Look Before You Bite

Look Before You Bite

By Arianne Koven, N.D., C.N.H.P

The way you mix and match the foods you eat has a direct effect on your digestion, assimilation, absorption and elimination. I stress this with all my clients. Once they grasp a few simple principles and modify their eating patterns, most of them experience a significant (and sometimes immediate) change in their well-being. The incidences of gas, flatulence and bad breath are greatly diminished. Gone too are the frequent feelings of bloating and grogginess that previously occurred after major meals. Many people report feeling more energetic and alive.

Improperly digested foods pass through the intestinal tract without being completely broken down. This could result bits of food getting trapped in the folds of the intestinal tract. As they putrefy over time, they become an on-going source of toxic waste to the body. These toxins find their way into the bloodstream where they could trigger a wide range of allergic reactions.

Common problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, excessively high or low blood, among others are frequently the result of the long-term consumption of wrongly combined foods. Changing your eating habits is probably the wisest and most effective thing you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy. Food combining should be part of your every day meal planning.

Below are simple charts to indicate the doās and donāts of food combinations:


Digestion time: 12 hours
All Seeds
Dairy Products
All Flesh
Digestion time: 5 hours
All Potatoes
All Grains, Dried Beans, Peas
Winter Squash
(Hubbard, Acorn, Butternut)


From the above, we are now aware that Proteins and Starches are NOT compatible! The long time American staple meat and potatoes meal is far from healthy! As for a burger and fries, the mere thought of it makes me shudder! The digestion of starches begins in the mouth whereas proteins are digested in the stomach and small intestines. Two important exceptions to this rule are: Avocadoes combine well with starchy vegetables and grains combine fairly well with legumes. Proteins and starches both combine well with green, leafy, non-starchy vegetables. NEVER combine either with fruit, except for avocadoes, which combine well with acid or sub-acid fruits and both seeds and nuts, combine fairly well with acid fruits.

Fruits do NOT combine at all well with vegetables, except for tomatoes (technically a fruit) which does combine well with celery, okra, cucumbers, eggplant, bell peppers, summer squash and lettuce. The reason is that fruits break down in about two hours or so compared to protein which can take up to 12 hours to digest.

Grandma was right when she admonished, “Eat melons alone or your stomach will moan.” Melons have such unique digestive requirements that they don’t even combine well with other fruit! Next time you eat a fruit cocktail, pick out the melon and see haw little you have left! Eating more than 4 to 6 fruits or vegetables at a single meal is not recommended.


All Citrus Fruits
All Stone or Pit Fruits
Fresh Figs


Both acid and sub-acid fruits do NOT combine well with sweet fruits (e.g. bananas, carob, dates, persimmons and all dried fruits).

Learn the three basic food categories and practice the principles governing their compatibility, and you will take a major step toward maximizing your health. Food that is undigested becomes food for microbes to feed upon. Food that the body cannot utilize wastes the body’s energy and overworks the organs.



© 2012. All Rights Reserved. Arianne Koven is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified Natural Health Practitioner and Voice Dialogue Facilitator practicing in the Vilcabamba Valley, Ecuador. She has been involved in the holistic field for the past thirty years and has been trained in a broad spectrum of healing modalities. This article may be freely reprinted, copied, or distributed in either print or electronic form provided this notice is included in full. For more information, see: www.arikoven.com.

Any information provided in this article is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific medical condition and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counseling of your own health care practitioner. Before you treat any illness or make changes in your current medication, seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner who is familiar with your medical condition.