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Foods That You SHOULD NOT Eat Together, According To Ayurveda

Food can be your friend or your enemy - it solely depends on how you choose to deal with food, that is, what you eat; when you eat; and how you eat it. The science of food and eating stresses the importance of the right way of eating, which also talks about the benefits of food combinations.

For example, green tea + lemon is an amazingly healthy food combination that increases the existing benefits of green tea and lemon; adding citrus juice to green tea increases the body's ability to absorb its antioxidants by more than five times [1].

Ayurveda promotes a healthy lifestyle where food plays a primary role - let food be thy medicine. It is based on Ayurvedic medicine principles and focuses on balancing different types of energy within your body [2].

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Likewise, in Ayurveda, certain incompatible food combinations are known as virudh aahar, which roughly translates to wrong food (at least the gist of it). Incompatible foods are all around you, and when consumed, can affect your body negatively.

Learn about the wrong food combinations here.

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Wrong Food Combinations, According To Ayurveda

(1) Honey and Ghee: According to Ayurveda, mixing honey with ghee is a big NO. Honey has the property of heat and ghee has the property of cold, and one should never combine opposite properties in equal amounts; especially if the honey is heated and mixed with ghee, as it produces HMF (an organic compound which is formed from sugar in an acidic environment during heat treatment) which may cause adverse effects [3][4].

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(2) Honey and Radish: According to Ayurvedic texts, combining radish with honey can result in the formation of toxic compounds, that can cause adverse digestion problems.

(3) Honey and Boiling Water: Adding honey to hot water causes a big rise in hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF) that can increase toxicity in the human body [5].

(4) Milk and Melons: Any melons should not be combined with milk as both are cooling, but milk is laxative and melon diuretic. Milk requires more time for digestion and the stomach acid required to digest the melon causes the milk to curdle, so Ayurveda advises against taking milk with sour foods [6].

(5) Milk and Banana: Shocking right? According to Ayurveda, eating bananas and milk together can diminish Agni (fire), which is responsible for the digestion and metabolism of food [7].

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(6) Milk and Egg: While it is okay to have cooked eggs and milk together, raw or uncooked eggs are unquestionably a no-no, something that many people who are building muscles consider as their energy food. Consuming raw eggs or uncooked eggs can sometimes lead to bacterial infection, food poisoning, and biotin deficiency [8].

(7) Liquids and Solids: As per Ayurvedic law, no liquid should be taken with solids. Liquids immediately pass into the intestines, taking along with it all the digestive enzymes and thus hindering the digestion. Liquids should be taken 20 minutes before a meal and not after or during a meal. You can take it one hour after a meal.

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(8) Meat and Potato: If animal protein is eaten along with a carbohydrate like a potato, then the different digestive juices can neutralize each other's effectiveness. The protein is known to putrefy, and the carbohydrate can ferment. This can result in the formation of gas and flatulence in the system. This is one of the incompatible food combinations to avoid.

(9) Green Tea and Milk: Green tea contains flavonoids called catechins that have several beneficial effects on the heart. When milk is added to this tea, then the proteins in the milk, called caseins, can interact with the green tea to reduce the concentration of catechins.

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(10) Fruit after Meals: Fruits do not combine well with other foods. Fruits contain simple sugars that require no digestion and can stay in the stomach for a long time. Foods that are rich in fat, protein, and starch will not stay for longer, as they require to be digested. So, eating some fruit after a meal will make the fruit sugar stay in the stomach for a long period of time and can ferment.

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Some of the other wrong food combinations are as follows:

  • Grains (wheat, rice, corn, barley, oats etc.) with fruit or tapioca
  • Beans with fruit, cheese, milk and yoghurt
  • Hot drinks with mango, cheese, fish, meat, yoghurt
  • Eggs with melons, meat and yoghurt
  • Lemon with milk, tomato, yoghurt [9]
  • Radish with raisin, banana, milk
  • Yoghurt with cheese, fish, egg, milk, nightshade vegetables (tomato, potato, bell pepper, eggplant)
  • Tapioca with fruit (banana and mango), beans, raisin, jaggery
  • Holy basil with milk
  • Spinach with sesame seed
  • Nightshade vegetables with melon, cucumber, dairy products [10]
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Ayurveda Explains Wrong Food Combinations

The basic principle behind wrong food combinations is that, according to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya), and a post-digestive effect (vipaka). When two or more foods with a different taste, energy, and post-digestive effect are combined, it overloads the body, inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in toxins production [11].

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Likewise, if these same foods, if eaten separately, can be digested more quickly and even help burn some fat in the process (due to healthy digestion). If two foods have plenty of similarities (such as sweet flavour, texture, cold/hold), they are incompatible; if two foods have several opposing qualities, they are deemed incompatible.

According to Ayurveda, the approach for determining the correct diet based upon the elements comprising an individual's constitution: vata, pitta and kapha; which is different from the contemporary view of a balanced diet eating from various food groups. In Ayurveda, understanding the individual is the key to finding a truly balanced diet [12][13].

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Risks Of Wrong Food Combinations

Some wrong food combinations can cause water retention in the body, which is known as Kleda and can lead to several minor health issues [14]. While the way each food affects the body varies (from types of foods to different individuals), some of the common issues are as follows:

  • Indigestion
  • Fermentation
  • Putrefaction
  • Gas formation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Toxaemia (blood poisoning by toxins from a local bacterial infection) and death in rare cases [15]
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On A Final Note…

Now that you are aware of the wrong food combinations, we hope it helps improve your eating habits.

Ayurveda is one of the oldest healthcare systems, and nutrition plays a central role in Ayurvedic living. Ayurveda places special emphasis on "Ahara" (diet) and "Anna" (food) to a good life, health and wellness.

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