Food combining is an ancient philosophy that has also gained popularity recently. Nutrition believes combining improper food components can lead to acidity, digestive problems, and other diseases.
They think eating the correct elements together can help solve these problems and benefit you in many ways.
But are these claims regarding food combining diet true or just a myth? As we dive into the details of food combining rules, good and bad food combos, food combining charts, and more.
Food Combining Rules
A food-combining diet is an idea to pair the foods that work together as our bodies can handle one concentrated food in a meal. Concentrated foods are starches and proteins. To simplify your meals add non-starchy vegetables and fruits to your meals.
The digestion of protein enzymes needs an acidic environment, whereas starches need alkaline conditions. If we eat protein and starch together, we simultaneously signal our digestive system to be acidic and alkaline. Many food combinations make the body work in this, which causes many digestive problems and others.
Here is a list of some food-combining rules you should follow to prevent digestive issues and other related problems.
- It’s best to eat fruits on an empty stomach
- Avoid combining proteins and starches
- Acidic foods and starches don’t go well together, so avoid eating them together
- Consume dairy products such as milk on an empty stomach
- Avoid eating together different types of protein
- Don’t mix proteins with fats
- Eat fruits and vegetables separately to gain their full benefits
Healthy Food Combinations
Some food groups pair well together and benefit your body by absorbing the nutrients in your food and eliminating the toxins from your body. On the other hand, poor food combinations can affect the body’s immune system and make it vulnerable to diseases.
Healthy food combinations will prevent food fermentation, bloating, and acid reflux. It will also promote digestion and will keep your weight under control.
Certain evidence-based food combinations can significantly benefit the body. Consult the food combination chart below to find out how to pair different food groups to get the most benefits from your meals.
|Egg with tomatoes
|Honey with water
|Lentils with rice
|Steak with garlic and onion
|Chickpeas with spinach
|Eggs with Spinach
|Potatoes and red pepper
|Spaghetti with pesto sauce
|Cheese with vegetables and nuts
|Couscous salad with nuts and seeds
Wrong Food Combinations
When you pair your melon with carrots or banana with milk, you are bound to feel some digestive problems because of the wrong food groups you ate together.
Food groups to avoid if eaten together induce the starch and protein in your digestive process to work against each other. The protein and starch only get appropriately digested as they neutralise each other.
This chain reaction negatively affects our digestion and may cause other problems such as stomach pain, skin issues, bad breath, disrupted sleep, heartburn, bloating, irregular bowel movements, and fatigue. So, if you want to feel light and happy after a meal, avoid the bad food combinations in the chart below.
|Banana and Milk
|Burger and fries
|Beans and cheese
|Pizza and soda
|Eggs and meat
|White bread and jam
|Breakfast cereal and orange juice
|Wine and dessert
|Chips and salsa
|Chicken and biscuits
Best Fruit Combinations
Fruits have high nutritional value as they contain vitamins, fibres, and antioxidants. A diet rich in fruits helps the body function correctly, strengthens the immune system, and allows the digestive system to perform its functions.
Fruits are healthy, yet some people face digestive issues after eating fruits. Eating fruits that have different digestive requirements can be a source of digestive distress.
If you eat melons and avocados together, your stomach will take more time to digest the fruits, and they will ferment in the gut. This is because melons are 90 percent water and digest quickly, while avocados take longer to digest as they are high in fat.
Combining fruits that digest at various times causes discomfort for the digestive tract in multiple forms, such as bloating, acidity, and more.
For better digestion, it’s best to pair similar fruits, such as apples and pears or oranges and grapefruit. Well, those yummy smoothies and mixed juices don’t have to wait, as you can now turn to the chart below for the best fruit combos.
|Starfruit and strawberries
|Avocado and papaya
|Kale and pear
|Mango and Dragon fruit
|Papaya and pineapple
|Sugarcane and carrot
|Honeydew and green apple
|Kiwi and guava
|Blackberry and grapes
|Cherries and grapes
Also read: Fruit Combination Guide
Bad Fruit Combinations
A fruit salad may seem like an excellent idea to consume a nutritious meal; however, it may not be as beneficial as you think. It is better to avoid pairing some fruits for your better health and well-being.
Each fruit has its chemical consistency and flavour; combining them may be delicious, but sometimes it can harm the body. Follow the following rules to get the most benefits from fruits.
Eat melons alone:
All the different types of Melons, including muskmelons, honey drops, watermelon, and cantaloupe, have high water content; hence they are digested quickly.
Dr. Swathi Reddy, Consultant Physiotherapist and certified diet counsellor at Bengaluru, says Melons should be eaten with lemon if they are paired with any fruit they may not digest properly.
Avoid mixing high-protein fruits with starchy fruits:
Some fruits have a high starch content, such as bananas and plantains. Never mix such fruits with high protein fruits such as kiwifruit, blackberries, avocado, and apricot. Pairing the two can be dangerous for your health as one fruit type is acidic and the other is alkaline.
Avoid pairing sweet fruits with acidic fruits
Acidic fruits such as grapefruit and pomegranate should never be eaten with sweet fruits like bananas and raisins. It may cause digestive problems and other issues.
|Orange and carrot
|Guava and banana
|Papaya and lemon
|Apple and carrot
|Strawberries and bananas
|Apples and raisins
|Pomegranate and banana
|Banana and carrots
|Grapefruit and banana
|Plantains and kiwi
Ayurveda Food Combining
People often think food combinations are a new idea, but according to Ayurveda, it’s essential to eating correctly.
Carefully combining foods with similar natures can allow the body to reap the more profound benefits from our food. According to the Ayurvedic perspective of food, combining each food has distinct energy and taste, which affects our bodies.
Combining foods with contradicting energies may aggravate the digestive fire and disturb inner peace. The digestive problems and other issues such as bloating, fermentation, and acidity are all reactions to these imbalances.
Certain combinations disturb the digestive tract more than others; hence, paying attention to how you pair your foods is vital. Combining the right foods can provide an opportunity for healing, insight, and improved health. Ayurvedic food combination outlines the following rules:
- Eat your proteins separately and keep them simple
- Dairy should also be consumed separately or with grains
- Heavy foods affect your stomach, so make sure your digestive tract is in good condition when you decide to consume a hearty meal
- Fruits should be eaten alone
Vegan Complete Protein Combinations
It’s a myth that you can’t get all the essential daily nutrients from a complete vegan protein combination. Plant-based food has incomplete protein content, which may be vital for the body’s functioning.
On the contrary, they still need sufficient amino acids that your body needs. Different plant-based foods have other proteins, so if you include a variety of plant sources in your diet, you can have enough nutrients.
Switching to a keto diet is also a good option for vegans. Keto foods have high fat, moderate proteins, and low-carb content to promote weight and improve health.
Keto foods are often associated with animal foods; however, keto can fit into plant-based protein meal plans. If you are a vegan, you can also reap the benefits of a keto diet by switching to plant-based proteins.
“To eat is necessary, but to eat intelligently is an art.” Francois de la Rochefoucauld smartly describes that eating healthy by combining the right foods is challenging.
Food combining has several rules you should follow for optimal health; remembering them takes a lot of work. Our food combining charts illustrate some of the famous foods we often eat but are the primary source of digestive problems. We have designed proper food combining charts to help you plan your meals quickly.