Wednesday, 30 December 2015

How to Eat Naturally | Combining Foods for Optimal Nutrition and Proper Digestion

✔Don't over cook our vegetables and relish in fresh fruit - Eat Fresh & Seasonably
✔Nourish Your Bodies - Add SUPER Foods to Your Diet
✔Create Balanced Meals and Feed Your Body - Eat ALL Day Long

That's everything right?  We have ensured a natural eating process.  WE have optimized our potential for healthy eating and leading a healthy lifestyle.
So what's this ⬇Cheat Sheet⬇ about??
 Food pairing cheat sheet
How do we know that all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the foods we eat are actually being absorbed and utilized by our bodies?

Our bodies obtain the nutrients, vitamins and minerals from foods through the process of digestion.  When food isn't properly digested, the nutrition from them are not able to be absorbed by our bodies.
In order to assist our bodies in proper digestion there are theories which suggest specific ways of combining foods.  These theories acknowledge that foods fall into 2 categories: alkaline and acid.  We should aim to maintain a proper Acid-Alkaline Balance in our bodies through the foods we eat, in order to achieve the optimum physiological and biological functioning of our organs, for the full cellular energy required to attain ultimate health, power, strength and endurance that our bodies are able to possess.

If our meals consist of foods that are incorrectly combined together, this places stress on the digestion process, leading to problems including bloating, gas, and indigestion.  This occurs as a result of the reactions which occur when the digestive enzymes in our bodies mix with the secretions from the foods we eat as they are broken down during digestion.

Some foods should never be combined in the same meal, while others are more favourable together.

To ensure proper digestion and uptake of nutrition from the foods we eat, here are a few rules to keep in mind, simplified by Food Groups
    • Best eaten ALONE: Due to their concentrated source of sugar they are easily digested.
    • Mixed or plain fruit should be eaten at the start of the day, or as a snack between larger meals
    • MELONS should NOT be mixed with any other fruit
    • Combine with Vegetables eg. Fresh Salads or Sauteed/Steamed Green Leafy Vegetables
    • DO NOT combine with Starches as both require differing digestive process eg Potatoes
    • DO NOT combine with other Proteins having differing compositions and requiring different digestive enzymes eg Meat & Nuts, Eggs & Meat, Cheese & Nuts
    • MILK should be consumed ALONE
    • Do not consume with ACID foods (eg fruits) as these prevent carbohydrate digestion and promote fermentation
    • Never combine with Tomatoes especially cooked
    • Combine with Vegetables
    • DO NOT combine with Sugars as this results in fermentation: NO Jellies, jams, fruit butter, sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, etc., on bread, cake, or at the same meal with cereals, potatoes etc
    • DO NOT consume with Proteins
    • Fats depress the gastric glands reducing the production of chemical juices required for proper digestion in the stomach

The following diagram provides a guide in selecting foods from different groups in creating healthy meals and promoting good digestion.

Food Combining Chart

It is worth noting however, that scientific evidence in support of the Combining Foods Theories is lacking.  While helpful it is considered based on an outdated understanding of the digestive process.   Keeping this in mind, in my own meal and diet planning I focus on consuming WHOLE (fresh) foods high in nutritional value, and creating balanced meals.  I stay away from processed and altered foods which hold a risk of containing harmful chemicals and reduced nutrient profiles.
This concludes the How to Eat Naturally Series.  The main take away is to ensure the foods you eat are in their most Natural Form so that they are able to provide you with their full nutrient profile.  This can be achieved by selecting foods in season, and locally produced.  To assist your bodies in fully utilizing the the benefits of these foods, consume smaller,well balanced  portions throughout the day.  And if at all possible, combine foods that complement each others digestive processes to avoid stressing your digestion leading to digestive problems, and a lack of absorption of nutrients for optimum health.

~ Josie Jo ~
I hope you found this series informative and enlightening.
Please do comment with your thoughts.

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