As per Ayurveda incompatible diet is about wrong food combinations, quantity, cooking style, body suitability and more such factors that affect the health adversely. For more clarity let’s understand a little about Ayurveda first and the basic eating rules its based on.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian holistic science, according to which we all have unique body type, requirements, digestive power and the food we consume should be based on these factors. For example some people have more body heat and heat(Agni) aids in digestion, so its easier for them to digest heavy food quickly while some struggle to get even lighter food digested.
Another important consideration is how food reacts and affect the body when paired with another food. Each food has its own energy, digestive effect, digestion process, time and season of consumption, quality and potency. When two foods with different values combine they put a stress on digestive system, nutrients do not get absorbed and toxins are formed.
Consistent consumption of incompatible diet leads to inflammation at cellular level and cause various diseases such as anemia, gastritis, intestinal disease, blindness, infertility, arthritis and low immunity. In severe cases it can cause cancer and death as well.
Worst food combinations based on various incompatibilities are:
1 Fish and Milk– Fish has hot potency whereas milk is cold, when combined together they can cause skin allergies, psoriasis or rashes.(potency incompatibility)
2 Milk with banana– Though milk shakes are quite popular but in Ayurveda they are not considered healthy especially milk with banana as it causes throat infections, cold and congestion by hampering body’s digestive fire(Agni).
Even though both milk and banana have cooling effect but they have different post digestion effect which disturbs the body balance.(combination incompatibility)
3 Milk is also not compatible with yogurt, sour fruits, eggs, meat, bread and salty foods. Milk is best consumed alone.
4 Honey and Ghee in equal quantities- Honey has hot potency whereas ghee is cold. Together they cause an imbalance and hamper digestion.(dose incompatibility)
5 Heating honey– Hot honey is termed as poison as the molecules turn into glue like structure when they are heated. They get stuck to membranes and clog delicate channels essential for enzyme absorption.(processing incompatibility)
6 Fruits with grains and pulses– Fruits are easier to digest while grains take longer. The nutrients in fruits are best absorbed when taken alone, otherwise the fructose(fruit sugar) remains undigested. Slow digested food should not be consumed with fast digested food as the lighter food ferments in the body which leads to bloating and gas.
7 Yogurt/curd is not recommended to be eaten at night as it leads to mucus development.(order incompatibility)
8 Nightshades such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and chilies are not compatible with yogurt, milk, melon and cucumber.
9 Yogurt is not compatible with hot drinks, sour fruits, melons, milk, mangoes, fish and meat.
10 Eggs do not pair well with milk, meat, melons, fish and bananas.
11 Corn is incompatible with dates, raisins and bananas.
12 Starchy foods should not be consumed with milk, fruits, dates and eggs as starch is digested slowly.
13 Cold water immediately after consuming hot drinks is contraindication incompatibility.
14 Consuming hot substances in summers and cold substances in winters is called time incompatibility. For example consuming cold drinks in winters can cause cold and congestion whereas warm drinks will soothe the body.
Few other examples of incompatible diet in Ayurveda are
- Milk in tea- Catechins in tea are beneficial for heart but when combined with milk, milk proteins reduce the benefits of catechins.
- Tea with garlic must be avoided.
- Pomegranate juice and grapefruit juice are not compatible with each other.
- Deep fried potatoes– We all know potato chips are unhealthy and regular consumption of deep fried starchy foods can be carcinogenic.
- Ayurveda states reheating oil and deep frying food forms toxins in the body and cause inflammation which is the root cause of heart, brain and liver diseases. Corn, soybean, sunflower, vegetable oils in general are more harmful. Food fried in vegetable oil absorb the toxins and lose their nutritional value.
Too much sugar and fat can weaken immunity and make one susceptible to injury and illness.
Regular consumption of junk food can cause zinc deficiency. Zinc is essential for absorption of anti-oxidants and certain important vitamins therefore zinc deficiency can lead to low testosterone levels and diseases related to it.
Never the less, Ayurveda states that people who exercise, are very young or have high body heat can digest incompatible food. If food is consumed according to eating rules it has the power to heal and reverse the damage caused by wrong food combination or unhealthy food.
Other things to be kept in mind are:
- Quality of food, food should not be rotten or raw.
- Mode of preparation- Food should not be under cooked, burnt or cooked in reheated oil.
- Food should be eaten as per ones capacity. Over or under eating can cause digestion issues.
Tips for eating food
- Always chew every bit of your food, do not swallow quickly or eat in a hurry. As food mixed with saliva is digested easily.
- Do not drink water between or immediately after meals as it cools down the digestive fire and slower digestion. If you must, sip warm water slowly to enhance digestion.
- Always wash your hands before eating, wash your vegetables and fruits thoroughly before consuming.
- Add ginger to your food or drink ginger tea for better digestion.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day to flush out toxins.
- Exercise regularly for better immunity and stronger digestion.
In conclusion– Food can be poison or food can be medicine, it depends on how mindfully we follow the eating rules. Incompatible diet in Ayurveda is a centuries old concept that applies to our modern day lifestyle more than ever. Eat fresh, according to season and time of the day, avoid fried and processed food. Include herbs and spices that enhance not only the taste but the nutritional value of food as well. Small daily habits can repair and strengthen the immune system. Eat healthy and live with vitality.
(The above post does not equate with medical advice, its based on internet research).