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5 food combos to avoid

If indigestion is a regular worry for you, here are some bad combinations that you should steer clear of. By Shweta Gandhi 

Eating without thinking is perhaps the worst decision we could be taking for our health—and it shows when we feel queasy after eating a meal. Research shows that it could actually be a combination of two different foods that’s causing the bloating, constipation, indigestion or fatigue. Here are some combos to steer clear off.

#1 Protein + Starch
Protein-rich food (think meat, poultry, eggs) combined with starch (pasta, rice, bread and the like) isn’t the best as it makes your body bloat up. The reason is that protein-rich food requires an acidic digestive environment wherein the enzyme pepsin is present. The starch-rich food requires alkaline enzymes for digestion. Both food groups are tough to digest and when combined it takes an even bigger toll on your digestive system. The lesson here is to separate your protein from your starch, which means no eggs and toast, chicken and pasta, meat and potatoes.

#2 Dairy + Starch
This combo is fairly similar to the first one, but the issue here is that dairy products in general take a long time to digest. Adding starch to the equation simply doubles the digestion time. Yet another problematic area is the fact that starch, once in your digestive tract, starts fermenting if it sits there for too long—which, in simpler terms, causes painful bloating and gas. The best option would be to avoid milk and cereal, cheese and bread, and opt for greens.

#3 Protein + Protein
Think eggs and chicken. Or, dal and mutton. Both combos are a no-no here, and here’s the reason—protein requires a lot of energy to digest. If you double the quantity, it will mean more time for digestion, which implies an uncomfortable and unsettled feeling in your stomach till the time the food is broken down, processed and digested. The safer bet would be to limit your intake to one main protein dish per meal.

#4 Fruits + Protein
Fruits are a whole different family in their own right. They require a different digestive environment as they digest quicker than protein-rich foods. The tip here is to consume meat, poultry, and fish separately from fruit (including all varieties— frozen, fresh and dried). So, if you’re having eggs for breakfast, refrain from having that orange juice. Combo foods like yogurt with added fruits would come under this category too, as would creamy fruit smoothies and fruit-topped cheesecake.

#5 Fruits + Starch
These aren’t as bad as the previous combo, but fruits and starch should also be skipped. Fruits should ideally be consumed early morning on an empty stomach as they have natural cleansing abilities. If you really can’t do without fruit and starch in one meal, a waiting period of 15 minutes between the two should suffice. Combination foods like fruit pies, cereal and bananas, and a fruit spread on toast should be replaced with just pieces of fruits. A special mention is made for melons, as these should be consumed on their own, devoid of any starch-rich or other foods.

Photograph courtesy: Tanyel/Wikimedia Commons

Categories:   Lifestyle, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness

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