Food Combining: Can Trophology Improve Your Health?
Several years ago, my wife and I switched from a ‘typical’ American carnivore’s diet to a Pescetarian (vegetarian + fish/seafood) diet to maximize our health. My initial motivation to switch came from unexplained fatigue after eating certain meals – particularly ones heavy in starch and sugar. After running blood tests, I was relieved to find I didn’t have any blood diseases, diabetes or the like but still wanted to find the cause. Later, I read The Celestine Prophecy and was reminded of the importance of pH balance in the body along with the alkaline and acidic properties of foods. The book explained the importance of eating a 70-80% alkaline diet for optimal health, and after researching the topic a bit further, my wife and I decided to try it for at least 3 weeks. Three weeks turned into years and we’ve been glad we made the change.
In December of 2008, I further modified my diet after researching “Food Combining” based on the suggestion of Rev. Marcia White, a friend and instructor at Hillside International Truth Center. My wife also happened to have a copy of the book The Tao of Health, Sex, & Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to The Ancient Way, which explains ‘Trophology’, the science of food combining, in great detail. The book is written for a Westerner audience to teach them why and how to apply Eastern ‘Ancient Wisdom’ to their lifestyles to reap the scientifically supported mental and health benefits. In one section, the author explains how pH balance relates to proper food combining:
“The Western scientific equivalent of Yin/Yang balance in food combination is something we all learned in elementary high school chemistry: acid/alkaline balance, or ‘pH’. We all know that if we did add a measure of alkaline to an equal measure of acid, the resulting chemical solution is as neutral as plain water. That’s the principle behind reaching for bicarbonate (a strong alkaline) to relieve ‘acid indigestion’.
It is an established scientific fact in Western medicine that, in order to initiate efficient digestion of any concentrated animal protein, the stomach must secret pepsin. But it is also a well-known fact that pepsin can function only in a highly acidic medium, which must be maintained for several hours for complete digestion of proteins. It is an equally well-established fact of science that when we chew a piece of bread or potato or any other carbohydrate/starch, ptyalin and other alkaline juices are immediately secreted into the food by the saliva in the mouth. When swallowed, the alkalized starches require an alkaline medium in the stomach in order to complete their digestion.
Anyone should be able to figure out what therefore happens when you ingest protein and starch together. Acid and alkaline juices are secreted and simultaneously in response to the incoming protein and starch, promptly neutralizing one another and leaving a weak, watery solution in the stomach that digests neither protein nor starch properly. Instead, the proteins putrefy and the starches ferment owing to the constant presence of bacteria in the digestive tract.”
The book goes on to identify purification and fermentation as the “primary causes of all sorts of digestive distress” and all sorts of “so-called allergies.” Though I can’t say whether the claims in the book are all true, I can say that following it’s recommended All-Organic, minimum 50% raw foods (vegetables and fruits), “food combining”diet for the last 3 months has brought about a significant difference in my body and comfort levels. I’ve lost most my body fat (a nice side effect), and instead of fatigue, my energy levels after eating are consistently high. I also maintain a very healthy appetite and I eat a sufficient meal about every 2-4 hrs.
On the occasions I go against the food combing recommendations (e.g. eating concentrated protein and starch together via a tuna fish sandwich), I feel the all-too familiar stomach discomfort I was so desensitized to for most of my life.
Needless to say, I’ve made food combining a conistant practice in my life and I will continue to search for ways to maximize my health. Combined with excercise, meditation and other practices, I would recommend food combining as a possible solution for anyone seeking to improve thier quality of life.