Good and bad food combinations

For better digestion and assimilation, certain foods should be combined. Which?

Traditional recipes are made with experience gained over the centuries that reflects precisely the right combinations. For example, liver with lemon as discussed later in the case of iron and vitamin C.

However, one often goes too far in search of food combinations and following advice without scientific basis, one can achieve a regime based on misconceptions. In addition, the methods which are often given are based solely on digestive principles and not on the assembly of nutrients which nevertheless have often a complementary role.

Water and foods

It is best to drink before eating, because liquids are unfavorable to digestion, for several reasons, their power of diluting and their calcium content among others. As drinks pass quickly in the stomach, they can precede the meal without problem.

Bread and other foods

You can eat bread with all other foods because they are digested very well and does not interfere with the digestion of other foods. White bread is not recommended because it is low in nutrients and brings calories only.

Meat and fruits

A more obvious example of good combination is iron with vitamin C. Iron assimilates well when at the same time we absorbs vitamins C, so foods containing iron, such as liver, meat, lentils, must be preceded or followed by a meal with other foods such as fruits, tomato, cabbage that contains vitamin C.

Fruits after meals

This is a traditional combination coming that we prefer to finish a meal with something good (or to clean the mouth with an apple). Yet this is not necessarily a good thing, because fruits are digested faster than other foods. So it is better to consume them early and leave a bit of time before the rest.
But this principle is something being challenged, so it is best to make his own opinion and see for yourself what is the best of the two methods for you. In any case I would advise against eating the fruits between meals as others advise: you have to let the stomach rest between three meals a day to not tend to gain weight (this does not apply to water that not need be digested).

Fish and dairy

Fish contains vitamin D which helps fix calcium in the bones, in addition to their many health benefits. We can therefore use a fish dish with yogurt or other dairy products which provide calcium ... this is the calcium meal alternating with iron meal that I recommend.

Potatoes with butter

Another traditional recipe that reflects common sense acquired over generations. Not only these two foods are perfectly complementary, but they bring together the essence of what the body needs. We could live of these foods only during these some weeks. Butter provides vitamins A and D, potato all others and essential minerals.

Dried vegetables and salad

Serving beans with salad is a traditional recipe that has meaning. It provides additional vitamins, and facilitates digestion.

Food combinations, good and bad ones

Iron meal: liver with kiwi and lemon, but dairy products are excluded (in this meal)


Like there are good combinations, there are undesirable ones.

Meat and dairy

Calcium prevents iron absoption, although it is useful to absorb, which will lead us to make iron meals where liver is combined with fruits but dairy free, and other meals conducive to calcium without meat but possibly with fish. In the latter case, eating also foods rich in vitamin C is not a drawback.

Cereals and meat

Dried vegetables are not compatible with meat products for two reasons. On one hand they are not complementary, they provide both protein and no vitamins, on the other hand their digestion is bad because they use different enzymes and their digestive cycle times are also different.

In conclusion, there are two reasons to find the right combinations of foods. The first is to facilitate digestion. The second is to seek balance food and even finer again, gather nutrients that are mutually necessary. I would encourage the second rather than the first because the first actually depends on everyone, not everyone has the same metabolic efficiency. The list provided here is just a starting point, you should add your own combinations based on your own experience.