Healthy eating habits are all the rage in the world of dieting, and now nutritionists are looking not only at what we eat, but when we eat and what food combinations are best! The theory behind food combining is strongly based on dietary science, with nutritionists claiming that starches and proteins should be consumed separately in order to ensure they have the correct environment (more acidic or alkaline) to be more efficiently digested and absorbed. So, how does it work? Here at NetCost Market, we’ve been investigating this new theory to find out the facts!
The basic rules
The “rules” state that you should begin with an empty stomach, and before your meal, consume one piece of fruit to aid digestion. Next, you must choose ONE food type from the four categories which are: starches, animal protein, and nuts (including seeds and dried fruit). It’s important that you only choose one of these categories per meal. Combine this with food from the “neutral food” category, which includes leafy greens like kale and spinach, as well as many other vegetables. You must then wait for at least three to four hours before your next meal to ensure your stomach gets back to its regular acidity.
So, now you know the basic principles, here are some great ideas for meals that meet the needs for the food combining theory.
Start with a fruit such as apple or pear which contain high amounts of soluble fiber. Next make a tasty stir fry with butternut squash, bok choy and broccoli, and garlic and ginger. This will meet all your starch needs in one meal, and give you plenty of vitamins from the neutral leafy greens!
Start with a fruit such a banana, which contains quick release starch. Next, make a tasty salad based on leafy lettuce, shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped bell peppers and grilled asparagus. Top this with a protein of your choice including feta cheese, chopped boiled eggs or grilled chicken, beef or fish. This meal is ideal for efficiently absorbing proteins and vitamins from animal-based foods.
Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
Start with some fresh berries such as blueberries or raspberries. Getting nuts and seeds into meals can be difficult for some people as they are often viewed as snacks rather than meal foods. However, they’re so rich in protein and healthy fats that they can easily make up your daily need. Walnuts are a favorite in the Mediterranean diet, and in regions where they’re consumed in high quantities, life expectancy is way above the national average. Try roasting some walnuts with yellow summer squash, artichokes, carrots and a few whole cloves of garlic topped with plenty of olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Food combining is quite simple once you understand the basic rules and there are lots of “food combining charts” to be found online. The hope is that by following these rules, your body will more efficiently absorb important nutrients and will have an easier time digesting. Try putting together a meal plan of combinations that meet the three main categories really feel the benefits! At NetCost Market we stock a great range of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and animal protein products, and a great assortment of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. So, why not head down and see how NetCost Market can help you with your new food combining plan today!