We already know that eating healthy is essential to keep your body fit, but the foods you choose to eat aren’t the only important factor in a correct diet. The right food combination, the time you choose to eat, and the types of foods you ingest are just as essential if you wish to avoid uncomfortable indigestion. Read on to find out what the best way to eat is, including tips to help your body digest food better.
Eating the right food combinations can increase your energy, help you lose weight in a healthy way, and improve your overall health. At the same time, when you combine the wrong foods together your body can pay the consequences: you may experience gas, bloating, indigestion, or weight gain.
Nutritionist Natalia Rose shares some of her recommendations on how to better combine foods in your meals. She says that the concept of food combining is based on the idea that fruits, proteins, and starches are digested at different times in the body. The key is to eat them in the correct way so that your gut can digest them effectively.
Within the principles of food combining, we digest light foods faster and heavier foods slowly. To help digestion and prevent gas and bloating, we structure our meals from light to heavy.
Choose “neutral” foods
There are a lot of healthy foods that are neither light nor heavy. They can be called “neutral” foods because they can be combined with any other elements in your diet. There are neutral foods in almost every food group. Some of them are, for example; leafy vegetables, celery, cucumber, garlic, onion, broccoli, carrot, parsnips, spaghetti, tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, beets, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, oils, and herb butter.
Combine food in the right way
Nutritionist Nele Liivlaid says that a good food combination should be applied to every diet for it to work properly, whether the goal to achieve is weight loss, reduced post-meal indigestion, better elimination, improved skin health, or increased energy levels. Food is divided into three categories: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and each one of them play a different role in the digestive process. This means, that there’s an optimal amount of each element for the body to work the most efficiently, which is why some combinations and unbalances have bad consequences, like abdominal bloat or a heaviness sensation.
To combine the foods in the right way, you should follow these simple tips:
- Wait for 2 to 3 hours after a meal before eating any fruits. If there’s something in your stomach, fruits tend to sit there and ferment, which will cause a bloated feeling.
- Eat one protein-rich food at a time. This means that you shouldn't combine fish and chicken, or nuts and dairy, because it’ll take a longer time for your body to digest them.
- Don’t mix animal proteins and starches in the same meal, as they neutralize each other and prevent a proper digestion of either food. Instead, have non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables with your protein-rich meals to achieve optimal digestion.
- Pay attention to tomatoes. Even though they’re a healthy addition to a salad, they shouldn’t be combined with pasta, as they’ll inhibit proper starch digestion.
- All kinds of melons should be eaten alone. Forget about combining it with ham or other foods with proteins and you’ll ensure a quick digestive process.
- Dairy products should be only combined with vegetables.
- Fats shouldn’t be combined with concentrated proteins. For example, avoid using cream, butter, or oil with meat, eggs, or cheese.
On top of all these recommendations, keep in mind that the best way to eat requires you to chew your food slowly and wait some time between each food type to ensure proper digestion. In other words, there should be an approximate two-hour gap between, let’s say, starch- and protein-rich foods.
To conclude, it’s necessary to point out that, while the correct combination of foods provides great benefits for your general health, it isn’t the only element to consider for a healthier lifestyle. Always complement healthy eating with lots of exercise, circulation, sun exposure, and movement to feel better than ever.