What makes anyone try a new diet? A friend or family member tells you how great it worked for them, right? That’s how I came to try The New Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel. And for the three weeks that I was able to stick with it, I found that it worked for me too. The idea behind this way of eating is conscious food combining. It made good sense to me but I couldn’t handle the days where all you ate were grapes, grapes, and more grapes. That was last Fall. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about conscious food combining and what makes it work.
It turns out that different types of foods require different digestive juices in order to be properly broken down in the body and mixing those different foods causes ineffective digestion of all of it. Here are five food-combing principles that can help you effectively digest your meals.
- Eat Fruit Alone. Fruit has the highest water content of all foods and contains sugars that are ready for the body to use. It doesn’t need much time to be digested in the stomach. If you have fruit with proteins or starches, the sugar will ferment in the stomach causing bloating and gas. It’s best to eat fruit in the morning and allow an hour or two before eating any other kinds of food.
- Do Not Combine Protein with Starch. The digestion of starches begins in the mouth with saliva. Proteins are mainly digested in the stomach. When the two food types are eaten together, the starch does not get predigested in the mouth and begins to ferment in the stomach. Another thing is that proteins require an acidic environment for digestion and the starches require an alkaline environment. They effectively cancel each other out and nothing gets digested. It just sits in the stomach causing more gas and bloating.
- Eat Protein Alone or with Vegetables. Vegetables are relatively easy to digest and can be broken down in either an acidic or alkaline environment. The enzymes in vegetables can enhance the digestion of proteins and the fiber can help move it more rapidly through the intestines.
- Eat Starches Alone or with Vegetables. Vegetables can be digested in the alkaline environment required to digest starches.
- Do Not Drink with Meals. Drinking any beverage with a meal dilutes the digestive juices that are needed to break down foods and prevents them from being digested properly. The best time to drink fluids is thirty minutes before or after a meal.
If you’re like me, it seems that these principles go against the way you’ve been eating your entire life. Fruit as a dessert. Meat and cheese on a bun. Glass of water, milk or tea with my meal. That means changing my entire way of eating! Well, I’ve been making the changes gradually and I’ve found that they are working for me. I’ve even dropped a few pounds. And I haven’t given up my cookies!
If you decide to be kind to your digestive system and embrace these food combining principles, I’d love to hear how it works for you. Leave me a comment and share this with your friends on Twitter and Facebook using the buttons below.
Eating my Fruit for Breakfast
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