Most of us simply load our plates up and there is no order to how we eat our meal The basic premise of “food sequencing” is to “layer” your meal by eating all of each food by itself and then moving on to the next food, rather than taking a bite of this and then a bite of that. Therefore, the concept says if you eat five different foods at a meal and eat each in the correct sequence, there will be five different digestive processes occurring simultaneously, each layer having the different enzymes according to the needs of that particular food. The thinking is if you take a mouthful of each different food, your stomach releases both acid and alkaline digestive enzymes and they cancel each other out. It’s called “strata digestion” – a concept that’s been around for over 50 years.
To try sequencing the basic rules are: Eat the quickest digesting, most watery food first and chew foods close to liquid consistency before swallowing. Basically you begin with fruits/vegetables and progress to carbohydrates, seeds/nuts, dairy and animal proteins last. Of course eating fewer different foods at each meal is believed to optimize digestion by simplifying it. Here’s a short list of digestion times of foods:
Water – leaves immediately when stomach is empty and goes into intestines.
Juices – 15-20 minutes
Fruits – 20-40 minutes
Raw vegetables (salads, leafy greens, etc.) – 30-40 minutes
Cooked vegetables – 40-50 minutes
Starchy vegetables (squashes, yams, potatoes) 60 minutes
Grains – 90 minutes
Legumes, Beans – 90 minutes
Seeds – 2 hours
Nuts – 2-1/2-3 hours
Dairy – anywhere from 90 minutes to 5 hours
Whole egg – 45 minutes
Fish – 30 – 60 minutes
Chicken – 1-1/2 -2 hours
Turkey – 2-2-1/4 hours
Beef, lamb – 3-4 hours
Pork – 4-1/2 – 5 hours
As you can see, there are different schools of thought and different ways you can vary your meals if you find you’re having digestive problems. Many of these protocols have been around for years, but today the first course of action many times is to prescribe an antacid or other medication. My suggestion is to always exhaust natural methods and supplements first before resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. I also encourage you to be mindful – pay close attention to the foods you use to fuel your body and how they affect you. You are the expert on you! And the ultimate responsibility for your health lies with you as well.
Ann Musico is a certified Biblical health coach and independent nutritional consultant. She has developed a “3-D Living Program” to assist her coaching clients in achieving vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Visit her website at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com to learn more about the “3-D Living Program” as well as the e-books and coaching packages she offers. Subscribe for her free monthly newsletter and weekly email messages. Health is more than just the absence of illness. Let Ann show you how to create a life of passion and purpose, wholeness and harmony.
More Health Food Articles