Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Simplifying the Concept of Proper Food Combining

Watch Dr. Clement from Hippocrates Health Institute discuss food combining in a very simple way. His explanation is the one that really stuck, I get confused by the fancy food combing charts out there. He gives you the nuts and bolts of proper combining. Enjoy!
Please note that I am terrible at food combining. I eat things together that shouldn't go together, because they taste good together, with the exception of melons; I only eat melons alone!!! I cannot have them with anything else or I double over in pain and bloat. I am a work in progress and some day I will practice proper food combining.

If you'd prefer to red about food combing, just look at this info I found at

Raw Food Combining: Your Options

Your options for raw food combining fall into 11 categories based not on culinary classifications, but on the actual composition of the food. If you're eating well, though, there are only really eight categories you'll be eating from with any regularity.

It might seem complex, but once you get the hang of it you won't even need to think about it anymore. For me, it's pretty much instinct.

* = Unhealthy or hard-to-digest food included for completeness.

Raw Food Combining Leafy Green Vegetables and CeleryLeafy Green Vegetables and Celery

Examples: Romaine, Bibb, Iceberg and all other common lettuce varieties. Spinach, Celery, Celeriac. Fresh herbs such as Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, and Mint.
Leafy green vegetables (not to be confused with the tougher greens) are easy to digest and can be combined with most other foods without a problem. They digest quickly like fruit, spending little time in the stomach.

Raw Food Combining VegetablesOther Vegetables

Examples: Kale, Bok Choy, Asparagus, Eggplant, Fresh Corn, Brussel Sprouts*, Cabbage, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Okra, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Sweet Peppers, Green Peas, beets, and Gourds*.
These vegetables are slightly harder to digest than the leafy greens above, often containing a bit more starch. They should not be combined with sweet fruits, melons and subacid fruits. Use caution when combining them with acid fruit. They combine well with proteins, fats and oils, starches and grains, legumes, vegetables, and leafy greens and fatty fruits.

Raw Food Combining LegumesLegumes

Examples: Peanuts, Navy Beans*, White Beans*, Lentils*, Black Beans*, Fava Beans*, Kidney Beans*, Mung Beans*, Chick Peas*, Green Beans*, Lima Beans*, and Soy Beans*.
Most legumes require cooking to be digestible. Even when they're cooked, they don't digest well, as evidenced by the gas they cause, which means they're putrefying. Humans lack the ability to produce large-quantities of the starch-digestive enzymes known as amylases needed to break them down in an efficient manner. Their high protein levels also causes problems. If you're going to eat these foods, they combine well with other legumes, vegetables and leafy greens. Use caution when combining them with starches and grains as well as fats and oils. Do not combine them with proteins or any type of fruit. Peanuts -which are not actually a nut - are an odd food. You can read more about their unique digestive challenges here.
Raw Food Combining Grains and Starches
Starches and Grains

Examples: Potatoes*, Sweet Potatoes*, Yams*, Dried Corn*, Barley*, Buckwheat*, Carrot, Yucca, Winter Squash*, Wheat*, Breads and Pastas*, Quinoa*, and Rice*.
As we lack sufficient amylase production to tackle these foods properly, and they generally wreak havoc on the digestive system, they cannot be considered optimal. They combine well with leafy greens and vegetables. Use caution when combining them with legumes and fats and oils. Do not combine them with proteins or any type of fruit.

Raw Food Combining Oils and FatsFats And Oils

Examples: Butter*, Cream* Margerine*, Vegetable-Based Oils*, Seed-Based Oils*, Nut-Based Oils*, and Lard*.
Fats and oils have a number of health drawbacks that make them unsuitable for consumption. Read about oils here and why a low fat diet is necessary for health here. In terms of food combining, fats tend to slow down the digestion of whatever they're eaten with. They should not be combined with sweet fruit, high-fat fruit, melons, proteins and sub acid fruit. Use caution when combining them with acid fruits, starches and legumes. They combine well with leafy greens and vegetables.

Raw Food Combining ProteinProteins

Examples: Meat*, Dairy*, Eggs* Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Pine Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Filberts.
Because meat and the other animal proteins have no fiber, they pass through the digestive system at a crawl, requiring a barrage of acids to break them down. Animal proteins are traditionally eaten with a starch, which means they rarely completely digest due to conflicting digestive mediums. The mass of undigested meat that results meanders through the dark, fetid interior of your body in temperatures around 100 degrees and quickly starts to rot.

Many people say they are "allergic" to fruit or that it gives them an upset stomach. The reality is usually that they've mixed a meal of animal protein and starch at dinner, and when they try to eat fruit the next morning their previous meal is still being digested. The fruit meets up with this rotting mixture in the stomach or intestines and combines to create an even worse combination. A stomach ache can only be expected. 

Proteins should not be mixed together, and the general rule of thumb is to stop at a handful. It's ok to eat nuts, and they provide us with some important nutrients, but the body does not digest proteins and fats as easily as it does fruits and leafy greens. It's best to eat them in limited quantities.

Proteins combine well with leafy greens, vegetables and acid fruits. Use caution combining them with sub acid fruits. Do not combine them with legumes, starches, fats and oils, melons, high-fat fruits, or sweet fruit.

Raw Food Combinin Acid FruitsAcid Fruit

Examples: Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Tangerine, Tomato, Pommelo, Kumquat, Carambola.
Acid fruits should not be eaten with sweet fruits, melons, legumes, or starches. Use caution when combining them with vegetables, fats and high-fat fruit. They combine well with leafy greens, proteins, and sub acid fruit. At least partially because of their high water content, acid fruit tends to digest very quickly.

Raw Food Combining Sub Acid FruitsSub Acid Fruit

Examples: Pear, Plum, Apple, Blackberry, Cherry, Grape, Peach, Paw Paw, Raspberry, Longan, Mango, Blueberry, Tamarillo, Papaya, Guava.
Sub acid fruit combines well with acid fruit, sweet fruit and leafy greens. Use caution when combining them with proteins. Do not combine them with sweet fruit, melons, high-fat fruit, vegetables, legumes, starches, or fats and oils.

Raw Food Combining MelonsMelons

Examples: Watermelon, Canary, Santa Claus, Winter Melon, Muskmelon, Persian, Crenshaw, Christmas, Cantaloupe, Banana Melon, Gala, Honeydew.
Melons move through the stomach and digestive system faster than any other fruit, and they often combine poorly with most other foods. This is why melons, perhaps more than any other fruit, are often signaled out as upsetting people's stomachs. They combine well with leafy greens, and that's about it.

Raw Food Combining Sweet Fruit
Sweet Fruit

Plantain, Banana, Sapote, Canistel/Egg Fruit, Carob, Date, Persimmon, Lychee, Cherimoya, Mammea, Abayut, Jackfruit.
Sweet fruit contain less water than most other fruit, and digests slower. They combine well with leafy green vegetables, sweet fruit and sub acid fruits. They do not combine well with vegetables, legumes, starches, fats, proteins, and acid fruit.

Raw Food Combining High-Fat Fruits
High-Fat Fruit

Coconut, Avocado, Durian, Olive *, Akee.
High-fat fruit is an odd-ball category. Many could be placed in either the fats/oils category or the sweet fruit category. These fruits are unique, though, in their higher-than-usual fat content, increased digestion time, and propensity for slowing down the secretion of digestive fluids. They should generally be eaten by themselves or with leafy green vegetables for optimal digestion. You may be able to get away with combining some of them - such as avocado- with acid fruit like tomato as part of a salad or dressing.

Raw Food Combining: Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit of most types is generally considered to fall into the sweet fruit category. However, without its natural water content, dried fruit tends to digest poorly and needs to draw water from the body. Mild dehydration usually results when consuming more than minimal amounts of dried fruit.

This problem can be partially overcome by soaking dried fruit overnight.

Although fine on occasion, it should probably not be a major staple of any diet.

Raw Food Combining: The Implications

What conclusions can we draw from the above information?

Namely, that the way most people on this planet eat makes no sense from a digestive standpoint, and this bring on the vast majority of digestive disorders people suffer from.

If you're going to include harmful foods like meat, dairy, and eggs, it makes sense to eat them by themselves, for instance, which clashes with our traditional idea of a meal.

Raw Food Combining Fruit SaladProper raw food combining demands that we rethink how we eat things.

Even the standard idea of a fruit salad, which may combine bananas from the sweet fruit category, watermelon and cantaloupe from the melon category, grapes from the sub acid category, and pineapple from the acid category, really doesn't make sense. You're just asking for gas and digestive complaints.

Although the idea of mixing foods together seems normal, it is only normal to our species.

In nature you won't find animals mixing foods. A bonobo camps out under a mango tree and eats his fill. Afterward he'll wander away, tracking down a banana tree three hours later for his next meal. 

What you won't see him doing is grabbing an armful of mangoes and wandering a mile to the banana tree to mash the mangoes between the bananas to create sandwiches.

If you understand the chemistry of the stomach, it becomes clear that we have to rearrange our ideas of what constitutes a meal. 

Raw Food Combining: Practical Conclusions For Good Digestion

Here are some practical conclusions you can draw on  when planning your meals based on the above information.

  1. The most easily digested meals consist of one type of fruit eaten to satiation. If you must mix fruit, do so according to the rules outlined above.
  2. Leafy green vegetables digest well with virtually anything. This allows us to follow up a dinner meal of oranges, for example, with a salad of lettuce, spinach, celery, tomatoes, and and acid-based dressing with no problems. 
  3. Eat acids and starches at separate meals because acids neutralize the alkaline digestive medium needed for starch digestion. The result of this combination is usually indigestion.
  4. Eat proteins by themselves or with leafy greens. Don't mix proteins.
  5. Be careful when you mix anything with a food that has a high fat content. This includes fats and oils, high-fat fruits, and even nuts, which are over 50 percent fat and take hours to digest. Do not combine fats and proteins. Keep fats under 10 percent of calories consumed. Our body has a limited ability to digest fat, so do not overwhelm the digestive system with too much.
  6. Eat melons alone.

Raw Food Combining: In the Real World

There are numerous subtleties and nuances of food combining that are not covered here, and leeway must always be given for individual digestive abilities.

It's very clear that some people can get away with the worst dietary abuses without immediate repercussions. This does not mean these ideas are any less valid.

For instance, when I combine cantaloupe with any other food I get a stomach ache. I am able to combine watermelon with other very watery fruit like tomatoes without a problem, however.

Most people have no problems with sub acid and sweet combinations, but they certainly bother me.

Always try for eating meals of just fruit. Throw in a large salad once a day. Strive toward that, and you'll do fine.

Raw Food Combining: Can We Simplify This?

There's certainly something to be said for simplicity. If you're on a raw food diet you can try a simplification of the above rules, although your results are unlikely to be as good.

Try this: When it comes to fruit, just make a distinction between dry fruit and wet fruit. Bananas and dates, for instances, which are fairly dry, would not be eaten with oranges or tomatoes, which are wet.

I know those who tackle raw food combining this way, although they sometimes run into problems with melons and other combinations.

Raw Food Combining: Following Up

This raw food combining chart will visualize the ideas in this article for you.

Ready about a healthy raw food diet here.

Learn about your nutritional needs.

Raw Food Combining Sources

1) Alper, Joseph. Ulcers as an infectious disease. Science, Vol. 260, April 9, 1993, pp. 159-60

General References:

Shelton, Herbert M. "Food Combining Made Easy."

And look here for David Klein, Ph.D. Advice for optimum digestion found on

Food Combining For Optimum Digestion

© by David Klein, Ph.D.

Why do we need to practice proper food combining? Because our digestive systems cannot digest haphazard combinations, as evidenced by indigestion, flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhea, vomiting, body odors, colds, flu, pimples, dandruff, chronic pain, fatigue, and countless other signs of autointoxication. If we have chronic gastrointestinal gas, queasiness, bloating and body odors, we are not healthy, even if we feel good and happy. Toxic matter and gases in the body do erode our health and will sooner or later lead to disease, with no exception! Those who can seemingly eat “anything” are, ultimately, not going to get away with it! In fact, hygienic physiologists agree that over ninety percent of all known common maladies and major diseases are caused by autointoxication, i.e., self-poisoning, mainly stemming from eating diets which are incompatible with our physiological constitution and capabilities.

A properly combined diet of 75 percent or more raw food will clear up most maladies. The correct diet for the human species, as revealed by studies of anatomy, physiology and biology is, predominantly, whole, ripe, organic raw fruits and succulent vegetables, with minimal amounts of nuts and seeds.

The validity of the food combining guidelines (or “rules”) has been confirmed by virtually everyone who has applied them for a while, and they are supported by physiological science. During the Civil War era, a medical doctor named Beaumont performed clinical tests on a man who, by virtue of an unusual injury, had a temporary hole extending to the exterior of his abdomen which afforded direct sampling of his stomach contents under various eating conditions. Those observations were used subsequently by physiologists Dr. John H. Tilden and Dr. Herbert M. Shelton in the formulation of food combining guidelines. In my own case, within 24 hours of adopting a vegan diet and applying food combining, my g.i. system, which had been a virtual erupting volcano when I suffered with ulcerative colitis, completely quieted down, leaving me feeling wonderfully disease-free and allowing me to heal at a rapid rate. Countless others have experienced similar relief of their g.i. ills.

Test the guidelines out and learn for yourself. Everyone who diligently follows them, avoiding overeating and incorporating other essential elements of healthful living, sooner or later derives the benefits of excellent digestion, no body odors, minimal or no gas, inoffensive feces, effortless defecation, clear urine, clearer skin, eyes and mind, more balanced composure, ideal weight level, greater physical stamina, faster healing, better sleep, and youthful vitality. Basically, mono meals yield the best results. “Simple 3” salads (e.g., lettuce, tomato and avocado) also work very well. In sum, the simpler the digestive task, the better the results.

Guidelines for correct food combining

* Eat melons alone.

* Eat all other sweet fruits on an empty stomach with or without green neutral vegetables (e.g., lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers.

* Do not eat acidic citrus fruits with other types of sweet fruits.

* A minimal amount of sweet acidic citrus fruit might digest well with avocado, nuts, seeds and young coconut (whole, or blended into dressings) – test it and learn.

* Tomato, Cape gooseberry and tomatillo combine well with nuts, seeds and avocado.

* Do not eat fatty high-protein foods (nuts, seeds and coconut) with sweet fruit or starchy foods (squash, tubers, carrots, peas and corn).

* A minimal amount of avocado might combine well with starchy foods.

* Nuts and seeds can be eaten together. Avoid eating nuts/seeds with avocado and coconut.

* Eating nuts, seeds, coconut and avocado with green neutral vegetables (e.g., lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers typically enhances digestion as additional proper digestive juices will aid in the digestion of the fat.

* Legumes are poorly digested because of their high protein and starch content. Sprouted legumes are somewhat more digestible. These are best eaten with green neutral vegetables (e.g., lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers.

* Sweet peas and young carrots fresh from the garden are non-starchy; older ones are starchy.

* Starchy foods combine well with all vegetables and non-sweet fruits except tomatoes-–-do not mix tomatoes with starchy foods. Protein/fatty foods combine well with non-starchy vegetables and cucumbers. Avocado combines well with any kind of vegetable, tuber and non-sweet fruit. Eat avocado minimally until you have overcome illness.

• Space out your meals, allowing time for your system to assimilate and rest.

* * *


The efficacy of correct food combinations is negated by:

* Overeating on fats and starches.(eating beyond your body’s ability to secrete sufficient digestive juices).

* Diluting the enzyme-food mixture (chyme) in your stomach by drinking more than a few sips of juices or water.

* Eating when tired.

* Eating when stressed.

* Eating when not hungry.

* Eating foods which do not appeal to your senses.

* Eating before the digestion of your previous meal is complete. (Wait an hour for fruit, 4 hours for starches and 6 or more hours for fatty foods.)

* Eating when the stomach and intestines contain fermenting debris or digesting food from a previous meal.

* Eating quickly.

* Incomplete chewing.

* Exercising vigorously soon after eating.

* Going to sleep soon after eating.

* Shallow breathing.

* Powerful seasonings.

* Toxic irritants. (E.g., vinegar, onions, bitter herbs, pepper. Vinegar is acidic – it destroys alkaline digestive secretions.)

* Medicines.

 Hopefully this is helpful and perhaps it will get me on my road to proper food combing on my raw, vegan, lifestyle. You'd think after 5 years I would have mastered it by now!!!!! Hey, I said I was a work in progress! Peace.


+JMJ+Today I am grateful for my new friend and soul sister, Tanya on Instagram @tannyraw and on Youtube at TANNYRAW. She makes me giggle, dance, and smile every dang day!!! Love you girl!

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