poisons.


5. Eat fats and proteins at separate meals. Some foods, especially nuts, are over 50% fat and require hours for digestion.


6. Eat sugars (fruits) and proteins at separate meals.


7. Eat sugars (fruits) and starchy foods at separate meals. Fruits undergo no digestion in the stomach and are held up if eaten with foods that require digestion in the stomach.


8. Eat melons alone. They combine with almost no other food.


9. Desert the desserts. Eaten on top of meals they lie heavy on the stomach, requiring no digestion there, and ferment. Bacteria turn them into alcohols and vinegars and acetic acids.

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