Do you often have problems in digesting a meal? If you have ever wondered about the reason, it is probably because you eat foods that should never be combined. This causes problems in digestion which sets in motion a sort of chain reaction. You probably have painful gas, heartburn, and an upset stomach. As if that was not bad enough, you are not getting the full benefits of proper nutrition because of the faulty digestion.

Here are 10 food combinations to avoid like the plague. Your health will benefit a lot.

1. Fruit with food

Lots of people finish their meal by having a piece of fruit. The problem here is that normally fruit is easily digested but if taken on top of a hefty meal of pasta and meat, then it will stay far too long in the digestive tract. It will ferment and cause some damage to your intestines. That is why fruit is much better as a healthy snack between meals.

“Eat melon alone, or leave it alone, or your stomach will moan.”- Dr. Mercola, nutrition expert

The experts say that ham and melon would be digestive suicide but try telling that to Italians who adore that combination!

2. Alcohol and food

Drinking a bottle or two of wine with your meal can wreck your digestive system. This sort of heavy drinking can lead to stomach ulcers and damage to the pancreas, among other things. It also makes it really difficult for the body to absorb all the nutrients. So, a glass of wine is OK with a meal but when you are opening a second bottle, then you might want to think again.

3. Protein and starchy food

Protein needs a lot of the stomach acids to be completely absorbed. If you start by eating bread and pasta and then move on to meat, the the whole operation is slowed down. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and other non-starchy veggies go well with protein. That is why munching on bread before a steak is not a great idea. Meat and potatoes and even a turkey sandwich are not brilliant combinations either.

4. Yogurt and fruit

According to Ayurveda dieting principles, mixing sour fruits with yogurt can disturb digestion and also nasal congestion, coughs and allergies. You can sweeten the sour fruit by adding a teaspoon of honey and also add in some raisins if you cannot go without yogurt. Why not watch the video where Dr. John Douillard explains some of the principles of Ayurveda dieting.

5. Tuna and mayonnaise

If you read Donna Gates’ book, The Body Ecology Diet, she warns against combining fatty foods with protein. The reason is that fats require bile salts from the gallbladder to be broken down. When protein, such as tuna is added, the digestive system is under greater stress.

6. Water with food at mealtimes

Now we are having a go at water! What next? Actually, drinking water before a meal is a much better idea. There is a simple reason for this. If you are drinking while eating, precious enzymes for your digestion are diluted and they are not nearly as effective.

7. Bacon and eggs

The problem with two proteins together is that it takes ages to digest them. Compare these with fruit which takes about half an hour. Meat and fish can take up to three hours! That is why having two proteins sources in the same meal is not really a good idea.

8. Bananas and milk

This means that your banana smoothie may not be the best snack for you. The problem here is that the different digestion times will cause the fruit to curdle. Fruit, as we have seen, is very easily and quickly digested but milk is not. That means a lot of extra acidity in your stomach. But you can ease the process by using ripe bananas and adding nutmeg to sweeten the deal.

9. Honey and tea

What better way of sweetening your tea than adding honey. The problem here is that once honey melts in the tea, it is going to produce more toxins and also clog up the body’s channels. This is why honey is better with a cold drink or on its own.

10. Salt in salads

You don’t need extra salt, so why put it in salads as well? Another problem is that salt will drain the salad leaves of their moisture and all the other valuable nutrients as well. We all need a little salt but going overboard on salty snacks (even soda contains salt!) is not a great idea. Doctors and heart specialists say that we need 2,400 milligrams of salt a day – that is one teaspoon.

Key takeaway message

Basically, the food combinations that really do damage are when alkaline and acid foods are consumed together. Not only that but the American diet is far too acidic (too much eggs, dairy and meat) and we are not eating enough alkaline foods. There is a complete list here.

Dr. Wayne Pickering, the famous nutrition expert, explains what happens when this combination is chosen.

“Starches require an alkaline digestive medium to digest. If you put your fist in your stomach while it’s digesting steaks and all that, chances are, you wouldn’t have a hand anymore. The acid is intense… When you mix them both together – an acid-type of food and an alkaline – basic chemistry shows that they don’t digest. They neutralize. Then what happens? If the food is not digesting… it’s going through your body [undigested], throwing it into all kinds of turmoil.”- Dr. Wayne Pickering.

Featured photo credit: Double smoked ham, truffle brie and spinach on house made Pide bread at Speakeasy/ Katherine Lim via flickr.com

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