Over the past few months I have been flirting with a raw food diet. I certainly haven’t gone all out but rather have adopted more of a ‘Raw Till Four lifestyle’. I’ve also gradually cut out any remaining dairy products from my vegetarian ‘diet’.
I feel great without the dairy and have always wanted to transition from being a long-term vegetarian to a vegan, although I don’t like to put labels on myself. The thing was when I started making fruits and vegetables my stable foods I really thought I would magically, overnight get perfect digestion.
Truth is, I’ve had a sensitive stomach ever since I can remember and suffered from poor digestion and chronic stomach pain. Much to my surprise, when I starting eating more raw foods I experienced terrible stomach pains (you know the ones when you’re curled over and confined to the couch.)
I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong until I started experimenting with food combining. I had vaguely heard of the concept before, I think from reading an interview with supermodel Miranda Kerr.
So what is food combining?
Different foods digest at different rates. Food combining is the practice of eating foods together that have roughly the same digestion time. This is said to prevent a ‘traffic jam’ occurring within your stomach which can cause indigestion, stomach pain, flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhea and even acne and fatigue.
How do you food combine?
I think the best way to understand how to properly food combine is to do a Google search for ‘food combining charts’, such as the one pictured above.
Here are also a few pointers.
- Melons consist of mainly water (take watermelons that are made up of 92% water.) Due to their high-water content, they digest the fastest out of all foods and therefore should not be combined with other types of foods and preferably eaten on any empty stomach.
- Fats should not be combined with sweet fruits. The same also goes for ‘proteins’ which you could also classify as fats such as nuts and seeds. They both can be combined with leafy greens and acid fruits.
- Sweet fruits such as bananas don’t mix well with acid fruits like strawberries. I personally find this to be the hardest combination to digest and typically will end up having a really sore stomach and feel sorry for myself after consuming this combination.
- Leafy greens digest well with all fruits (besides melons.)
Is food combining necessary to achieve optimal digestion?
A final point. I know there are plenty of people out there who don’t food combine and never have issues with digestion or stomach pain. I write this for people who have had similar experiences to myself and may want to try it and see if it helps them. Because let’s face it stomach pain is awful and when you have it you’ll do anything to get rid of it.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional.