Five common meals you didn't know were bad for your digestion

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Time to give your digestive system a break by avoiding these everyday meals you may be surprised are bad for your stomach.

Roast pork with onion gravy, sweet carrots, onions Sunday lunch
Given up sugar? Cutting down on carbs? What if we told you that the secret to healthy eating lay in the combination of the food on your plate, rather than the ingredients?

According to Holistic Nutritionist Elizabeth Montgomery, this can often be the case for why a diet isn't working.

She explains that we should consider the way our bodies process and digest food when we're creating a dish, and make sure that the combination of ingredients is harmonious.

We asked her to share her thumbs-down combos - and the ones you should opt for instead.

5 food combinations to avoid

1. Animal protein + carbs

Think: Roast beef and Yorkshire puddings
Feel bloated after a roast dinner? That's because different enzymes are required to breakdown these very different foods, says Elizabeth. When eaten together, neither the meat nor the carbs are properly digested, leading to indigestion, fermentation and putrefaction in the digestive tract. Ew.

2. Fruit + carbs

Think: Porridge + fruit
Many people think that adding fruit to porridge is a healthy breakfast option, however it will only hinder the digestive process as fruit digests much more quickly than any other food. Elizabeth says it's better to always eat fruit on an empty stomach and ideally early in the morning.

3. Dairy + fruit

Think: Fruit smoothies
Elizabeth says "Smoothies are a breakfast favourite for many people. The problem is that yoghurt is an animal protein and, when mixed with fruit, will cause inadequate digestion leading to acidity and fermentation in the GI tract."

4. Drinking + meals

Think: A glass of water with lunch
It's best to avoid drinking large amounts of any fluid with meals, as the digestive enzymes can become diluted and hinder the digestive process. Elizabeth recommends that you stop drinking 30 minutes before eating, and wait two hours after a meal to ensure adequate digestion.

5. Melon + dinner

Think: Melon as a healthy dessert
Step away from the melon after dinner, says Elizabeth. Apparently it's the one fruit that must be eaten alone, as it takes slightly longer than other fruits to digest and can leave you bloated.

So what should we be combining instead?

Elizabeth's cheat sheet for the perfect food combining includes Carbs + vegetables, such as brown rice and vegetables; animal protein + non-starchy vegetables, like grilled fish with lightly steamed green beans; and avocados + with either vegetables or fruits.

Find out more from Elizabeth Montgomery at



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