I don’t know about you guys, but the humidity this summer is making me feel sleepy, sticky, and swollen. I’m a California girl and unfamiliar with this heavy air, this sensation of walking through gelatinous heat, that’s so much more an East Coast thing. But this bloating—my shoes a half size too small and my rings tight on my fingers, needs to hit the highway, scram, get lost…immediately! With a few hot months left, I decided to reflect internally and brainstorm other solutions to combat bloating. That’s when I came across Kimberly Snyder’s food combining tips—and also when I realized I’ve been combining my food wrong for far too long.

Why Do We Care About Proper Food Combining?

Through proper food combining, we can improve both digestion and absorption of nutrients and reduce the possibility of excess toxins forming during digestion.

To Combine Foods For Optimal Health, There Are 5 Main Food Groups To Incorporate:

  • Proteins and Fats (seeds, avocados, nuts, animal protein, legumes)
  • Starches (corn, artichoke, winter squash, yams, jicama, peas, carrots, beets, grains)
  • Greens and Sprouts (lettuce, spinach, onion, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, zucchini)
  • Fruits
    • (acid fruits like pineapple, citrus, kiwi and strawberries)
    • (sub-acid fruits like apples, cherries, apricot, and pears)
    • (sweet fruits like bananas, grapes, dates, papaya and dried fruit)
  • Melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)

How To Combine For The Best Results:

  • Combine proteins with low, non-starchy vegetables like greens and sprouts.
  • Fruits can be eaten with dark, leafy greens, but not with proteins, fats or starches.
  • The neutral food group is greens and sprouts—dark, leafy greens can be combined with any of the other food groups with the exception of melon.
  • Combine starches and grains with greens and sprouts.
  • Fats can be eaten in moderation with carbohydrates.
  • If you soak your nuts, seeds, grains, and beans, they become predigested and are classified as a sprout when food combining.
  • Mixing two different starches is okay.

What Not To Combine:

  • Avoid combining starches and proteins for your meals because each require two different stomach acids to break down the food. When eaten together, both stomach acids are secreted and cancel each other out, leaving you unable to properly digest your food resulting in common symptoms like gas and bloating, fatigue, increased toxicity, and constipation.
  • Avoid mixing acid and sweet fruits.
  • Melons should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach.
  • Legumes are considered both a protein and a starch, so should not be combined with items from either of those food groups.
  • Avoid combining two different types of animal proteins in a meal.
  • Drinking any form of liquid is not recommended while eating—either drink 15 minutes before or wait 1-1.5 hours after your meal.

Sounds like a lot of work, huh? Don’t worry! Food combining takes time to get used to and we know it’s not always possible to adhere to these rules 100% of the time—which is perfectly fine! These are simply useful tools to weave into your diet—especially if you’re experiencing digestive issues, heartburn, or fatigue.

To improve digestion and nutrient absorption even further, we recommend incorporating digestive enzymes and probiotics, such as fermented foods, coconut kefir, or supplements like Elemental Wizdom’s Super Human Enzymes and their Super Human Probiotics.

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