If we combine our foods right, do not overeat, and eat real food, our bodies have something called enzymes which will digest our food. Substances which do not ordinarily combine with each other when they are brought together can be made to do so by a third substance – a catalyst called “enzymes.”
Enzymes cause a reaction in the food, but the enzyme itself does not actually become a part of the food. Each enzyme has its own action and it only acts on one specific food type. Enzymes that act on protein do not act on fats, sugars or starches.
Digesting Starch: Enzymes must also work in order. They can perform their work only if the work has been done properly by the enzymes that precede it. Starch should be eaten as dry as possible. Its digestion begins in the mouth (the saliva secretes the enzyme ptyalin), continues in the stomach, then in the duodenum of the small intestine where the starch is mixed with pancreatic enzymes. If done in proper order, the result is glucose, the substance from which you get your energy.
Protein Digestion: When protein is digested properly, it becomes amino acids. Protein digestion begins in the stomach through gastric juices containing the enzyme pepsin, as well as hydrochloric acid; it passes through the duodenum and receives the pancreatic enzyme trypsin and is converted into amino acids by erepsin in the small intestine.
Proteins that leave the stomach undigested cannot be digested anywhere else in the digestive system. These undigested proteins turn into toxins and the result is the production of allergies due to the undigested protein.
Factors that retard digestion: Ice gives the body a shock and causes the stomach to stop or reduce the production of digestive juices. Liquid with meals is a major cause of poor digestion. No matter what you are eating, you dilute the enzymes and reduce the prospects for good digestion.
Fat Digestion: Gastric juices of the stomach lining produce an enzyme called lipase, splitting fat down into components. Hydrochloric acid also helps digest fat. When fat leaves the stomach, bile from the liver and pancreas act upon the fat to continue the digestive process. Fat is converted into fatty acids, which are broken down into glucose or energy. Fat takes the longest time to digest of any food.
Hydrogenation is important to understand. In order to improve the shelf life of an oil by keeping it from fermenting or turning rancid and make it a solid at room temperature, a process called hydrogenation is used. This process renders the food undigestible since it must reach a temperature of over 300 degrees to be broken down.
Vegetables: Nonstarch vegetables digest differently from starch vegetables. They don’t need a large amount of ptyalin or alkaline base. Starch, proteins or fat from the vegetable kingdom are in smaller, more balanced amounts and are, therefore, more compatible with either starch or protein for proper food combining.
Fruit: Fruit is one of the foods especially designed for the human body. Some people have problems with fruit and eliminate it from their diets because they think it is too high in sugar or they develop a bloated or gas condition. It is really the result of improper food combining.
Fruit must pass through the mouth, stomach, and into the small intestine where the enzymes convert it to glucose. However, when fruits are eaten with other foods and the digestive track is not empty, the fruits tend to ferment. The rule for fruit is to eat it alone or leave it alone. Do not eliminate fruit from your diet since the role of fruit is to cleanse the system.
To summarize, proteins should never be eaten with starchy foods, as the enzymes that are utilized to break down protein fight with the enzymes used to break down the starches. The result is that the food will either ferment or putrify and not be absorbed properly in the small intestines. Proteins OR starches may be eaten with colorful veggies. Fruit is always eaten alone.
In short, the best digestion is accomplished by correct combining of foods that take approximately the same time to digest. To be healthy and happy, try proper food combining, it works!