Food association

How to have a good digestion?

Good digestion is not just about good quality food. It is important to know how to combine them in order to facilitate its digestion, absorption of nutrients and avoid any fermentation. This avoids many unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, digestive heaviness, gas, constipation/diarrhea or pain which eventually causes weakening of the digestive system. Some foods have more affinity with each other than others, so it is important to understand food association and how to optimise its combination.

Before we start, it is important to specify the following:

  • Protein = meat, fish and seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt.
  • Carbohydrates/ flour/cereals = potato, wheat, rice, corn
  • Sugar/Fruits = all sugars, fresh and dry fruits, milk and all yoghurts

Here are some food associations to avoid:

1. Combination of protein with carbohydrates, starch, flour

For example : meat with potatoes and cheese + bread

2. Combination of protein with sugar/fruit.

For example: Duck with oranges or chicken with pineapple

Tip: fruits are best eaten alone, and not during meals

3. Combination of cereals/carbohydrates with sugar/fruits.

For example:  Breakfast cereals combined with sugar and fruits

4. Sugar and Acid Combination

For example: Eating an orange with sugar

5. Combination of citrus and sweet fruits,

For example: Eating an orange with banana

True or False?

  • Having a fruit at the end of a meal is lighter and better – FALSE
  • A balanced meal should always contain a protein, vegetables and a starch- FALSE
  • A bowl of cereal with fruit and milk in the morning is a great source of energy – FALSE
  • The following combination work best:

.        Protein and Vegetables – TRUE

.        Vegetables and Fruits – TRUE

.        Vegetables and starch/ flour/cereals – TRUE

However in practice, we can eat everything in balance and moderation!

Food Association Ideas : Vegetables and Fruits

How about some smoothie options?  You will find below some popular combination of smoothies:

  • Handful of kale or baby spinach
  • 100% apple juice
  • A few slices of cucumber
  • A sliced banana
  • Juice of one lemon
  • A few ice cubes or sparkling mineral water

You can also replace the banana with other fruits such as:

  • Blueberries frozen or fresh
  • Strawberries frozen or fresh
  • Pineapple frozen or fresh
  • Kiwi
  • Mango fresh or frozen
Food association
Credits : Sara Cervera

Vegetable options:

  • Peeled carrots
  • Kale can also be replaced with swiss chard
  • Cauliflower or broccoli
  • Beets
Food association
Credits : LYFE Fuel

Plant Powered Show 2021 in South Africa  

Health2bfree is pleased to support the Plant Powered Show 2021 which will take place in October 2021 in South Africa. In the forthcoming months, we will come back to this major event, and unveil some of the exciting activities that will be made available for Health2bfree followers. To whet your appetite, we are pleased to showcase two recipes from the Vegan and Plant Power Show 2020 recipe books below.

Food Association of Protein and Vegetables

Thai Cauliflower and Chickpea Red Curry

Thai Cauliflower and Chickpea Red Curry

Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 60 g red curry paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 500 ml carrot juice infused with ginger (You can make this yourself at home if you cannot find already made carrot juice with ginger)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 150 g cauliflower
  • 1 tin chickpea, drained and rinsed

For the garnish:

  • Limes
  • Spring Onion
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Sprouts
  • Basil

How to Make:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes
  3. Add the curry paste, turmeric and lemongrass and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, ginger infused carrot Juice and soy sauce, and stir through.
  5. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas and stir through.
  6. Cook until the cauliflower is just soft.
  7. Serve with white jasmine rice and top with fresh coriander, lime juice, spring onion, sprouts, and basil.

Food Association: Combination of vegetables and carbohydrates

Another great recipe from the Festive Vegan and Plant Power Show 2020 recipe book, combining baked rice, eggplant and leek hotpot from celebrity chef Simon Toohey

Baked rice, eggplant and leek hotpot with, olives, dill and parsley

Simon Toohey’s Baked rice, eggplant and leek hotpot with, olives, dill and parsley


  • 2 x brinjal or aubergines  
  • 5tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 leek
  • 1 turnip
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 50gms black olives with seeds
  • ½ bunch dill
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • Pinch saffron optional
  • Drizzle B-well olive oil to finish
  • Pinch salt and pepper

How to Make:

  1. Preheat oven 180 degrees
  2. In a clay pot approximately 15 cm and relatively deep (or cast iron pot with a lid) on medium heat on the stove, add 3tbsp vegetable oil.
  3. Slice the leek about an 2.5cm after where the white meets the green then slice in half, opening it up. Place the cut side down on the pan to colour and soften. Do not touch as you want to gain some wonderful colour.
  4. Quarter the turnips and throw in with the leeks, again not moving it. Finally chop the garlic and fry off only for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove the ingredients from the clay pot and add your washed rice until the liquid runs clear, then add that to the pot.
  6. Peel off the layers of leek and lay on top of the rice like lasagne sheets.
  7. Squeeze the seeds from the olives and chop roughly and place on top.
  8. Add the turnips and then chop the herbs and add.
  9. Put seeds, and saffron in the vegetable stock and pour over everything.
  10. Place the lid on and back in the oven for 30 min.
  11. Take the lid off and bake for and extra 10 min.
  12. Finish with dill.
  13. Serve with a fresh rocket salad citrus and nuts.

Bon appétit