One of the best ways to improve your digestion and your overall health whether you eat raw or vegan is to follow some very simple food combining rules.
Most folks who follow a raw food diet or health-conscious diet have heard something about food combining, or consciously combining (or not combining!) certain foods in order to aid the digestive process.
Dr. Herbert Shelton is responsible for most food combining theories. In his book, “Food Combining Made Easy,” he describes his food combining rules based on his experience serving meals to very sick patients at his fasting clinic in Texas, USA.
Some people have questioned the effectiveness of these theories over many decades claiming they are no fully scientifically tested though I have to say it is difficult for me to adhere to this criticism because, thanks to Shelton’s approach, I managed to transition to a raw food diet smoothly, and without the setbacks most people experience.
For those who denounce Shelton’s theories, we should remind them that 2 billion dollars are spent annually on antacids in the USA alone as a result of severe digestive issues from eating S.A.D, which clearly demonstrates the negative effects on the stomach and many of our organs from traditional diets. Something is seriously wrong.
Incidents of various diseases of the digestive track are increasing at alarming rate. A recent new study adds to a raft of new evidence, which also suggests that even the brain disease Parkinson’s starts in the gut.
In essence, our digestive system works best when meals are simple and combinations are minimal.
The same principles may be perceived throughout the animal world. Meat eating animals consume no carbohydrates with its proteins. Have you seen a lion eating a zebra with a baked potato on the side by chance?
Similar pattern is observed in birds, as they tend to consume insects at one period of day and seeds at another time.
No animal in nature makes their meals on such a variety of foods as humans do and nether they suffer from the various digestive disorders as the so-called “intelligent” race.
The only animals that suffer from the same digestives issues as we do are those species WE WRONGLY FEED, such as dogs, cats, and other pets. Do you see a pattern?
Efficient digestion also has a notable influence on the body’s energy levels. By adopting compatible food combinations, the digestive task is lessened, allowing more energy for other activities, including healing.
I simplify below the most essential food combining rules for easy understanding:
1. Eat fruit with no other food, except green non-starchy vegetables
Examples for green non-starchy vegetables are celery, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, sprouts, collard, eggplant, etc. For clarification purposes, examples for starchy vegetables are carrot, beet, cauliflower, corn, zucchini, artichoke, etc.
If starch is combined with sugar, the starch is disguised, preventing the adaptation of the saliva to starch digestion. That is, the saliva will not contain the enzyme, salivary amylase, necessary for starch digestion.
Sugars also inhibit the secretion of gastric juice, interfering with protein digestion. If the fruit is detained in the stomach, fermentation follows.
2. Sugar and Fat combination (in large quantities)
Fats take a longer time to digest, while sugar (being any type such as fruits, dates or even refined sugar) tends to digest quickly.
When fats and sugars are mixed together in sufficient quantities, sugar will ferment; gas and bloating will occur among other symptoms.
The main issue to watch out here is QUANTITY!
Adding citrus dressings to your salads when they contain some nuts or avocados it’s OK though don’t overdo it by pouring tons of olive oil on top. In fact, consuming oils are often the culprit.
3. Eat protein foods and starch foods at separate meals.
This is the combination of cooked starch and proteins, so this one obviously doesn’t apply to raw food meals.
Starches such as cereal, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, corn, legumes, squash, etc. should not be consumed at the same meal together with proteins, such as all flesh, nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs etc.
As stated earlier, salivary amylase is destroyed in the stomach in the presence of a highly acidic medium. Since protein digestion requires such a medium, this combination is best avoided.
Even though I cite some animal products on this article, I do so with the intention of helping folks to transition from S.A.D to vegan or raw vegan diets while lessening the burden of the digestive system at the same time.
4. Avoid Sugar and Starch
This mixture often leads to a lot of gas and fermentation among other complications and it’s usually experienced by eating some types of breads, pastries, cakes, cookies, etc. in large quantities.
As I stated previously, if starch is combined with sugar, the starch is disguised, preventing the adaptation of the saliva to starch digestion.
The idea behind many food combining rules is to simplify the digestive process by eating simpler meals.
It’s better to vary our diet from meal to meal, rather than get a lot of variety in a single dish!
As you learn more about food combining and eating simply, you’ll find that experiencing a “silent” digestion is often one of the best practices in order to achieve optimal health, and best of all, it’s also more enjoyable to eat this way!
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