You're trying to be "healthy," and you need something sweet so you think, "Great, I'll be good and have some berries after dinner to get my sugar fix." So you eat your little bowl of fruit and find that you feel kind of bloated and gross. It's not because the fruit isn't healthy, it's just that you've eaten it at the wrong time.
At least, that's the rationale behind food combining, which states that fruit should be eaten alone and only on an empty stomach. Otherwise, a certain "traffic jam" can occur digestion-wise as you eat light foods on top of heavy foods (i.e. a big dinner). This idea stems from the belief that certain foods digest at different rates and require different digestive environments with certain enzymes to maximize digestion and assimilate nutrients efficiently. While there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this, many people have found their digestion improves when eating fruit separately on an empty stomach versus as a dessert after a heavy meal. This also applies with other food pairings as well, like eating protein with starches.
Benefits of Proper Food Combining:
Surge in Energy Levels
Reduced Bloating and Gas
Use the handy chart above to refer back to as you’re learning the basics of food combining -- especially if you're feeling bloated and gross after your meals. This could be your ticket to feeling better fast. Keep a journal as to how you feel after each meal, noting whether or not the food you have eaten was properly combined. Look back and see if you notice a pattern versus when your food was properly combined and not. See if it made a difference in your body. If so, maybe it’s something you stick with or at least resort to after an especially stressful day to give your body a little break from heavy digestion. Try it for at least one week for maximum benefits and to see if it’s right for you. It’s also worth mentioning that keeping your meals to 5 ingredients or less combined with proper food pairing will leave you feeling light and energized as much of the energy usually spent on digestion will be freed up to be used on feeling awesome instead.
Remember, every body is different and it takes a lot of trial and error to find what works for you. Listen to your body, the signs it’s giving you and you’ll be off to a happy belly before you know it. I know it helps me, but it's not always easy to do! Instead of aiming for perfection, shoot for doing your best. Small steps make for big changes! :)
Oh, so I bet you're wondering what you should eat for dessert then! Go for some organic dark chocolate with a steamy cup of hot rooibos tea or warm up some almond milk, cacao and stevia with a sprinkle of cinnamon over the stove. Mmmm!
*The high resolution image of this chart and more useful information can be found at: www.spinachandyoga.com/best-kept-detox-secret.