Perfect Mix and Match Food Guide
When you think about using energy, the first thing that comes to mind is physical activity. But did you know that digesting food also requires energy? In fact, on average, 10% of your daily energy expenditure is used for digesting and absorbing food. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes after a meal you feel bloated and tired. However, although these feelings are fairly common, they may also suggest that your digestion is slow and ineffective. One of the best ways to cope with this is to streamline your digestive process with proper food combinations. Here are some recommended rules for combining food to help you with that.
Don’t combine fruits with anything
There is nothing better and healthier than starting your day with a juicy fruit or a fruit salad. However, you shouldn’t combine fruits with any other food groups. They are digested much faster than any other food, this may create a confusion in your digestive system. Because of the same reason, you shouldn’t eat fruits right after you had lunch. The only time when it is ok to combine fruits with other foods, such as healthy fats from chia seeds, is when you blend them together into a smoothie. Since it is best eaten on an empty stomach, fruit should be your choice for breakfast.
Avoid the common protein combining traps
Red meat and white potatoes are one of the most common food combinations. However, red meat is a protein and potatoes are starches, and proteins should be combined with non-starchy vegetables because they need an acidic environment to be properly digested. A good combination for lunch or dinner, in that case, would be a meal that consists of chicken, kale, and mashed cauliflower, for example.
Combine starches and vegetables with healthy fats
Starches (quinoa, brown rice) and starchy veggies (potatoes) need an alkaline environment for digestion. Because of that, they go very well together. A good example of this combination is a meal prepared with avocados, quinoa, and potato. These foods are great sources of fiber, which makes them essential for promoting healthy cholesterol. They are also significant sources of antioxidants, so they’ll keep your skin young and glowing.
There are foods that can be combined with everything
With some foods, you simply don’t have to think about combination rules because they go well with everything. Those are leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables (asparagus, celery, cauliflower, etc.). So, when in doubt, simply choose healthy fat, protein or starch and combine them. Besides being neutral, leafy greens are known to lower-cholesterol, preserve eyesight and bone health.
Herbs, spices, and citrus are always welcome
Just like leafy greens and non-starchy veggies, herbs, spices, and citrus fruits are considered neutral, so they can be combined with everything. Ginger is especially good for detox and lemon is great for treating constipation and preventing obesity.
The fewer the better
When you have doubts about combining different ingredients, you should keep in mind that the fewer ingredients you mix together – the better. Minimalist meals are much easier to digest and are simple to make. For example, a filling breakfast which includes eggs, spinach and mushrooms is delicious, but also healthy.
Don’t forget about these rules when you’re not in control
It is quite easy to forget about the rules of food combining when eating in a restaurant or ordering food. However, most of the restaurants and good catering services offer you the possibility to choose food combinations, so that when you are ordering food for a party, you can always order a combination of meat protein and non-starchy veggies, such as beef salad with snow peas.
Be careful with water
Although water is undoubtedly healthy, when it comes to food combining, it makes sense to avoid large sips of cold water alongside your meals, because it can dilute your digestive fluids and thus slow down your digestion. Instead, you can drink water aside from your meals, drink a few sips of lukewarm water with your meals or have a glass of lemon water about twenty minutes before every meal to stimulate better digestion. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added to the lemon water will additionally improve your digestion.
The best thing about this approach to your diet is that you don’t have to renounce any of the food groups you like. You can still eat everything, but not at the same time.
Georgia Selih is author @highstylife.com. By nature an artist, by profession a journalist. An irreparable print lover who is enjoying this hot digital affair.