One of the best ways to insure proper digestion is to eat your meals in a certain order. Most of us simply eat our foods as it’s served, at home or in a restaurant, without giving any thought as to what happens to it after we chew and swallow.
The unfortunate result of eating our foods without giving thought to the sequence in which we consume it is major digestion issues. Conditions like flatulence, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, weight gain, to name a few, are a direct result of poor digestion.
Even if you are eating the right foods – the way in which you consume it makes a big difference in the way you feel. Foods are digested more efficiently when eaten in proper order and combined correctly.
The digestive process
Before food is even served – our digestion process starts. That’s right. Just thinking about having a meal will start certain juices flowing in preparation or expectation of food coming down the pike.
There are four processes our bodies go through when we eat: digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination.
As stated earlier, digestion starts before you put food in your mouth. Our brain works in concert with our stomach. Visualization does have an impact on the juices we produce to break foods down. Have you ever drool when you see somebody eating a delicious looking meal? That’s the power of visualization.
When we begin chewing our food we produce certain enzymes to continue the digestion process. The partially digested food from our mouths enters our stomach where it’s broken down further.
Broken down food particles is then transported by the blood to the various parts of our bodies where it’s absorbed for energy.
Finally, whatever the body doesn’t use is eliminated as waste.
This is the shortened version of the digestion process. If you need more details on the process you can always search online.
How to combine foods
The order in which we consume our meals will make the digestion process run smoothly. When we combine foods incorrectly we disrupt the way foods were meant be broken down naturally. For example, a protein, like a steak, should not be combined with potatoes on the same plate because they each require different enzymes to digest properly. A hamburger should not be eaten with bun and fries.
In the same way combining a fruit with starchy foods will throw your digestive process out of whack. Fruits should be eaten separately and as part of an early morning meal or at least before any major meal. In general, they take approximately half-hour to forty five minutes to digest. Because proteins and carbs take much longer to break down, fruits eaten after a meal of these foods will have to wait their turn. This can causes heartburn, acid reflux and bloating.
We have all gotten in the habit of having a sugary drink with out meals, however this is a terrible combination. Sugar takes a long time to digest and when taken with your meals will cause stomach issues. The ideal drink to have with meals is water and it should really be taken about half hour before meals.
Just as important as the types of food combination is the timing of your meals. If you have a protein meal of chicken breast it will take approximately 3 hours to digest. If you eat this protein meal with rice or any other carbohydrate it will disrupt the digestion process since carbs and proteins require a different enzymes to breakdown.
Keep in mind also that we are prone to over-consuming when eating our meals. It takes about ten minutes for our brain to register that we have just eaten a meal. So pause for a few minutes after you eat before thinking about food again. You might even want to eat your meals slowly because this gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach.
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