Food combining- myth vs. human physiology….there is a benefit to eating fruits and roots together.
Food combining dates way back to the Ayurvedic texts where literature discusses the energy of food. Some foods have either a “heating energy” and other foods have a “cooling energy”.
This system also says that strong and vibrant digestion, called the digestive fire or “agni” can help improve the supposedly harmful effects of poor food combining.
The basic principles of food combining include:
- Don’t combine meat and starches in the same meal
- Combine vegetables with meat and starches
- Eat fruit away from other food groups (lemons and limes are the exceptions)
- Avoid dairy or eat it alone
Aside from not being a traditional practice, the evolutionary masterpiece of human digestion clearly illustrates the body’s capacity to absorb all macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) in a single meal.
The human body is designed to digest all food combinations
Let us explain…
Digestion is a perfectly orchestrated top-to-bottom function in which a large number of complex tasks are performed.
Although we don’t think of it often, digestion really begins in the brain when the sight, smell, thought and taste of food triggers the production of saliva and stomach acid. The greater the appetite the more intense the stimulation.
Mastication (the process of chewing) breaks food down into smaller particles allowing for easy swallowing. Mastication is also the catalyst to exocrine glands under the tongue and at the back of the mouth where saliva produced and released. Saliva contains digestive enzymes alpha-amylase – which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates, protease – responsible for the very early breakdown of protein (note: no protein digestion occurs in the mouth) and lipase – which initiates fat digestion (note: almost no fat digestion occurs in the mouth).
The stomach (with a pH of 1.0-2.5) is where the digestive breakdown of food really begins. The gut is hard wired with localized nerve fibers and reflexes to send signals between different segments of the GI tract. These reflexes signal the gut to secrete certain juices, to begin the mixing of food and to start peristalsis.
Once churned and mixed with digestive juices in the stomach, food chyme moves slowly into the folds of the small intestine where the acidity triggers the pancreas to release neutralizing bicarbonate and digestive enzymes. Bile from the gallbladder is also released, which allows the absorption of the fats.
So why the brief lesson in digestion?
As we mentioned, digestion is a top to bottom process. This means that if any one area of the digestive tract is faulty the entire digestive system is faulty. Stress, low metabolic function, low thyroid…anything interfering with cellular respiration – your single most fundamental human need, will shut digestion down and weaken the production of stomach acids (Hydrochloric acid HCL).
The take away: if we are producing stomach acid, the body responds down stream with the resources necessary for complete digestion. The body will always prioritize, so when you are in a state of stress, be it internal or external, conscious or unconscious, digestion is no longer a priority.
Successful digestion renders food-combining rules arbitrary and unsubstantiated
How does food-combining help?
It allows you to dance around a bigger problem.
Don’t get us wrong; anytime you are working to heal, removing stress is a HUGE necessity. The inability to digest is not only caused by stress, it IS a stress.
When stomach acid is inadequate consuming foods such as starches and fruits can lead to bloating, gas and belching however simply eliminating the food only improves the symptom but does not resolve the underlying cause.
Often at the root of digestive compromise is a weakened metabolic system, you cannot have one without the other. With this being said, the only way you can heal the metabolic system is by using metabolically sustainable carbohydrates such as roots and fruits.
In this video Josh is going to help explain how roots and fruits are beneficial when used together to heal the metabolic system.
Josh and Jeanne would love for you to join in on the conversation and share your thoughts below!
If you would like to speak with Josh and Jeanne regarding your health and nutrition needs, or to schedule a private consultation, please contact us here.