10 Common Food Combinations That Wreak Havoc on Your Health

Food combining is a health-conscious approach to eating, where foods that require different digestive environments are eaten separately. Various food combination theories have somewhat controversial views, however, there are some points that they agree on. 

I chose 10 food combinations that are considered bad by Ayurveda, modern hygenists, and physiologists. Basically, no one in there right mind would ever think of eating these foods together if they knew what would happen in our digestive system. Some of the immediate consequences of bad food combinations are digestive un-ease, gas, bloating, stomach ache, nausea, fatigue, and problems with elimination. While short-term effects can clear up within a day or two, long-term food combining can lead to more severe problems like bad breath, dry skin, rashes, chronic inflammation, poor sleep, low energy, and chronic digestion issues. Most people feel a surge of energy and naturally lose weight once they start following several simple food combining rules.  

Here are some popular items on the average American menu that present a big challenge to our body and can wreak havoc on your health:

1. Fruit after a meal. Natural Hygienists have known for a long time that fruit doesn’t combine well with other foods. The reason is that fruit contains simple sugars that require no digestion. Thus, they will not stay for a long time in the stomach. Other foods, such as foods rich in fat, protein and starch, will stay in the stomach for a longer period of time because they require more digestion. So if you eat fruit after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for too long in the stomach and ferment. 

2. Lasagna or Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Protein-starch combos inhibit salivary digestion of starch. Protein and starches need different enzymes and different levels of acidity to be digested. When eaten together, your body is forced to make a choice to digest protein but not starches. According to Dr Herbert Shelton, the champion of original Natural hygiene ideas, undigested starchy food undergoes fermentation and decomposition and overtime leads to poisonous end-products. Supposedly, adding greens to hard-to-digest cheesy dishes makes them easier for the stomach. Arugula salad, please!

3. Cheese and meat omelet. In general protein/protein combinations are not recommended. One single concentrated protein per meal is easier to digest and won’t require as much energy. Go for veggie omelet instead.

4. Tomato and cheese pasta sauce. Tomatoes are considered acidic and are not advised to be mixed with starchy carbs such as pasta. Food combining theory recommends to avoid mixing carbohydrates with acids. Adding dairy to this already difficult combo turns it into a recipe for digestive problems and after-meal fatigue since your body will require a ton of energy to digest this meal. Have pasta with pesto and grilled veggies instead!

5. Cereal or oatmeal with milk and orange juice. Acids in orange juice or any acid fruits destroy the enzyme that is responsible for digesting starches present in cereal. Also, acidic fruits or juices can curdle milk and turn it into a heavy mucus-forming substance. To keep your breakfast healthy, try having fruit or orange juice 30 min before the oatmeal. 

6. Beans and cheese. Dairy protein and beans is a common combo in any Mexican restaurant. Eaten with a hearty serving of guacamole and hot sauce, it is almost guaranteed to lead to gas and bloating. It is not the beans on their own that cause it, but the combination as a whole. Try skipping cheese and tomatoes if you have a weak digestion or working on detoxifying your body.

7. Melon and Prosciutto. Melons should be eaten alone or left alone. The same rule goes for all high sugar fruits. In general, it is preferred to eat fruits separately from proteins or starches, especially if you are looking for a quick energy boost from a fruit.

8. Bananas and milk. Ayurveda lists this combination as one of the heaviest and toxin-forming. It is said to create heaviness in the body and slow down the mind. If you are a fan of milk-based banana smoothies make sure that banana is very ripe and add cardamom and nutmeg to stimulate digestion. 

9. Yogurt with fruit. Ayurveda and food combining theory, don’t advise mixing any sour fruits with dairy as it can diminish digestive fire, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins and cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies. Ayurveda suggests avoiding congestive and digestive fire dampening foods like cold yogurt mixed with fruits. However, if you can’t resist the temptation of a yogurt parfait, there are ways to make it more digestion friendly. First of all, go for a room temperature natural unflavored yogurt.  Secondly, mix a little bit of honey, cinnamon, and raisins instead of sour berries. 

10. Lemon Dressing on Cucumber and Tomato Salad - Nightshades such as potatoes, chillies, eggplant, and tomatoes are not supposed to be combined with cucumbers. While lemon does not go well with either. 

Of course, everyone has a different body and will experience various levels of sensitivity to bad food combinations. Many people attribute digestive problems and allergies to particular foods while in reality it is the combination of foods that is to blame. Also, many of us are so used to digestive discomfort that we don't know what it feels like not to experience it. Everything becomes clear in comparison. If you follow simple food combination rules for 2 weeks and let your digestive system rest, your digestion will be a lot more efficient and stronger before the holidays. Cravings will subside, there will be more energy, and a flatter belly.

Have you or anyone that you know tried following food combining? How did it work out for you?

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About the Author

Nadya Andreeva is a certified wellness coach specializing in digestive health, author & modern Ayurveda girl. Professionally trained in mindful eating, yoga, and positive psychology, Nadya helps women create a pleasure and freedom based relationship with food that honors their body's unique chemistry and eliminates bloating and irregularity.

Nadya's book, Happy Belly: A woman's guide to feeling vibrant, light, and balanced is a go-to resource for women to prevent and eliminate bloating and constipation. If you want to reduce bloating, eliminate constipation, balance weight, and have higher energy, download your copy of Happy Belly Meal Plan with recipes, food shopping list, Happy Belly Approved products and brands, and other super useful tools here.

Nadya has been featured in various media including Huffington Post Live, Yoga Journal Russia, Glamour Magazine, Veria Living, and Ted Talks.

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