What Is Food Combining? Is it OK to Combine Fruits and Vegetables?
Posted on February 06 2013 | (6) Comments
Category:Fan Questions, Answered!
Fan Question: Your chocolate green smoothie calls for fruit (bananas) and vegetables (spinach). I heard about a food combining rule that you shouldn't eat fruits and veggies together--is that true?
The short answer is that fresh fruits combined with greens, such as spinach, are an easy-to-digest combination and just fine! But let me address what food combining is, so I can give a more thorough answer.
While there isn't a scientific basis for food combining, some people (including me) do find that certain food combinations are easier to digest than others. Here are some of the "rules" that many people find are helpful for best digestion:
1. Eat fruit alone or with greens. Fresh fruit digests very quickly, and is easiest to digest on an empty stomach. Some people find that eating a piece of fresh fruit after a heavier meal can cause bloating. If that's not a problem for you, though, don't worry about it. Fresh fruit is certainly a healthier dessert than ice cream or cake! But my favorite way to eat fruit is alone, for breakfast or a snack.
Note that the exception to eating fruit alone is that it digests well with greens. Greens are not the same as vegetables such as carrots or potatoes. They are very light and easy to digest, and work perfectly well with raw fruits, such as in green smoothies.
2. Drink green juices on an empty stomach. Green drinks also digest quickly, and are best absorbed on an empty stomach.
3. Eat concentrated proteins and starches separately. This rule applies mostly to non-vegetarian cooked foods. Typical combinations like chicken and rice and meat and potatoes can be heavy combinations that take a while to digest. Some people feel lighter when they choose either a concentrated protein or starch rather than both, and eat it with plenty of raw or steamed veggies/greens. But again, if this isn't a problem for you don't worry about it--people's digestions are different, and not everyone reacts the same.
In the raw food world, following this rule would mean eating nuts and seeds (concentrated protein) separately from avocadoes (considered a starch), grains, and starchy vegetables. So I might have either a nut pate or an avocado with my salad, but not both.
4. Don't eat too many different fats at one meal. Following this rule will automatically lighten your meals and be less taxing to your digestive system. For example, for your salad, choose avocado, olive oil, or nuts, not all three!
In summary, don't worry too much about these "rules". There isn't a scientific basis for them, and just eating a little more simply and healthfully in itself will probably help your digestion. But if you have digestive problems, you might want to test some of these principles--they might help!
And don't worry about combining fruits and greens in a green smoothie--that combo is just fine!
Related Recipes: Chocolate Green Smoothie