You count calories, avoid processed foods, and watch fat, sugar and carb intake. So why do you feel indigestion and lethargy after meals? Food combos matter!
Even if you’re eating the right foods, you may be eating them in the wrong combinations. Different types of food digest at different rates and require different digestive enzymes. Eating the wrong food combinations can lead to slowed digestion or the secretion of two or more enzymes that cancel each other out. This can cause digestive problems such as gas and bloating along with changes in energy level.
What Food Groups Matter in Digestion?
As part of your healthy gut diet plan, think about the following food groups when considering meal combinations:
● Proteins such as meats, seafood, nuts and seeds
● Starches such as grains, beans, corn, squash, lentils and tofu
● Greens and non-starchy vegetables such as lettuce, celery, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, onion and mushrooms
● Fruits such as apples, oranges, tomatoes and bananas
● Fats such as oil, dairy, avocados, eggs, nuts and fatty fish
Food Combining: Do and Don’t
A post at YuriElkaim.com describes food combining as the “order in which you eat specific nutrients, to help you better digest and absorb the foods you eat.” He points out that these are not hard and fast rules. Instead, they are recommendations to help you digest your food in better ways. He also offers specific tips, as does WholeHealthyGlow.com.
Because fruits digest so quickly, they should be eaten alone (or with greens or, perhaps, celery). It is especially true that melon should be eaten as a stand-alone. When you combine proteins with starches, digestion is inhibited. To remedy this, you can enjoy non-starchy vegetables with your protein. Use fats/oils sparingly. We encourage you to read the sources provided for more detailed information. Different experts may have different approaches for a healthy gut diet plan, so read carefully and choose what ultimately resonates with you.
Healthy Meals: Combo Ideas
Avocado on sprouted grain toast with cayenne pepper: This well-rounded meal described at EatThis.com helps you burn fat and keeps you fuller longer. The good fat of the avocado pairs well with the starchy toast. The oleic acid in the avocado and the fiber in the bread will keep you feeling full while the cayenne pepper adds a hint of spiciness, which is shown to lower appetite.
Quinoa, avocado and black bean burrito bowl: That site also recommends a burrito bowl with a quinoa base, with the fiber-rich black beans adding to your sense of fullness while providing healthy gut bacteria, and the avocado adding healthy fat.
Wild salmon, broccoli and green beans: Yuri Elkaim recommends this simple and delicious meal. He points out that meals with fewer ingredients are more easily digested, as they require fewer enzymes.
Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach: He also recommends this healthy combo, sharing that these minimalist dishes are also among the easiest to order at restaurants.