Health Talk Today

Food Combining: A Way to Support Digestive Health

Guest post by Tara Alder, Internal Cleansing Specialist at Alder Brooke Healing Arts.

Alder Brook Healing ArtsMost people understand that it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. What most people do not know is that it is just as important to consider proper food combining.

Consider that fruits and many green vegetables are high in water, fiber and enzymes. These foods move through the digestive tract more quickly than other foods. Most fruits will only be in the stomach 30 to 45 minutes before they move on to the small intestine for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Starchy carbohydrates however are less fiber and water rich and may take 2 to 3 hours before they move from the stomach to the small intestine. Proteins are the most complex foods taking the most amount of time in the stomach. Some proteins will be in the stomach for 5 to 8 hours before they move on to the small intestine to complete digestion.

With this knowledge it makes sense to combine our foods to support this natural process.

Food Combining Chart Front Food Combining Chart Back

Helpful Hints for Optimal Digestion

  • Digestion is a complex process.  By combining foods properly the body encourages this process to take place as efficiently as possible.
  • There are three basic types of food: Concentrated foods (proteins and carbohydrates), high water content foods (fruits and vegetables) and fats.  Proteins are the most complex (concentrated) food and require the most time and energy to digest and assimilate, where as fruit is the least complex (high water content) and takes the least amount of time and energy to digest and assimilate.
  • In your digestive system, the process to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fruit are entirely different, requiring different secretions. Therefore, to insure the most efficient digestion possible, these three foods should not be consumed simultaneously.
  • Do not eat fruit with any other food. If fruit is eaten alone and on an empty stomach, it will have the effect of washing and cleansing the digestive tract leaving it more capable of absorbing nutrition and eliminating waste.
  • Proteins and starchy carbohydrates should not be combined. If a protein is eaten with a starchy carbohydrate, such as meat and a piece of bread or a potato, the different digestive juices in contact with each other will nullify each other’s effectiveness. The protein will putrefy and the carbohydrate will ferment. This causes bloating and gas.
  • If a concentrated food (proteins or carbohydrate) is eaten with a sugar, such as nuts with raisins, it will putrefy, and the sugar will ferment. Again, more bloating and gas.
  • Fermentation or putrefaction inhibits healthy cell structure and digestion. The gasses produced from fermentation and putrefaction is toxic to the body and can exhaust the other detox organs. (lungs, liver, kidneys, skin and lymphatic system)
  • Add steamed vegetables or a mixed vegetable salad with all concentrated foods (proteins and carbohydrates) for optimum digestion. The enzymes in raw veggies help digest difficult food combinations.
  • Drinking fluids along with or after a meal dilute many of the digestive juices from the stomach. This forces the body to secrete more digestive juices immediately, unnecessarily usurping energy.
  • Dairy products are highly mucous forming and difficult to digest. They do not combine well with anything. If they are eaten, they should be accompanied with a salad.
  • By adhering to proper food combining, the digestive system works much more efficiently, thereby conserving energy that can be utilized for cleansing the body of accumulated toxic waste.
  • Feel great about your body and eating habits. Slow down and enjoy each meal. The better your digestion, the better the body’s absorption and metabolism. Your body will automatically adjust to your optimal weight and remain there.

For a handy reference see the Divine Way to Combine at

Tara AlderTara Alder is a nationally certified instructor with the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT). She attends and teaches at health conferences and is an international speaker.Alder Brooke Healing Arts in Eugene, Oregon and Alder Brooke Healing Waves in Kona, Hawaii are beautiful garden spas, education and retreat centers designed to meet your special needs.

You are invited to experience the benefits of cleansing in our safe, comfortable and relaxed environment.

We can be reached by email at
Aloha, and blessings of health and vitality!

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