When it comes to food choices, combining certain foods can have a huge effect on how well we are able to break down and assimilate the raw nutrients.
When we choose improper food synergy, our meals are slow to break down and absorb, causing the contents of our food to sit in our colon for hours and ferment, creating an environment for bacteria and yeast to grow.
Have you ever experience gas, bloating, or gastrointestinal distress within 30-60 minutes after consuming a meal? This could be due to a combination of improper food combining, feeding established yeast/bacteria, and/or having a sensitivity to a specific food group. Yeast and bacteria feed off sugars, including natural sugars (fructans) in fruits, vegetables, and some nuts, causing more growth, gas, and bloating. This is also the case with fermented foods. Even though we are told these food groups (like apple cider vinegar, kimichi, kombucha, sauerkraut) are good for our gut health, they may be doing us a disservice if we have an imbalanced gut flora with yeast and bacteria overgrowth.
The next time you are making a meal, refer to the image above to help you make smarter food combinations. For those looking for simple guidelines, here are the CLIFF NOTES:
• Fruit doesn't combine well with anything but itself.
• Eat similar fruits within its group. For example, sweet fruits (dates) and acidic/bitter fruits (orange) do NOT mix well together.
• Animal protein (chicken) only goes well with vegetables (except your starchy vegetables like squash and potatoes)
• Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) go well with all your vegetables, starches, and fats
• Banana and avocado go well with everything except proteins. Especially animal sources
• Adding fat (oils, butter, coconut) to meats does not mix well together
Obviously, none of us are going to be perfect. Try picking one or two rules to start and implement that into your diet.