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Food Combining

Guidelines for properly combining food emerged in the 20th century during the Natural Hygiene Health Movement

Its creator was the New York doctor William Howard Hay (1866-1940) and, later, the popularity of this practice grew with the dissemination carried out by the doctor and naturopath Herbert M. Shelton (1895-1985).

It is based on combining food so that it is digested more efficiently and more easily.

According to food combination theory, different food groups require different times and different types of enzymes in the stomach and intestines to be digested.

An alkaline or acid medium will activate different kind of enzymes.

The digestion of food

Digestion has the task of transforming ingested foods into substances easily assimilated by the body.​

Digestion is necessary to transform large molecules (carbohydrates, proteins...) into smaller ones.

So they can pass through the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream.

Digestion is carried out by means of particular molecules, called enzymes, present in the mouth, stomach and intestine, which break down food into its fundamental components.

In the body there are numerous enzymes and each one specific for each substance.

Each enzyme needs specific pH conditions to act better: some work best in an alkaline environment, others in an acidic environment. 

Digestion of starchy foods, for example, begins in the mouth, where proper chewing makes it possible to transform starch into simpler compounds, thanks to ptialin.

Digestion of protein food on the other hand, takes place in other ways and in a different environment, in an acidic environment (thanks to protease enzymes)


A favourable environment for enzyme activity

If foods that have different digestive needs are associated in food, the result is that digestion is slower and harder, causing drowsiness, burning, feeling heavy, swelling.

Establishing one’s own food behaviour according to the principles of food combinations means, therefore, trying to associate, during food, foods that require similar digestive conditions, to simplify the enzymatic work as much as possible.

De esta manera se ayuda grandemente el proceso digestivo, lo que automáticamente permite al organismo también un mejor trabajo de eliminación de las toxinas porque no está sobrecargado por una eterna obra de asimilación de nutrientes.

In this way the digestive process is greatly helped, which automatically allows the body also a better job of eliminating toxins because it is not overloaded by an eternal work of assimilation of nutrients.

A poorly combined meal can take up to 18/20 hours of digestion, think how much energy is wasted!

Saving this energy means using it to better eliminate metabolic waste, thus achieving a better state of health.

In addition, an appropriate combination of foods also allows us to better absorb nutrients and avoid nutritional deficiencies.

Prolonging for years a poorly combined diet instead predisposes as it is obvious to an overload of toxins, in addition to a constant digestive disorder, and this could favor the appearance of diseases in the long term.

According to Dr Shelton, the rules are few and easy to remember:

> Avoid mixing different proteins (meat, fish, legumes, eggs, etc...);

> Avoid combining starches (or high glycemic carbohydrates) with proteins;

> Fruit away from meals and always avoiding the combination of various types of fruit.


And when is it best to drink water?

Another important aspect for a correct and simple digestion is when to drink water.

During meals it is a good rule not to drink to avoid diluting gastric juices and slowing digestion. 

On the other hand, when eating a balanced meal, the water supply is guaranteed by fruits and vegetables (consisting of 80-90% water)

Water is only good when there is real thirst. 

It is drunk 15 minutes before meals, or at least 30 minutes after a fruit meal, or 2 hours after a starch meal (potatoes, pasta etc.) and 4 hours after a protein meal.


Don’t worry and remember that each person is different

Each person is different from all others, and is even different from himself over time.

Everyone must know how to shape and customize their diet according to their tastes and varying needs, listening attentively to their body, their sensations, their sensors of hunger and thirst.

In fact, it could produce the most beautiful and rational diet in the world on paper, but if it were not applicable and sustainable in practice, in everyday life and in the long term, it would be useless.

There is more and more literature on this subject, and although some studies say that this theory has no scientific basis, the results and benefits are noticed by many people who practice it, including myself and all my clients

I encourage you to put it into practice, without stress, to see if you notice any benefits.

You can contact me for professional accompaniment in your changing eating habits.

I will be happy to help you!


There is nothing to lose and much to gain!

- Promotes the digestion process

- Drastically improves nutrient uptake

- Prevents fermentation of food (gases and swelling)

- Prevents acidity in the stomach

- Keeps your weight under control

- Reduces gastric reflux

- Prevents the accumulation of toxins

- Improves the quality of sleep

- Reduces anxiety and stress

- Increases brain efficiency (memory and attention)

- Maintains a strong immune system

- Improves physical and sexual performance

Improves the state of vital energy!

Below is a list of fruit and vegetable characteristics and optimal food combinations:

>> Melons and watermelons always alone.


SOUR FRUIT (citrus, pineapples, kiwis...)

Recommended associations: Acidic fruits, semiacidic fruits

Undesirable associations: Industrial sugars, legumes, lipids, vegetables moderately glycidic.

Neutral associations: Nuts, low glycidic vegetables.


SEMI-ACID FRUIT (apples, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, strawberries, pears...)

Recommended associations: Acidic fruits, semiacidic fruits, sweet fruits, nuts.

Undesirable associations: Industrial sugars, starches, legumes, lipids, vegetables moderately glycidic.

Neutral associations: Low glycidic vegetables.


SWEET FRUITS (figs, bananas, grapes, persimmon, dates, dried plums, raisins, dried figs...)

Recommended associations: Semiacid fruits, sweets, nuts

Undesirable associations: Acidic fruits, starches, legumes, vegetables moderately glycidic.

Neutral associations: Industrial sugars, non-fasted vegetables.


NUTS (nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, various seeds....)

Recommended associations: Semiacidic fruits, sweet fruits, nuts.

Not recommended: Starches, legumes.

Neutral Associations: Acidic fruits, lipids, slightly starched and starchy and vegetables.

SLIGHTLY STARCHED VEGETABLES ( courgettes, peppers, carrots, etc., except potatoes)

Recommended associations: Starches, fat proteins, lipids, low-glycidic vegetables, medium-glycidic vegetables.

Undesirable associations: Acidic fruit, semi-acidic fruit, sweet fruit, industrial sugars.

Neutral associations: Legumes.

NON STARCHY VEGETABLES (leafy vegetables)

Recommended associations: Starches, fat proteins, lipids, low-glycidic vegetables, medium-glycidic vegetables.

Not recommended: Neutral fruits, industrial sugars.

Neutral associations: Legumes, fruit in general.

Here I also leave you an easy summary to consult 

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