Did you know that digesting food requires more energy than any other function in the human body? It’s no wonder we’re exhausted after a big lunch! It stands to reason, then, that the best way to free up some extra energy is to make our digestion as quick and efficient as possible.
Food combining is one of my favorite tricks to streamline the digestive process. Though food combining principles can get very complicated, depending on which expert you ask, I prefer to keep them simple. Simply pick just one dense food at each meal, whatever you’re craving most at that moment, and then fill the rest of your plate with raw and cooked non-starchy vegetables. Easy! By simplifying your meals, the digestive system doesn’t have to tackle too much in one sitting, helping you to avoid that bloated, sluggish feeling that can put a damper on the rest of your day.
Studies have shown that humans have a tendency to overeat when we are offered a wide variety of foods during a meal. So, by simplifying our meals, we will naturally eat less, without counting calories or worrying about portion sizes.
Best of all, you don’t have to give up any food groups that you love– you just may not want to eat them all at the same time. The following guide should help!
We all know that our health greatly depends on the food we choose to eat. That is why it has to be not only tasty but also good for our bodies. However, sometimes the wrong combinations of ingredients can undermine all the healthiness you were trying to achieve.
So today in this article I will tell you about 8 common foods that we all love to combine, maybe because they all tastes so awesome, but seriously we should avoid combining them. So stay tuned and read it all, after all knowledge is power.
Cocoa + milk
Cocoa is rich in oxalic acid, which blocks calcium absorption. When combined with calcium, this acid contributes to the formation of oxalate crystals, which are bad for your kidneys in excessive amounts. Of course, one cup of hot chocolate a week won’t hurt you, but be careful with it, especially if you have kidney problems.
Tip: Fats facilitate oxalate absorption, so if you are prone to kidney stones, make cocoa with skim milk.
Salad + lemon or vinegar dressing
Many vitamins and other valuable nutrients (like carotenoids) that are found in veggies and greens require fats for proper absorption. Whenever we dress our salads with lemon or vinegar only, we deprive ourselves of a great deal of healthy food elements.
Tip: If you are not a fan of vegetable oils (even though they are so amazing, helping us stay young and pretty), you might consider adding other high-fat products to your salad — an avocado, olives, or some nuts.
Cheese pasta + tomatoes
The starchy carbs that pasta is so rich in start to digest right in our mouths. This is done with the help of a special ferment, ptyalin, that is found in our saliva. Tomatoes, on the other hand, contain acids (malic, oxalic, citric), which, even in small amounts, break this ferment down. This leads to the hindering of starch digestion. The proteins found in cheese can also worsen this situation.
Tip: Nonacidic fresh or baked veggies and greens (such as basil) can be a great addition to your pasta!
Eggs + bacon
This combo we all love so much is rich in protein, and scientists believe that this is not so good for our health. Our body spends a lot of energy on digesting such products. That’s why, having had eggs and bacon for breakfast, we deprive ourselves of the energy we need so much at the start of the day.
Tip: Substitute bacon with tomatoes. The antioxidant selenium, found in eggs, is better digested with the acids brought by tomatoes. And the lycopene in tomatoes has better health effects for you when it’s combined with the vitamin E from the egg yolk.
Bran + milk
The phytic acid found in bran forms insoluble compounds when it’s combined with calcium and magnesium. It also makes these minerals inaccessible for your body. This acid is also found in wheat grits and oatmeal but in smaller amounts. That is why it’s not recommended to combine these products with milk too often. Moreover, scientists advise you to drink milk separately, 1-1.5 hours after your meal.
Tip: Boil bran beforehand because heat treatment breaks down phytic acid.
Cereal + orange juice
Cereal combined with orange juice, especially in the morning, won’t bring you the boost of energy you expect but may cause discomfort and heaviness in your stomach. The acids in orange juice drastically lower the activity of the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates. For this same reason, it’s not recommended to combine grains with any other sour fruits or berries.
Tip: It’s better to have your glass of orange or other fruit juice an hour after your meal.
Pizza + soda
The combination of carbs, proteins, and starch takes up a lot of your body’s energy for digestion. Plus, the sugar in your soda slows down stomach processes. This results in stomach heaviness and bloating. In addition, the sugar can’t get to your intestines, where it should be dissolved, because of your full stomach. The combination of these factors can lead to stomach problems if you have this type of meal too often.
Tip: Any high-sugar foods should be consumed 1-1.5 hours after you eat.
Wheat bread + jam
Refined wheat flour combined with sweets is a double dose of fast carbs that cause a rapid glucose surge. It will provide you with a boost of energy for just a short time, followed by exhaustion and bad moods. Another argument against this combination is unrest in your bowels, caused by the alliance of yeast-fermented dough and sugar. It’s usually not recommended to have wheat bread with jam on an empty stomach.
Tip: Substitute wheat bread with whole wheat bread, especially if it’s non-yeasted. You’re even better off trading jam for honey, since it doesn’t cause bowel unrest and is generally a healthier product.
Bonus for you guys!
We are used to believing that drinking juice is good for our health. However, processed juice contains a lot of sugar: one glass contains about 2 tablespoons of refined sugar. On the other hand, fresh juice is not as useful as it might seem. It doesn’t contain fiber, but it’s still rich in carbs. In order to lose weight faster, it’s better to substitute all your sweet drinks with pure water.
More healthy nutrition tips
Of course, it’s boring to always live by the rules. And there are times when it’s not even possible. But adhering to some healthy eating principles will be really good for your body. Take a look at several great articles on the subject we prepared for you!
Learn about the food combinations that are good for you here.
Read about what you can and can’t eat on an empty stomach here.
This article has a list of products you can eat before you go to bed.
And here you can find out what our food really consists of and make your own conclusions!