What Do You Eat With The Protein?
Do you ever feel wiped out after a meal? I’m talking about that bloated, gassy feeling. Well for some people, they feel tired or even mentally foggy. All these signs are telling you there’s a problem. But instead of covering up the problem with drugs, there are natural ways to fix the problem. Here’s a wellness approach that can help people with digestive issues.
To start with, let’s define protein. In food language that translates into beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese. These are all concentrated proteins. Our body needs protein for every facet of life, for building and repairing our body and to feed muscle tissue. You know that toned look that keeps you looking young?
“Okay,” you’re saying, “I’m eating protein.” Maybe eating enough protein, but what if I told you you’re probably not digesting or getting the health benefits of all the protein you eat? It has to do with the way we combine foods. I’m talking about the other foods you eat with protein.
HCL — The Hidden Factor
Now pause right there so I can reveal a hidden factor in this digestive formula. The hidden factor is HCL or hydrochloric acid. HCL is a natural acid made in your stomach. It releases pepsin, which breaks down food, goes to work on that protein, dissolves it, and amazingly the body absorbs and transports the little building blocks called amino acids where they’re needed.
So you need the right amount of hydrochloric acid to do the job. That’s where the red flag goes up, because there’s another factor. Starches. Combing starches with protein during meals actually reduces the secretion of hydrochloric acid levels in your stomach. Starches reduce or soak up hydrochloric acid. If that happens, there’s not enough left to fully digest protein. As a result, you don’t get all the benefits of the protein. The undigested food can ferment or putrefy and make you feel bloated and sluggish.
What’s happening? A couple of things. The first is that sugars inhibit the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Of course starchy foods are classified as sugars. That means if we eat a big steak and our stomachs begin the secretion of hydrochloric acid to digest the food, a good thing, but then we add simple sugars like bread, potatoes, pie, brownies, soft drinks, and most fruit juices. The stomach slows down the release of hydrochloric acid. You guessed it, a bad thing.
Think of the traditional fast food meal: hamburger patty on a sugar-laden bun, tempered with hot french fried potatoes, washed down with a biggie size sugary pop. The sugars found in the bun, the fries, and the drink all slow down the release of hydrochloric acid. And secondly, not only do the sugars inhibit the secretion of hydrochloric acid, the sugars combine with the hydrochloric acid already in the stomach. That prevents the hydrochloric acid from breaking down the protein and prevents the hydrochloric acid from breaking down the protein and prevents the activation of other enzymes, which are needed for complete protein digestion.
Dr. George Goodheart, a strong advocate of food combining describes it with this word picture. Just as bread will soak up water when you put it in a dish, in our stomachs the same bread will soak up the free hydrochloric acid in the stomach. There’s not enough hydrochloric acid left to completely digest the protein it was intended to digest. When we’re young we have sufficient levels of enzymes, but with stress and age, our enzymes are depleted.
Conclusion: Combine The Right Foods
So here’s the strategy for combining foods. When you eat concentrated protein, beef, poultry, or fish, reduce the heavy starches like bread, potatoes, pasta, even soft drinks. Instead increase vegetables. Remember, it’s how you combine foods. If you eat cereal at breakfast, which is a starch, don’t have an egg or a meat. If you have eggs, leave out the toast or at least cut back.
You get the idea. Try it. You’ll have more energy, less digestive problems, and you’ll be more mentally alert after meals. Food combining is a basic principle of optimal nutrition because it allows the body to digest and utilize the nutrients in our foods to their full extent. Ask your wellness clinician for more information about food combining and talk to them about any digestive problems you’re experiencing. Don’t ignore the symptoms when you feel tired and bloated after meals. Do something to feel better and fixing your digestion is the best place to start.