Now a days there is so much awareness about diet and nutrition, the foods chosen by us are usually healthy. Then also, we become victims of major or minor health problems mostly digestion and immunity related and keep wondering about the cause.
Even though some food articles are quite healthy or safe, but Ayurveda explains that combination of two particular safe foods may not be ideal for health. Because it depends upon the quantity of each food stuff, time of taking food, processing of food and a lot of other factors.
In my previous article VIRUDH AAHARA, I have explained different kind of incompatible food combinations and how it produces the disease. Here I my listing a few bad food combinations and processing of food which we blindly do and relish too.
What we eat has much more impact on our health, than we imagine. Hence we must be aware about good and bad combinations of food. Because every food substance has its own nature, taste, potency effect on doshas and environment for digestion.
List of few common incompatible foods
Fruit after a meal:
One should not combine Fruits with other foods. Because fruit contains simple sugars which usually don?t need digestion. Hence, will not stay for a long time in the stomach. But our meal, such as foods rich in fat, protein and starch, will stay in the stomach for a longer period of time because they need to be digested. So if you eat fruit after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for too long in the stomach and get fermented. It will cause acidity and indigestion.
Liquids and solid food stuff:
When we take liquids with food, liquids tend to pass away immediately into the intestines. And they take away all the digestive enzymes also with them, thus inhibits the digestion. Liquids should be taken at least 10 – 15 minutes prior to meal. One should not take liquids immediately after or along with meal but can be taken half to one hr. after the meal. Small sips of warm water during a meal can help aid digestion.
Bananas and milk combination:
This combination of Banana and milk is one of the heaviest and toxin-forming food combinations. It creates heaviness in the body and slows down the mind. But we love Banana milk shake the most. I would suggest you all who like milk shakes, consider two most important things before having fruit and milk shakes. First don’t ever combine sour fruits with milk, secondly make sure fruit is fully ripened and add some digestive herbs or spices to it to stimulate digestion.
Cold or iced drinks/deserts:
One should not have cold or iced drinks with or after a meal. The cold things diminish digestive power and causes digestion issues, allergies, and colds. This leads to malnourishment and weak immune system.
Eat freshly cooked food:
Fresh food is full of vital energy and nutrients. These start to diminish soon after it’s cooked. By the time it’s a leftover, its properties have changed and it’s heavy for the body to digest. Cooking every single meal may not be realistic in day-to-day fast life, but at least we can try to avoid food that’s been cooked more than 24 hours before.
Milk and meat:
Do not eat meat protein and milk protein together. Meat is heating and milk is cooling so they counteract one another, disturb agni and produce ama.
Milk and melon:
Milk and melons should not be eaten together. Both are cooling, but milk is laxative and melon is diuretic, and milk requires more time for digestion. Moreover the action of hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes the milk to curdle. For this reason Ayurveda advises against taking milk with sour fruits, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and fish.
Proteins and rich carbohydrates:
A olden days believe, that if an animal protein is eaten with a carbohydrate, such as meat and a potato, the different digestive juices will nullify each other’s effectiveness. And this will result in protein will putrefaction of proteins and the carbohydrate will ferment. Then there will be gas and flatulence in the system. Hence try to stick on to one kind of major food during one particular meal.
Green tea or black tea and milk:
To have the benefits of flavonoids called catechins in the tea, which have many beneficial effects on the heart; one should avoid adding milk to the tea. Because has a group proteins called caseins to tea, interact with the tea to reduce the concentration of catechins. So avoid tea with milk.
Tomatoes with carbohydrates and dairy:
Tomatoes are highly acidic foods and are difficult to digest when paired with carbohydrates and dairy, which includes most pasta dishes and I have seen people make many dishes of cheese in the same way. You often feel tired after such meal because your body has to use so much energy to metabolize the kind of food combinations.
Heating or Cooking with Honey:
Honey becomes toxic when cooked /heated directly. Cooked or heated honey takes long to digest and its molecules become sticky and sticks to mucous membrane further block tiny channels. The coughed channels become incapable to transport nutrition to the tissues. Also toxins start accumulation in the tissues, because of blocked channels.
Milk with other Herbs:
Milk should not be taken after the intake of radish, garlic, Moringa oleifera , Ocimum gratissimum, Tulsi, Holy basil etc. this may cause skin diseases. Though garlic and milk are heated and used together in many medicines, cold milk should not be consumed immediately after garlic, radish, holy basil consumption.
Fish and Radish:
Ayurveda says fish and radish has similar qualities and the combination is said to be incompatible. If two foods have many similarities with each other, to such an extent that the combination would increase a particular Dosha to a very high extent, then they are said incompatible. So be care full about the salad on your table while eating fish.
Factors that Pacifies the Effects of Incompatible food
- Digestive fire- A strong digestive fire can be the most powerful factor to deal with incompatible food combinations. In those who exercise regularly, who have good digestion power, in young and strong, the incompatible food will not cause much ill effects.
- The effects of bad food combination are less when foods are cooked together because their qualities blend together. For the same reason, carefully chewing poor food combinations may help you to digest it where bad food combining is inevitable. Avoid combining raw foods with cooked foods and fresh food with leftovers.
- Prabhava – Different quantities of each food involved in a combination can sometimes help significantly. For instance equal quantity by weight of ghee and honey is bad combination. Ghee is cooling, but honey is heating, whereas mixing a 2:1 ratio is not toxic. Reason is Prahbav, the unexplainable action of a food or herb as per Ayurveda.
- Very often spices and herbs are added in Ayurvedic cooking to help make foods compatible or to ease a powerful effect, e.g. cooling coriander in very spicy food.
- Satmya – The habit, if your body has become accustomed to a certain food combination through many years of use, then it is likely that our body has made some adaptation or become accustomed to this. This is not to say that one should continue the same practice, but to explain why the some people get more affected from the same food as compare to the others who has a habit of it. In those, who are habituated (sathmya) to incompatible food and in those who take low quantities of incompatible food for a long period of time, the ill effects will not be seen, until a systemic disease manifestation.
Effect of taking incompatible foods on body and mind as per ayurveda
Intake of unwholesome food is responsible for the sterility, blindness, spreading type of skin diseases, ascetis, eruptions, insanity, fistula, fainting, intoxication, bloating spasmodic obstruction in throat anemia, liver disorder, poisoning due to Ama (indigestion and altered metabolism), skin disorders
IBS, edema, acid dyspepsia, fever, rhinitis, foetal diseases etc and even death. Death may be said secondary to weak immunity.
Unhealthy things which have become accustomed by long use should be discontinued gradually.
Similarly healthy things (foods etc.) should be gradually made in use. So, the process of shift from bad to good food should be gradual and methodical, rather than a sudden shift. Sudden discontinuance of unhealthy things, foods, drinks etc. and indulgence in healthy things, done suddenly and improperly give rise to uneasiness and unpleasant symptoms.
The ill effects of incompatible foods that eliminated gradually and good habits developed gradually leads to robust health.
Treatment to eliminate the ill effects of incompatible food consumption, from body and mind
- Ama pachana- Firstly the undigested food particles, which has become toxins are digested by kindeling the jathradni ( main digestive fire ).
- Shodhana by Panchakarma – Purification is the line of treatment, It helps the cleanse the body and gut of the toxins.
- Shamana Palliative treatment – Based on particular Dosha imbalance and the systemic rejuvenation along with taking care of immunity.
The above guidelines are to make people understand that, it is very important to understand that there is one major factor which determines the completion and efficiency of our digestive processes. In Ayurveda we called it as the jatharagni, which is the main agni of the body and which controls all other agnis (the five bhutagnis and the seven dhatvagnis). If we can optimize the function of our digestive system by taking care of ,What we are eating? We can utilize our diet as a major disease-fighting tool and immunity booster.
Panchkarma root offs all the toxins from body and mind, fight aging and gives longevity of life