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Food Combining for Optimum Digestion

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Insight from Natural Health Leaders - Lessons from the Orchard by Dr. David Klein - Fruit-Powered

Why do we need to practice proper food combining? Because our digestive systems cannot digest haphazard combinations, as evidenced by indigestion, flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhea, vomiting, body odors, colds, flu, pimples, dandruff, chronic pain, fatigue and countless other signs of autointoxication. If we have chronic gastrointestinal gas, queasiness, bloating and body odors, we are not healthy even if we feel good and happy.

Toxic matter and gases in the body do erode our health and will sooner or later lead to disease, with no exception! Those who can seemingly eat “anything” are, ultimately, not going to get away with it! In fact, hygienic physiologists agree that more than 90 percent of all known common maladies and major diseases are caused by autointoxication, that is, self-poisoning, mainly stemming from eating diets that are incompatible with our physiological constitution and capabilities.

A properly combined diet of 75 percent or more raw vegan food will clear up most maladies. The correct diet for the human species, as revealed by studies of anatomy, physiology and biology is, predominantly, whole, ripe, organic, raw fruits and succulent vegetables, with minimal amounts of nuts and seeds. The validity of the food combining guidelines (or “rules”) has been confirmed by virtually everyone who has applied them for awhile, and they are supported by physiological science.

During the Civil War era, a medical doctor named Beaumont performed clinical tests on a man who, by virtue of an unusual injury, had a temporary hole extending to the exterior of his abdomen, which afforded direct sampling of his stomach contents under various eating conditions. Those observations were used subsequently by physiologists Dr. John H. Tilden and Dr. Herbert M. Shelton in the formulation of food-combining guidelines.

In my own case, within 24 hours of adopting a vegan diet and applying food combining, my GI system, which had been a virtual erupting volcano when I suffered with ulcerative colitis, completely quieted down, leaving me feeling wonderfully disease-free and allowing me to heal at a rapid rate. Countless others have experienced similar relief of their GI ills.

Test the guidelines out and learn for yourself. Everyone who diligently follows them, avoiding overeating and incorporating other essential elements of healthful living, sooner or later derives the benefits of excellent digestion, no body odors, minimal or no gas, inoffensive feces, effortless defecation, clear urine, clearer skin, eyes and mind, more balanced composure, ideal weight level, greater physical stamina, faster healing, better sleep and youthful vitality. Basically, monomeals yield the best results. “Simple 3” salads (for example, lettuce, tomato and avocado) also work very well. In summary, the simpler the digestive task, the better the results.

Dr. David Klein's food-combining chart

Food Combining Guidelines

  • Cantaloupe sliced and halved against a white backgroundEat melons alone.
  • Eat all other sweet fruits on an empty stomach with or without green neutral vegetables (for example, lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers.
  • Do not eat acidic citrus fruits with other types of sweet fruits.
  • A minimal amount of sweet acidic citrus fruit might digest well with avocado, nuts, seeds and young coconut (whole or blended into dressings)—test it and learn.
  • Tomato, Cape gooseberry and tomatillo combine well with nuts, seeds and avocado.
  • Do not eat fatty high-protein foods (nuts, seeds and coconut) with sweet fruit or starchy foods (squash, tubers, carrots, peas and corn).

A halved avocado

  • A minimal amount of avocado might combine well with starchy foods.
  • Nuts and seeds can be eaten together. Avoid eating nuts/seeds with avocado and coconut.
  • Eating nuts, seeds, coconut and avocado with green neutral vegetables (for example, lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers typically enhances digestion as additional proper digestive juices will aid in the digestion of the fat.
  • Legumes are poorly digested because of their high protein and starch content. Sprouted legumes are somewhat more digestible. These are best eaten with green neutral vegetables (for example, lettuce, kale, celery) and/or cucumbers.
  • Sweet peas and young carrots fresh from the garden are nonstarchy; older ones are starchy.

Carrots against white background

  • Starchy foods combine well with all vegetables and nonsweet fruits except tomatoes—do not mix tomatoes with starchy foods. Protein/fatty foods combine well with nonstarchy vegetables and cucumbers. Avocado combines well with any kind of vegetable, tuber and nonsweet fruit. Eat avocado minimally until you have overcome illness.
  • Space out your meals, allowing time for your system to assimilate and rest.


The efficacy of correct food combinations is negated by:

  • Overeating of fats and starches (eating beyond your body’s ability to secrete sufficient digestive juices).
  • Diluting the enzyme-food mixture (chyme) in your stomach by drinking more than a few sips of juices or water.
  • Eating when tired.
  • Eating when stressed.
  • Eating when not hungry.
  • Eating foods that do not appeal to your senses.
  • Eating before the digestion of your previous meal is complete. (Wait an hour for fruit, four hours for starches and six or more hours for fatty foods.)
  • Eating when the stomach and intestines contain fermenting debris or are digesting food from a previous meal.
  • Eating quickly.
  • Incomplete chewing.
  • Exercising vigorously soon after eating.
  • Going to sleep soon after eating.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Powerful seasonings.
  • Toxic irritants (for example, vinegar, which is acidic and destroys alkaline digestive secretions; onions; bitter herbs; and pepper).
  • Medicines.

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