Food combinations have interested researches and dieticians for a long time. They have been studied by western naturopaths who rely heavily on diet as the basis of treatment. The unique aspect about the food combination theory is that it shares several common features with our Ayurvedic texts. The theory states that different foods have different digestion periods (like fruits are digested quickly whereas lentils take longer).
So, when we eat a slow digesting food with a quickly digesting food, it creates fermentation leading to gas, bloating, and the nutrient absorption slows down. Here is a lowdown on how digestion varies with different food types:
Water: Few minutes
Liquids or broths: 10 to 15 min.
Fruits like watermelon: 20 min.
Other melons like muskmelon, honeydew: 30min.
Oranges and grapes: 30 min.
Apples, grapes, cherries, and peaches: 40 min.
Raw salad (like celery, cucumber etc.): 30 to 40 min.
Cooked vegetables (green leafy and light): 40 min.
Cooked vegetables of the root variety like beetroot, carrot: 50 min.
Semi-concentrated starches like potato, sweet potato: 60 min.
Concentrated carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, corn: 90 min.
Vegetable proteins like lentil, chickpeas, beans, and peas: 100 min. (soy bean is an exception because it takes about 120 min.)
Almonds, walnuts: 120 min to 180 min.
Low fat milk cheese: 90 min.
Paneer and ricotta: 120 min.
Dry cheese of whole milk: four to five hours.
Fish such as cod, flounder, sole seafood: 30 min.
Fatty fish such as salmon and trout: 45 min.
Chicken: one and half to two hours.
Lamb: three to four hours.
Combinations not good for digestion
Dried fruits, cooked fruit syrups with fresh fruits. Cooked foods with fresh foods. Mixing dairy products with fruits. Mixing non-vegetarian foods with starches or fruits. Fruit with or after cooked food. Mixing dried fruits with meats. Mixing citrus juices with apple juice.
People with sensitive stomachs will notice an improvement in their digestion pattern if they follow this protocol.