On my return flight from Italy this summer, an aging yet limber Italian man in the seat next to me gave me a lecture on how unhealthy Italian food is. I had already begun missing the flavorful, voluminous meals I'd had in his homeland, but he assured me that had I gone on eating like that, a heart attack would be imminent. The combinations are all wrong, he said. You can't eat meat with starches, or meat with fruit (e.g., prosciutto and melon will kill you), and so on. I took all this with a grain of salt, of course. But it's certainly true that Italian meals -- even eaten in modest portions -- are rather taxing for the digestive system. (For me, personally, more so than, say, meals I've eaten in Chinese / Thai / French, etc. restaurants.)
My question, though, is more general: are there particular things you as part of a meal to digest better? (I don't mean things like antacids or any other drugstore finds, but things incorported into your meal.) Ginger tea? Peppermint tea? Eating veggies first?