The discomforts of indigestion are so common in today’s society that indigestion is almost considered normal. The fact that over 2 billion dollars are spent each year on antacids is proof of this. Rather than using drugs to suppress symptoms, wouldn’t it be wiser to remove the causes of indigestion?
Food combining is based on the theory that different food groups require different digestion times. Digestion is helped the most by using foods which have roughly the same digestion time.
When you eat proteins like poultry, fish, meat, and eggs, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment. When you eat starches like potatoes or bread, your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin (also known as salivary amylase) to create an alkaline condition.
If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The poorly-digested food travels through the digestive tract reaching the intestines where it putrefies and causes your blood to become acidic.
A few other ways to assist your body with the digestive process is to:
1. Drink a tall glass of water 15-20 minutes prior to your meal. When we drink water, depending on the volume of water that enters the stomac, a hormone/neurotransmitter called “motilin” is produced by the intestinal tract. The effect of motilin on the intestinal tract, as its name implies, produces the very important rhythmic contractions of the intestines that moves food along to different processing stations in the digestive tract- peristalsis.
2. Avoid driving or watching TV while eating. Sometimes it is very difficult to know when your body is sensing stress. As well, the body cannot differentiate the stressors but responds the same to each and every stress it is unable to interpret the same way. Stress places the body in a sympathetic state – when this occurs blood is shunted from the visceral/organs to the extremities as a way of preparing for fight or flight. This process inhibits the digestive process and leads to putrefication, inflammation, malabsorption, etc.
3. Chew your foods to liquification. Digestion begins in the mouth, (ultimately the brain, but for the sake of simplicity we will say the mouth), through chewing, the more we chew the less work we will place on the rest of the organs that assist the process.