Food Combining for Health

Tips for Proper Food Combining Diets


Food combining for health simply involves eating foods that digest well together. Different foods require different lengths of time to digest, and involve different stomach enzymes in the process. You don’t have to avoid particular foods, just eat foods together that will digest harmoniously.

Eating foods that don’t ‘get along’ in the same meal can result in headaches, irritability, drowsiness, nausea and bloating.

Eating complimentary foods enables your body to utilise nutrients more efficiently. Benefits of eating foods that digest well together include weight control, reduction of flatulence and bloating, management of digestive problems, better assimilation of nutrients and generally feeling brighter and more energetic.

Diet should be 75% alkaline, 25% acid

Alkaline foods should comprise the largest component of your diet (e.g. vegetables and most fruits). Acid forming foods that should be kept to a minimum include meat, dairy products (excepting milk for infants), caffeinated beverages, alcohol, sweetened flour products, vinegar. Food combining for health commonly involves eating less starch or protein rich-foods, but these are still consumed on a daily basis. Food combiners also eat more fresh fruit and vegetables than average.

Eat starchy foods and protein foods at separate meals

Don’t combine proteins (e.g. meat, nuts, eggs, cheese) with starches (e.g. potatoes, bread, cereals, biscuits). Eat one starchy meal and one protein meal a day, alternating at lunch and dinner.

Eat sweet fruit as a separate meal

Sweet fruits digest quickly. If the passage of sweet fruits through the digestive tract is slowed down by slower-digesting foods, then the already digested sweet fruit ferments in the stomach. This causes gas and bloating. Melon especially has high water content and digests rapidly. Eat melons alone or as a starter 30 minutes before a meal. Proper food combining diets recommend eating a complete meal of sweet fruits each day, which is best suited to breakfast.

Combine complementary fruits with either proteins or starches

Don’t eat sweet fruit with acid fruit. Eat acidic fruits with proteins. Eating sweet fruits with starchy foods is ok, but avoid eating sweet fruits with legumes, tubers or cereals.

Neutral foods

Neutral foods can be eaten with either proteins or starches. Neutral foods include avocado, papaya, sprouts and vegetables (excluding potato, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and beetroot.)

Reduce fats and oils

Concentrated fats and oils will combine with proteins or starches but should be used sparingly.

Don’t drink with meals

Drinking with meals dilute the digestive enzymes and slows the digestive process. Extremes of hot and cold foods slow or stop enzyme action.

Cut out milk

Food combining systems recommend leaving milk for infants, saying that once the permanent teeth form milk is difficult for humans to digest. Pre-curdled or partly digested dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt are acceptable.

Note that food combining sceptics point to modern scientific research about the digestive system that indicates the stomach releases enzymes for digesting protein and carbohydrates simultaneously. However, many people claim significant improvements using food combining diets. Food combining for health is worth trying particularly if you have bad digestion.

Articles Related to Food Digestion


Spong, Tim & Peterson, Vicki (1990). Food Combining: Food Combining for Dynamic Energy, Weight Loss and Vitality at Any Age. Birchgrove, N.S.W. : Sally Milner Publishing.

Gibbs, Suzanne (1992). Food Combining Menu Cookbook: Meals for a Healthy Lifestyle. Birchgrove, N.S.W. : Sally Milner Publishing.

Kress, Lauretta (1920). Good Health Cookery Book: Containing a Most Valuable Selection of Choice Recipes, Proper Food Combination, Tables of Nutritive Value of Foods, etc .Warburton, Vic. : Signs Publishing Company.

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