Bad Food Combinations And Solution As Per Ayurveda

Though some food articles are quite safe, Ayurveda explains that combination of two particular safe foods may not be ideal for health. It depends upon the quantity of each food stuff, time of taking food, processing of food and a lot of other factors. Let’s have a look at the list.

Principles involved

Opposing dual qualities: If  two qualities are strongly exhibited in two items and their combination would lead to a bad quality match, then they are rendered incompatible. Usually hot potency and cold potency is considered. But this does not always hold good. For example, in some cases, in some hot potency herbs, they are treated with milk (cold potency) to lower its hotness. Example: Garlic Milk Remedy, Bhallataka (hot) – processed with milk etc.
Garlic with milk is not opposed by their potency (Veerya Viruddha). Hot and cold things are frequently used together. For example, coolant milk is boiled with hot garlic to prepare garlic milk remedy. Not all combinations of hot and cold things together is bad.
Only if, with lot of trials, if a particular combination is found to be causing stomach related symptoms such as bloating, vomiting, diarrhea or skin related issues such as allergic rashes, or some long term effects such as chronic poisoning, only then that combination is forbidden to be taken together.

Similar qualities: If two foods have many similarities among them, to such an extent that the combination would increase a particular Dosha to a very high extent, then they are said incompatible.
Example:
 Fish with radish.

Opposing multiple qualities: If two foods have multiple opposing qualities, their combination is usually declared incompatible. For example – honey and ghee in equal quantities.

Processing: If processing of food leads to alteration / destruction of original quality of the food, then it is not recommended, such as heating of curds and heating of honey.

Time of intake: We learned in Basic Principles of Ayurveda that, the day and night can be divided into three parts, From morning to evening, in one third part, Kapha, Pitta and Vata are active. If taking some food aggravates Dosha due to its similarity in qualities with the timing of Dosha, then that food at that particular time is defined as incompatible. Example: Taking curds at night. Or taking excess sweets at night.

Now let us dive into the actual list of bad Ayurveda food combinations. 

Wrong Food Combinations

Pork, Buffalo meat, Swan meat, goose, crab, fish, tortoise, should not not be taken along with  black gram, honey, milk and germinated grains.
Radish is incompatible with fish.

Fish with milk is incompatible.  Both fish and milk of them have sweet taste, but due to the contradiction in their potency (fish is hot and milk is cold) they vitiate the blood and obstruct the channels of circulation.
Fish with milk is wrong to take. That does not mean that milk products like paneer is not advised along with Fish. This rule only applies to milk.

Anupa Mamsa – Meat of Yak, buffalo, cow, deer, elephant,
Audaka / Varishaya – fish, whale, pearl oyster, conch snail, cat fish, crocodile,
These meat / fishes  should not be taken together with honey, sesame seeds, sugar candy, milk, black gram (Masha), radish, lotus stalk or germinated grains (Viruda dhanya). By doing so, one gets afflicted with deafness, blindness, trembling, loss of intelligence loss of voice and nasal voice, it may even cause death.

Meat of Kapota (dove) fried in mustard oil together with honey and milk, for this obstructs channels of circulation and causes dilatation of blood vessels, epilepsy, Shankhaka (a disease of the head characterized by acute pain in temporal region), Galaganda (Scrofula) or even death.

Milk should not be taken after the intake of radish, garlic, Keshnagandha (Moringa oleifera Lam.) Arjaka ( Ocimum gratissimum Linn), Sumukha Surasa (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.
Milk with certain vegetables is contra indicated. But preparing dishes of these vegetables with paneer is fine.

Holy basil with milk – If you are taking holy basil capsule or tablet for any respiratory or viral infection condition, then it is better to avoid having milk soon after this. Maintain a gap of at least 30 minutes between the two.

Milk with sour fruits – All sour substances, sour fruits such as sour mango, sour pomegranate, etc are incompatible with milk
Horse gram with milk is a bad combination.
After consuming green leafy vegetables and radish, drinking milk should be avoided.

Spinach with sesame seed – Indian spinach (Basella rubra) processed along with sesame seed paste causes diarrhea.
Pork should not be taken along with porcupine meat.

Honey should not be heated. Honey should not be consumed by a person suffering from excess heat as it causes Pitta increase.
Honey and ghee or honey and rain water,  both in water, both in equal quantity,
Radish along with black gram is forbidden.
Curds along with palm date,
Black pepper along with fish or during digestion of fish,
Banana along with buttermilk is not recommended.
Chicken and Spotted deer should not be taken along with curds.
Uncooked meat along with bile of animals is bad.

Sheep meat along with leaves of Kusumba herb
Germinated grains along with lotus stalk
Lakucha Phala (wild jack) along with black gram soup.

Kakamachi (Black night shade) along with jaggery
Pippali – Long pepper fruit,  prepared with fish fat and Kakamachi (Black nightshade – Solanum nigrum), mixed with honey causes death.

Pippali (long pepper) processed with the oil in which fish is fried should be rejected.
Ghee kept in bronze vessel for more than 10 days should not be taken.
Hot substances or hot procedures (like sun bath) is not recommended along with Bhallataka (Semecarpus anacardium).
Mixing of milk, beer and Krishara (rice – green gram dish)
Mixing of equal quantities of any 2, 3 or all of the following is not recommended – honey, ghee, meat, fat, sesame oil and beverages.
Honey along with ghee, even in unequal proportions, should not be consumed along with water.
Honey along with seeds of Pushkara (Inula racemosa)
Honey, along with wine of dates (Maireya) and sugar
Milk drinks along with Mantha (solution of corn flour)
Mushroom with yellow cap, with mustard oil is incompatible.
Leaves of Jatuka (Ferula narthex) or ripe fruit of Nikucha (Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb). Should not be taken with honey and milk.
Ripe fruit of Nikucha (Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb) should not be taken with the soup of Masha (black gram), sugar candy and ghee because they are mutually contradictory.
Meat of Tittiri, peacock, Godha (Iguana lizard), Lava (common quail), Kapinjala, cooked by the fire of wood of castor and processed with, fried in castor oil is lethal.
Cucumber with nightshades is fine to take.
Egg with rice or egg with vegetables is fine to take. They can be cooked and consumed together.

Curd, Buttermilk Combinations

Betel nut along with curd or buttermilk is not idea.
Betel nut is usually consumed after having buttermilk or curd.
Buttermilk with lentils is good to take.
Cucumber with buttermilk is fine to take. Cucumber with sweet curd can cause cold issues.
Jaggery with buttermilk is fine to take. Jaggery with curd can cause weight gain and may worsen cold, cough, asthma, especially if taken at night.
Curd with sweet fruits can cause cold.

Garlic with milk

It is fine to take them together, when they are processed together in a recipe. For example, milk and garlic – cooked together is a recipe for bloating. This is called Lashuna Kshirapaka.
Taking milk after curd rice is not ideally recommended. It adds to the kapha dosha increase.
Tender coconut water along with milk is fine to take during summer. In a person with cold and cough, it can worsen the symptoms.
Coconut with cow milk is compatible. It is extremely nourishing and has calming effect on stomach. But it can worsen cough, cold, weak digestion and obesity.
Sprouted grains are usually not made a combination with milk.
Dried apricot is sour in taste. It is not good to take it with milk.
Fish with jaggery is fine to take.
Jaggery after chicken might be heavy to digest and can cause digestion issues.
Buttermilk after papaya or ilk after papaya is safe to take. In some people, it may cause loose motion.

Milk and rice

Milk and rice are compatible with each other. Even in Rasayana – anti ageing rejuvenation therapy, after taking medicines like Chyawanprash, Bramha rasayana etc in high dose, milk and rice are advised together to keep Pitta dosha under check and to provide body withe energy and nutrition.
Cooked rice can be added with milk and taken.
It is better to sit while taking solid or liquid foods.
Milk with gravy and rice is fine to take only when the gravy is very spicy. Milk nullifies the hotness of spices.
Milk with sweet fruits like apple is fine to take. But sour apples with milk is not good.
In a cereal with salt and paratha, using a little bit of milk looks fine, as long as the whole combination starts giving bloating and weaker digestion.
Milk with egg and sprouts is fine to take, as long as nothing is sour.

Lemons, tomatoes and cucumber are fine to use together.

Honey and ghee

Honey in ghee – equal quantities is a bad food combination. But if there are multiple ingredients, then honey and ghee can be used in equal proportions. For example, the quantity of honey and ghee is same in Chyawaprash. But because of more than 30 other ingredients, equal quantity rule does not apply.

During the making of a food or medicine, if ghee is used first, and then honey is used, then also, the equal quantity rule does not apply.

I have been advised to take almond soaked in honey and ghee by doctor. How should I take it?
Because only three ingredients are there, in this better to take almonds soaked in 2 teaspoons of honey, along with 10 drops of ghee.
Ghee with bitter melon is fine to consume.
Curd and honey together is a good combination because these two are used together in Panchamrita preparation.

Dairy products

Milk and paneer is fine. Useful to improve weight. Can cause cold. Paneer paratha is fine to be given to children. Paneer goes well with salt.
Curd, Buttermilk, Amla Pickle, Ghee and butter are fine to use along with chickpea. While using this combination, better to add some spices to the recipe so as to improve digestion capacity.
Ghee with warm milk is very good for health. Ghee with cold milk may cause low digestion problem.
Ghee placed in brass vessel for more than the period of 10 days should be avoided,
Buffalo milk with coconut powder can increase Kapha Dosha. It is very good to induce sleep.
Jaggery with milk – if the jaggery has sour content in it, it can curdle the milk. Hence, this combination is not very ideal. It can worsen cold, cough.
Jaggery can be added to buttermilk.
Milk with green gram is fine to take.
Banana mix with curd and honey is fine to take, as long as curd and honey are not heated. In excess, it is not good for digestion.
Having jaggery after chicken can cause digestion problems.
Paneer with milk or curd can increase Kapha dosha.
Curd with pickle is very fine to take. In South India, we consume curd rice along with pickle at the end part of meals.

Spice combinations

Milk with turmeric is fine to take.
Ginger boiled with milk is fine to take.
Ginger, lemon and honey are fine to take together.

Dry fruits, super foods

Dry fruit powder like peanut, walnut, cashew etc can be mixed while preparing chapati, rice, and other dishes for kids.
Moringa is fine to take before going to gym or even after gym workout.
Coconut, sesame seeds and jaggery  is a good combination.
Protein powder (with sodium content of 54 mg in 1 serving) is fine to take along with milk. Only milk and salt in high quantities is contra-indicated.
It is fine to have paratha made with a little salt with milk.
Granola cereal with milk is fine to take, as the content of salt in it is less.
Pomegranate with mango is fine to take.
Dates is compatible with buttermilk.

Vegetables

Tomato can be used along with lemon.

The treatment for incompatible food consumption

Shodhana – purification procedure – Panchakarma. It helps the cleanse the body and gut of the toxins.
Shamana – palliative treatment – Based on particular Dosha imbalance observed in the patient.
Virodha chikitsa – symptom based treatment.
Health should be restored quickly by using food that have opposite qualities to that of incompatible foods.

In whom it might not affect?

In those who exercise regularly, who are habituated to oily fatty food, who have good digestion power, in young and strong, the incompatible food will not cause any ill effects.
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.

Types of food incompatibility

Types of Viruddha Ahara- Types of food incompatibility as explained by Charaka:

1. Desha Viruddha – Place – Intake of dry and strong substances such as strong wine, in deserts; oily and cold substance in marshy land is place contradictory diet habit. because, in deserts, it causes extreme increase of Vata and Pitta and in marshy land, it causes extreme increase of Kapha Dosha.

2. Kala Viruddha – Time contradictory diet habit – Intake of cold and dry substances in winter; pungent and hot substance in the summer.

3. Agni Viruddha – Power of Digestion contradictory diet – Intake of heavy-to-digest food when the power of digestion is low (mandagni); intake of light food when the power of digestion is very high (Teekshnagni). Similarly intake of food at various with irregular  and normal power of digestion fall under this category.

4. Matra Viruddha – Dose specific diet contradiction – Intake of honey and ghee in equal quantities

5. Satmya Viruddha – Habit specific diet contradiction- Intake of sweet and cold substance by persons accustomed to pungent and hot substances.

6. Dosha Viruddha – Dosha specific diet contradiction- Utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with Doshas but at variance with the habit of the individual.

7. Samskara Viruddha – processing – Method of preparation specific diet contradiction:- Drugs and diets which when prepared in a particular way produce poisonous effects, for example, meat of peacock roasted on a castor spit, heating of honey etc.

8. Veerya Viruddha – Potency specific diet contradiction- Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.

9. Koshta Viruddha – Bowel specific diet contradiction
Administration of a mild purgative in a small dose for a person of with hard bowel (Krura Koshta) and administration of strong purgatives food for a  person with soft bowel (Mrudu Koshta).

10. Avastha Viruddha –Stage specific contradiction: Indulgence in Vata aggravating diet after physical stress, sexual intercourse, exercise.
Indulgence in Kapha aggravating diet by a lethargic, sleepy person.

11. Krama Viruddha – Order specific contradiction – If a person takes food before his bowel and urinary bladder are clear (empty) or when he does not have appetite or after his hunger has been highly aggravated.

12. Parihara Viruddha –Prescription specific contradiction – Intake of hot things after taking pork.

13. Upachara Viruddha – Treatment specific contradiction – Taking cold things after taking ghee.

14. Paka Viruddha – Cooking contradiction – Preparation of food with bad or rotten fuel, under-cooking, over-cooking or burning during the process of preparation.

15. Samyoga Viruddha – Combination – Intake of sour substance with milk.

16. Hrudaya Viruddha – Palatability :- Any substance which is not pleasant in taste.

17. Sampat Viruddha – Richness of quality:- Intake of substance that are not mature, over-mature or purified.

18. Vidhi Viruddha – Rules of eating :- Taking meals in public

Effect of taking incompatible foods

Intake of unwholesome food is responsible for the
Shandya – causation of sterility ,
Andhya – blindness,
Visarpa (herpes, spreading type of skin disease),
Dakodara – ascites,
Visphota – eruptions,
Unmada – insanity,
Bhagandara – fistula,
Murcha – fainting,
Mada – intoxication,
Adhmana – bloating
Galagraha – spasmodic obstruction in throat,
Pandu – anemia, initial stage of liver disorder
Amavisha- poisoning due to Ama (indigestion and altered metabolism),
Kilasa type of skin disease,
Kushta – skin disorders
Grahani – sprue, IBS,
Shotha – edema,
Amlapitta – acid dyspepsia,
Jvara – fever,
Peenasa – rhinitis,
Santana Dosha – fetal diseases and
Mrutyu – death. [102-103]

Treatment for disorders of incompatible food and diet habits

First the undigested food particles left in the gut and the highly imbalanced doshas should be expelled out of the body. For this purpose, two Panchakarma treatments – Vamana – emesis treatment and Virechana – purgation treatment is adopted.
Then, specific antidotes and prophylaxis is adopted.

Weaning, Treatment

Unhealthy things – foods, drinks, activities which have become accustomed by long use should be discontinued by quarter and quarter gradually.
Similarly healthy things (foods etc.) should be gradually made use with intervals of 1, 2 and 3 days.
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 diseases
The ill effects of incompatible foods that eliminated gradually and good habits developed gradually leads to robust health.
References:

Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 7th chapter

Are milk and rice compatible with each other?
Yes, Milk and rice are compatible with each other. Even in Rasayana – anti ageing rejuvenation therapy, after taking medicines like Chyawanprash, Bramha rasayana etc in high dose, milk and rice are advised together to keep Pitta dosha under check and to provide body with energy and nutrition.
Cooked rice can be added with milk and taken.
It is better to sit while taking solid or liquid foods.

Understanding modern foods

How to understand bad foods as per modern times?

Genetically modified foods, excessive pesticide usage in foods, using sewage water for irrigation – these cause serious health hazards to us and to our next generation. 

Presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic wrapped foods is known to cause teratogenicity in rats. (Alters the health of fetus) 

Wrapping foods in newspapers is declared as a health hazard by FSSAI. 

Adulterated milk, adulterated foods and spices such as saffron, honey, ghee etc causes a wide range of ill effects. 
As per the report published in the journal of Food sciences and technology, 2013 5(1-2), 64-68, 68.4 % of milk in India is adulterated. 

Additives such as artificial colors, flavoring agents, preservatives, anti oxidants, sweeteners, gelling agents, emulsifiers – all these in food definitely  have hazardous effects on health. 

Addition By –
Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) PhD.

Annagata Dosha – Effects Of Improper Food

It has become very common to find several health issues due to intake of improper food. Timings, nature of food,combination of food, improper method of intake, wrong food practices after intake of specific food are major facts which we are unaware most of the times. It is the reason even the best food, nutritive eatables, energy rich food, and hygienically prepared food also shows untoward effects on body.
Read – Eating Etiquette: Healthy Eating Rules

This write up is made to explore such facts as per the classical guidelines. Most of these verses are taken from ‘Paka darpana’ text which is believed to be written by Maharaja Nala, who was also a best chef too.
Read – Can Fruits Be Consumed With Meals? Ayurveda Explains

According to text there are mainly eight major causes for manifestation of discomforts due to food and they are as follows-

Asritanna (improperly decanted rice and grains)

After cooking rice or any food grains if watery portion is not filtered it becomes sour on metabolic change (vipaka wise-sour). Such a food if consumed it will lead to various abdominal discomforts like indigestion, regurgitation, heaviness, sour belching etc.
Read – Health Benefits Of Vegetarian Diet – Ayurvedic Opinion

2. Paicchilya anna (Slimy food)

If food over cooked it becomes pasty and slimy. Such food causes indigestion and features of Ama.

3. Ashuchi anna (unhygienic food)

If food is contaminated with worms, hair, nail or any non eatable substances it is called polluted food.
It will cause tastelessness, nausea, vomiting etc.
Read – 11 Ayurvedic eating tips for good health

4. Kwathitanna (Food cooked in less quantity)

If less amount food is cooked in large quantity of water, it is called Kwathitanna which means improperly cooked food. In fact, such a food is not cooked equally.

Intake of such eatables will result is Atma dosha- means dissatisfaction or sensation for further craving for food of different nature. It is practically evident also.
Read – 5 Ayurvedic Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle

5. Shushkanna (Dried food)

After long gap of cooking, if food is taken such a food becomes dry or hard. Such a food if taken causes acidic regurgitation as a result of improper digestion.

6. Dagdhanna (Burnt food)

If food is cooked by using high intensity of flame or for prolonged period, it gets charred or over cooked with less amount of water. Such a burnt or charred food will certainly cause emaciation, tissue damage, may act as carcinogenic also and burning in stomach and chest.

7. Viroopanna (food prepared by un sorted grain/ rice)

Without sorting food grains for any kind of adulterants like stone, other grains of different nature etc, if food is cooked it is called Viroopanna. Such a food will stay in stomach for long period and decrease life span and quality of life.
Read – Lifestyle Tips For Healthy People And Patients In Ayurveda

8. Anartu anna – Un seasonal food

It is commonly found nowadays; people eat different kind of food of their liking without taking a thought about the season and nature of food. Example, in winter also people enjoy ice cream, chilled beverages etc!. Such food stuffs are named as Anartu ahara.
Such food articles will cause
Nidra – sleepy, malaise, drowsy and feel discomfort.
These symptoms suggest toward indigestion.
The symptoms largely depend on the type of wrong food taken.
Read – Importance Of Diet (Pathya) For Specific Diseases

Each mentioning in classical Ayurvedic literature is unique. In-depth study and its application in various dimensions will surely unfurl the rationality behind food habits. As most of the diseases of present day are due to bad food habits, true and judicial incorporation of these points and their application in wider sense will help to curb at least few such diseases.

Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy by email

Addition by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

How to identify food incompatibility?

How to identify unknown food incompatibilities, wrong food combos and allergies

Ayurveda has been exemplary in giving strong concepts of food and dietetics. The concepts related to food explained in Ayurveda are followed even today. Time and again these concepts have been proved to be conducive to health. This ancient science of health has elaborated many types of food incompatibilities and allergies. Viruddha Ahara and 18 types of food combinations which are not wholesome for health, as explained in Ayurvedic treatises is the earliest work done on unhealthy food combinations, which includes the concept of food allergies and food poisoning.

In the modern era wherein we are confused so as to what to eat and what to reject, when we are constantly becoming victims of food borne disorders, when the food is seen with fear and when there are so many types of tempting foods in offer, the golden question is how to detect these new food incompatibilities. How to know the right food combinations and how to keep away erroneous combinations?

Identification of incompatible and allergic foods, and wrong food combos

It is indeed very difficult to identify the unknown allergens. Similarly it is difficult to figure out which food combinations are beneficial and which are harmful.

The answer –

Constant rejection or constant reaction to any food, by the body, should be considered as viruddha i.e. antagonistic or asatmya i.e. non-conducive. Here the nature of food will be unknown and would beat the ‘intelligence system of our body’. This rule is applicable even for new foods we consume. For many of us, the newly introduced foods may not show any reaction and the body may not reject those foods. But in some people they may show reaction and rejection on a constant basis. Quantum of rejection and reaction may vary from mild to moderate to severe.

When it happens in a small quantum, there is a chance that they may produce small disturbances in the body in the form of gastric upset, nausea, headache, skin allergy or flaring up of certain conditions which already exist for a short time. Here, due to feebleness of symptoms, we may ignore addressing them. They may be food incompatibilities which are not accepted by body elements, therefore the reaction. This may be a temporary affair.

But if the same foods are taken for long time, they may constantly disturb doshas and symptoms may appear again and again. These may be considered as food allergies. They will have a long run until nidana parivarjana i.e. identification and isolation of etiological factors in the form of culprit food has been done.

On the other hand, if the reaction and rejection is strong, like a pradhanika hetu i.e. fulminant etiological factors, there may be strong symptoms like uncontrollable diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, life-threatening reactions etc. Here, the food may be considered as poison, the food poisoning.

These factors vary from person to person, from food to food. Therefore enlisting the unknown allergies and incompatibilities with respect to food is moreover a personalization, a personalized approach. The person should be wise enough to identify foods which cause reaction and rejection constantly. More emphasis should be given in this direction if food is new and unknown. We need to remember that the known foods too can cause reactions, but we may ignore them because we are habituated to them and we do not want to acknowledge them as culprits.

Ayurveda has given a list of viruddha aharas i.e. unhealthy food combinations, which appear reasonable and applicable even today, though many might have gone unnoticed.

Foods, in simple understandable ways can be classified as –

1. Foods we love – These foods are accustomed or regularly practiced. We have loved them over a period of time or made to believe so. These foods do not generally cause troubles unless adulterated. Interesting thing to note about these foods is that these too can cause small troubles but may go unnoticed, or we may ignore acknowledging them as causal for our problems just because we love them. Just like we ignore the mistakes done by our kids since we love them.

Case 1 – Once, one of my Punjabi client said that his dietitian has told him to stop chapatti and potato, which forms the bulk of food consumed by people of that region, since they might be causing allergy. This was done after a series of food incompatible tests were done and possible culprits identified. He was in utmost stress!!

Case 2 – One of my clients begged me to allow him to take sugarcane juice daily as it would keep his sugar levels at textual levels. Doctors had ignored him and had prohibited him from doing so. He says that it is his favorite (do not know why and how) and he feels stressed giving it up, his family too doesn’t support him. According to him keeping away the juice gives him stress and stress is causing high blood sugar levels. I allowed him to do so. Believe me; his readings on the next 15 days were normal.

Similarly, being a South Indian (this is only an example, nothing to do with region or religion) I may really be worried if I am put up in a place where I do not get rice which is my most loved food. The body may still show some symptoms like loss of appetite, indigestion, constipation etc because of my indifference with new foods in that region and moreover dissatisfaction of not getting my loved foods.

Food is a mind concept you see!

2. Foods we hate – There are some foods we hate to eat. We are still compelled to eat them without rejecting since it is family food. The saved files of dislike have become manasika ama causing many disorders, physical and mental, may be of mild to moderate scale and varied attitude towards food. This may go unnoticed. And many times we inevitably start liking those foods or blend with the concept, thus it becomes satmya i.e. conducive and do not harm us. Some hated foods may cause instant reactions and rejections with serious symptoms.

3. Foods which hate us – This is tricky. These are foods not just made for us, while others enjoy eating them. These foods keep giving untoward reactions and rejections time and again. It is easy to identify them on regular basis. Because every time we take them, they create problems. They are etiological factors of diseases. One needs to just keep them away. They are either food allergies or food poisons.

4. Alien Foods, anukta viruddha ahara – These are the wrong food mixtures and unwholesome foods, a point of this discussion. This is also easy to handle, in terms of identifying them. Whenever we are introduced to a new food or new format of food, we need to be conscious about what happens after consumption. At the same time, it is human to try new things.

Food shall be a conscious factor, not a fear factor’ – I tell this to all my clients.

But when these new foods are producing new symptoms which we haven’t experienced or flare ups of old conditions which were long gone, they are clues towards lack of adjustment of the food with our interior. We may ignore these symptoms on the first happening, but when they repeatedly happens with every consumption of the same food or foods, the alert system of the body will ring bells. It is idiocy of not catching up with those cautions.

Unmentioned harmful food combinations

Doshas and anukta viruddha ahara (unmentioned harmful food combinations)

It is obvious that the doshas get disturbed and go out of balance after taking viruddha ahara i.e. harmful food combos.

As per Acharya Charaka ‘unknown viruddha aharas or any viruddha aharas as a matter of fact disturb / provoke the doshas but do not expel them’.

Yes. If the foods provoke the doshas and expel them, they become medicines, not incompatible foods or dangerous food combos.

Then what happens?

Wrong food combos or incompatible foods vitiate the doshas. These doshas effect one of the below-mentioned events –

  • Doshas which get provoked by unknown foods stay in the body put into circulation and damage the tissues causing mild to moderate symptoms.
  • If immunity and fight-back mechanism of the body are good, the doshas do not harm much. They cause mild symptoms and get pacified unless the person is accustomed to take the same food repeatedly.
  • If the immunity is not good, these foods may cause severe symptoms immediately and may have a long run, still needs interventions.
  • If these foods are taken occasionally, they may cause allergic reactions which either go away after the food has been discontinued or may get addressed with some sort of intervention.
  • When ignored or not addressed, the flared up doshas, immaterial of the quantity of vitiation, stay put up for long duration and act as ama, i.e. endotoxins, over a period of time. These may cause chronic diseases.

The fact that these doshas are not expelled naturally, indicates the need of suppressing or expelling them either by palliative approaches or purifying treatments, depending on the quantity of dosha increase.

Also –

Availability of anishta ahara i.e. foods which are not desired or loved and non-availability of ishta ahara i.e. likable and loved foods, may also show reactions over a period of time as they cause manasika ama, i.e. mind toxins.

It is said, ‘Anna parabrahma swaroopam’. It means ‘Food is equivalent to the creator, the God’. We were asked to recite this before consuming food in childhood. It has been a practice ever since. No food in relation is designed to harm life. But staying in modern era, it is our responsibility to chose and eat food consciously. 

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Skype

Neem, Banana with milk

If the banana is sweet, it is fine to take it along with cow milk. Only sour fruits are not compatible with milk. Coconut milk is indeed compatible with banana. Sweet banana with milk is a good combination. It is given to newly weds for its aphrodisiac properties. Banana milkshake is a valid drink to consume.
Milk with neem is compatible.
Ragi is compatible with milk.
Cumin is compatible with milk.
Consuming milk at the end of food is fine, if the food was spicy. It helps to balance down the excess hotness.
Kala chana along with curd can increase Kapha Dosha and sputum. Hence, not recommended when you have cough or cold.

Saint’s words

As per Sri Ganeshadasa Bhaktamali Prabhu Charana,
Eating 2 or more foods prepared from milk together is very harmful practice for liver. and digestive problems these days .Kheer, kadhi, shrikhand, any candy of milk, cream, raayta, paneer, sweet curd etc etc. fruit salad, tomato and tamarind foods together cause kidney weakening (bhel and other chats), watermelon juice with milk in it, dahi wada (dahi and urad daal , cause of major heart blockages ) are also extreme dangerous – as heard from a senior Yogi Vaidya in olden days. Sitaram.

121 thoughts on “Bad Food Combinations And Solution As Per Ayurveda”

  1. Is fish cooked in curd( as bengalis cook) bad? Also is taking fish or meat with curd or buttermilk hArmful?

    Reply
  2. Your article – “Bad Food Combinations…” is very informative and useful, but you have not mentioned as per what timings of the day/night, which foods should not be taken-like morning, afternoon and night. You have mentioned only about Curd, but not about all other foods. This would certainly help readers otherwise it would remain only half information!!!

    Reply
    • Hi sir, thanks 🙂
      1. Curd at night is wrong.
      2. Curd, extremely hot things during summer is wrong.
      3. Sweets and oily food substances at night is wrong – aggravates Kapha
      4. Having heavy sweets early in the morning is wrong – aggravates Kapha
      5. Having heavily sour, excess salty and pungent things in the afternoon is wrong- aggravates Pitta

      I will keep on updating this article from time to time and you will be notified of the updates.

      Reply
  3. I read an old book that advise equal portion of ghee and honey one spoon with a tender leaf of Peaple tree leaf will give you life for over 100 years,

    Reply
    • But there are numerous places in Ayurveda text books where, it is not approved as good practice.

      Reply
        • In this context, the term ‘sama amsha’is used to indicate equal proportions. Some consider volume and many consider weight. I think it is best to consider weight.

          Reply
  4. Could you please elaborate why fish with curd/milk is incompatible ? And why curd should not be taken at night ?Could you also please let me know there ill-effects ? As one of my friends always takes it & she always goes by logic . Hence ,I need to give her the reason.
    Thanks.
    Neena

    Reply
  5. could you expand upon : Turmeric with Mustard oil . I beleive it is quite common to mix these, esp in making bengali fish. Is it ok to use topically?

    Reply
    • As per Ayurveda, processing mustard oil along with turmeric is not good.
      It also applies to external usage. But if you are using other ingredients, for external usage, it may be just fine.

      Reply
        • Dear Andrey Golovinov, The reference is found in – Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana, 7th chapter, 41st Verse. – First line – last half – “Haaridraha Katutailavaan” Haridra means turmeric. Katutaila is mustard oil.

          Reply
          • … hāridraḥ kaṭutailavān ||41||

            Turmeric is haridrā, but haridrā not equal to hāridra.

            Sarvāṅgasundarā commentary on Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā Sū.7.41:

            hāridraḥ-kuprasavaḥ śākaviśeṣaḥ sarpacchatrānukārī pītābhāsaḥ, kaṭutailavān-sarṣapatailabhṛṣṭo, viruddhaḥ |

            Āyurvedarasāyana commentary on Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā Sū.7.41:

            hāridrakaṭutailayorvirodhāmāha-hāridra iti| hāridraḥpītavarṇaśchatrākaviśeṣaḥ kandaḥ| kaṭutailavān-sarṣapatailabhṛṣṭaḥ|

            Hāridra is mushroom with yellow cap. It is Agaricus campestris.

            Reply
            • Dear Andrey Golovinov, Many thanks for pointing out the mistake.
              I had not gone through the Sanskrit commentary while translating this verse.
              I have made the appropriate correction in the article.
              Thanks and regards

              Reply
    • Adding sugar to both full cream buttermilk and to the curds (without churning) is dangerous. Both combinations increase Kapha Dosha by a large extent.

      Reply
  6. If you are accustomed to this combination, to the point that you can not live without it, then please continue. It probably will do no harm to you.

    Reply
  7. We use yoghurt in biryanis and curries. Is it so bad? Also, is mixing turmeric and mustard seeds bad since turmeric and mustard oil is bad. Finally, since milk and garlic a bad combination, is cooking with ghee and garlic/ginger paste as ingredients bad too?

    Reply
  8. Sir,
    I have some queries.
    1) Is porridge(made from desi cow’s milk) compatible with jaggery?
    2) Is porridge(made from desi cow’s milk) or milk itself compatible with fruits?
    3) Is yogurt or lassi compatible with jaggery?
    4) Is yogurt or lassi compatible with honey?
    Please reply.

    Reply
        • Per my understanding of this article, certain combinations are explicitly called out as ‘bad’ in the Samhitas. Everything else is allowed or left to discretion based on other general Ayurvedic principles, some of which are mentioned in this article.

          On which grounds would yogurt and honey be incompatible? Yogurt+Sugar is different from Yogurt+Honey because honey reduces Kapha unlike sugar.

          Of course I don’t know the deeper effects of these two, so my conclusions may not be accurate.

          Reply
  9. Dear Sir,
    Is it OK to mix milk with fruits i.e. milkshakes like Strawberry milkshakes or smoothy which contains 3-4 fruits with milk? is it OK to give it to kids?

    Reply
  10. Is milk is compatible with black gram ??i have seen some article where kheer of black gram with milk is very good for health but in your article .In your article Horse gram with milk is bad combination sould you please clarify it.

    Reply
  11. I’m confused when two of the foremost experts on Ayurveda, Dr. Vasant Lad and Dr. David Frawley, disagree about food combining. In “Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing”, page 188, Dr. Lad states, “Do not eat bananas with milk.” On page 293 of “Ayurvedic Healing A Comprehensive Guide”, Dr. Frawley states, “Milk combines poorly with bread, sour fruit, beans, nuts, fish or meat. It does combine well with whole grains, however, and sweet fruit like bananas.” Regarding Dr. Frawley’s comment that milk combines poorly with nuts, Dr. Lad recommends the opposite in a recipe he recommends using ten soaked almonds blended with a cup of warm milk (p. 240 “The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies”). I would appreciate it if you could shed some light on this. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Dear Dr.Hebber

    thank you so much giving all tip of Ayurveda, I was following all your instruction for health good life.

    Sir I am having problem of hair loss what is the remedy you will suggest.

    I will be grateful if you could answer me

    thanks

    Reply
  13. Dr Hebbar can onion, garlic, or vegetables be combined with sugarcane/sugar? How about cooked fruit with grains vegetables etc? Things like apples pears oranges berries grapes. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I do not see any problem with mixing garlic or vegetables with sugarcane / sugar, Cooked fruits with grains and vegetables.

      Reply
  14. Dry fruits with milk is fine. But coconut and milk are incompatible with each other. (reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana).
    [Reply assisted by manjeetb4u]

    Reply
  15. Dear sir..
    Thnx…very useful information but I want to know about butttermilk. It can be taken at night or not???

    Reply
  16. hello noble sir.
    can you please evaluate these combinations –
    green gram + milk
    milk + onions/brijnal/carrots/beets/green vegetables
    milk + chickpeas
    milk + olive oil
    cheeses(paneer/agedcheese) + fruits
    cheeses(paneer/aged cheese) + nuts/seeds
    thank you and bless you

    Reply
    • Green gram and milk – not good.
      Milk with onion / brinjal – no problem, although I haven’t seen this combination anywhere.
      Milk with carrot, beets, greenies – appears no problem
      Milk with chickpea – appears no problem
      Milk with olive oil – better that the milk be warm.
      Cheese with fruits or nuts/ seeds – no problem.

      Reply
      • Dr Hebbar I have read in many Ayurvedic Patrikas and heard from Vaidyas too not to combine milk with onion(as in mix vegetable paratha that has onion + other veggies). They say keep gap of 1 hour between onion and milk.

        Reply
        • There is no direct reference banning milk and green gram.
          But it is told – Mixing of milk, beer and Krishara (rice – green gram dish) is not good.

          Reply
  17. Thank you the useful article, Sir! As milk is incompatible with sour foods/fruits, does the same apply to plant based milk such as soy milk, rice milk or almond milk? Thank you for your advice!

    Reply
  18. Thank you for the great information! Since milk is not compatible with sour foods/fruits, does the same apply for plant based milk like soy milk, rice milk and almond milk? Thank you for your advice!

    Reply
  19. What is best time to eat two Banana,
    1) after lunch is OK or not..? (i.e. between 1 to 2pm)
    2) along with lunch is suitable or after lunch ..?

    Reply
  20. Thank you for the great article! I had a question regarding compatibility of water. There are a number of green superfood powders available in market (containing wheatgrass / spirulina etc) that recommend to make a smoothie in milk. As milk and sour green vegetables are incompatible, will it be fine to take them directly with water? Or are water and green vegetables also incompatible? Also, is it fine to consume water with the meal? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi, if it makes any bloating sensation after taking the combination, or if the powder of those cause curdling of milk, then it is a wrong food combination.
      I do not think taking wheat grass or spirulina with milk causes any problem.

      Reply
  21. Sir, this is the Line of Ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis:
    • Ghritapana (oral administration of medicated ghee)
    • Vamana (emesis) (According to the need virechana-purgation can also be carried or else both are also recommended one after the other)
    • Shamana Aushadha (medicaments)- Both internal and external medication is carried.
    Would advise you to undergo the above Panchakarma treatment for the same under the supervision of a Ayurvedic Physician

    Reply
    • Thank you.. Please tell me a good and genuine centre for panchakarma treatment and a please tell me what are the food that a PSORIASIS patient sholud take and should not take..

      Reply
      • Sir, Food which can be taken:
        • Include lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet will help improve your skin cells.
        • In meats you can choose lean meat and fish as your preferred food.
        • The best functional foods to consume are soy, cranberries, nuts and chocolate.
        • The breakfast may consist of fresh fruits such as apples, grapes, pears, peaches, pineapples and a handful of raw nuts or a couple of tablespoons of raw seeds.
        • A large bowl of fresh green vegetable salad and sprouts may be taken for lunch and dinner may consist of steamed vegetables and whole wheat chapatti
        • Flaxseed is a really good source of Omega-3 acid. This will help people control inflammation
        • Carrots, beets, cucumbers and grapes may be used for juices.
        • 25 black raisins soaked overnight in water along with water in which they are soaked as well as water kept overnight in a copper vessel.
        • Coconut water
        • Yogasanas like padmasana, ekpaduttanasana, yoga mudra and shavasana
        Food to avoid:
        • Juices of citrus fruits should be avoided.
        • All animal fats, including milk, butter and eggs should be avoided
        • Refined or processed foods and foods containing hydrogenated fats or white sugar, all condiments, tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco should also be avoided.
        • Foods with Omega 6: Omega 6 fatty acids are found in a lot of different vegetable oils. They are present in corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil etc. chances are high that foods such as potato chips, cakes, etc. also have them
        • Sweet food
        • Caffeine and alcohol

        Reply
  22. I am really confused about incompatible foods. as I understand from Ayurveda, we should combine foods in such a way that they neutralize each others one sided action and hence get balanced. for example cucumber (cooling) is sprinkled with pepper and salt (heating) and hence the excessive coolness of cucumber is neutralized. similarly when sugar (cooling) is added to curd (heating), it becomes balanced. so how come milk (heavy and kapha provoking) become good combination with black gram (heavy and kapha provoking) as both are kapha provoking and heavy for digestion. of course they can used as medicine for those who have excess pitta or vata. but as food combination I don’t think it is good.

    Reply
    • Hi, milk, along with black gram, is used only where aphrodisiac action is required, or in high Vata, low Kapha conditions, where Kapha needs increasing.

      Reply
  23. Is Apple with Milk means apple milkshake is opposite diet? Is it create any skin problem like white spots on face? What are the merits and demerits of it?

    Reply
    • Hi, as per my knowledge, apple and milk can be taken together, assuming apple is not sour in taste. It would carry both the good effects of apple and milk.

      Reply
  24. Dear doctor,

    Is it ok to combine cooked fruit with our regular meal? Like, adding fresh cranberries/cherries/strawberries etc in Rasam or sambar(and cooking it) as a tomato substitute?

    Thanks,
    Pavi

    Reply
    • Hi, betroot, cucumber, aloe vera etc juice are good.
      Onion juice with bottermilk can be had.

      Reply
  25. Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    Is milk compatible with green gram? As rice and green gram (individually and not as in kichari) have same taste and after-taste, and if milk is compatible with rice, the should it also be compatible with green gram?

    Reply
  26. Dear Doctor,

    request you to suggest medicine / food habits to reduce keloid on Rt cheek happened due to skin burnt to my daughter 6yrs.

    regards.,
    kesava

    Reply
    • Namaste Sir, Here are some home remedies for keloid scars to shrink, fade and get rid of keloids naturally:

      1. Apply Lemon juice on the affected skin area.Leave it on for about half an hour, and then wash the area with lukewarm water.Repeat the process at least once daily.
      2. Clean the affected area. Apply fresh aloe Vera gel to the keloid and let it dry. Do this twice daily for best results
      3. Make a thick paste of sandalwood powder and rose water. Clean the scar with water and apply the paste before going to bed. In the morning, wash the area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
      4. Apply fresh honey on the scar and massage the area gently to improve blood circulation and prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells.
      5. Mix one tablespoon of multani mitti , one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of rose water to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste on the scarred area and massage it gently in order to soften the scar. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash the area thoroughly with cold water.

      Reply
  27. For some reasons, I find it difficult to eat fruits in their natural form like apple, banana, orange etc.. Is it OK to cook them and eat? Do they become more digestible when cooked? Are there some fruits which we should not cook?

    Same way, is it ok to cook and eat vegetables which we use for salads like cucumber, radish, tomatoes … if eating them raw is not suiting.

    I love to eat vegetables and sprouts in their raw form, for e.g, I like cucumber, tomatoes, beets most gourds and sprouts like moong, chana, peas etc. But I find it difficult to digest them. I am scared that if I forcibly eat them I might develop ama as they may not be digested properly. Please advice if I should keep trying to eat them. Is it possible that over a period of time, my digestive system will get accustomed to raw veggies and be able to digest them well? These are healthy habits and I would very much like to include them in my day to day diet. It also makes life easy as cooking effort can be avoided.. Please let me know if there are any tricks so that I can eat them raw and not have ama related issues.

    Reply
    • Hi, you can cook fruits and vegetables for consumption, if you like it that way. But Vitamin C is very heat sensitive hence, it is not a good idea to cook citrus fruits, which would lose Vitamin C.
      Vegetables are almost always meant to be eaten only after cooking.

      Do not try to eat anything forcibly that you do not like.

      Reply
  28. Hi, Milk along with radish is contra-indicated. They both can be taken with a minimum gap of 1 hour.
    Milk with ghee is one of the best Rasayanas – anti ageing food recipes.
    Warm milk with ghee is very useful to induce sleep and to soothe nerves. If the person is not obese, or if the person does not have cough, cold, fever, low digestion strength, asthma etc Kapha problems, then it is fine to take milk with ghee at night.
    Make sure that the milk is warm and not cold, because with ghee, hot liquids are preferred for easy digestion.

    Regarding potency, Guna etc of different herbs, I am covering them. Thus far I have covered many such as pointed gourd, radish, amla, pomegranate, etc. Use the google search bar in the right column in this website to search them.

    Reply
  29. Is wheat flour compatible with vegetable oil? I heard that its a bad combination according to ayurveda and could lead to blindness. So I use ghee in making the dough and for coating chapatis (just to make them softer). But many seem to use vegetable oil. Is this combination allowed?

    Reply
    • There is a common conscience now developing that vegetable oils are not that good for health and ancient oils/fat such as ghee, sesame oil, coconut oil, mustard oil etc are far better than the recent ones. So, it makes sense to switch back to the ancient ones.

      Reply
  30. I have heard that fruits should not be eaten after eating fish..is it true…and also please tell whether curd can be taken with fish??

    Reply
    • Hi, I have not heard or read anywhere that fruits should not be taken after fsih.
      Fish with milk is contra indicated. Fish with curd is fine (as per what I know till today).

      Reply
  31. Sir, so to sum up bananas should never be taken alongwith milk or yogurt or curd/paneer right?

    Also, I’ve read a few times where amla is advised to be taken with milk. Please clarify sir, is all amla incompatible with milk as in raw, dried and powdered form?\

    And are drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) leaves also incompatible with milk? For eg, if we add just a little bit milk to porridge containing Moringa leaves?

    Sir, one other question-does ayurveda mention what foods must never be eaten raw? As it seems beetroots are high in oxalic acid which inhibits absorption of calcium etc and cooking beetroots mitigates this effect. And how to eat Moringa leaves? Can they not be eaten raw?

    Reply
    • Banana with milk – is okay. Better to avoid it with curd or paneer (it becomes excessively coolant)
      Amla, in all forms is incompatible with milk.
      I think drumstick leaves are compatible with milk

      I am yet to find a reference for avoidable raw food list in any test book.
      Moriga leaves are usually made as Sabji or Sambar for consumption.

      Reply
  32. Namaste.

    Is it ok to eat fruits with other foods. All the information on the internet says fruits should never be consumed with other foods as it does not get digested properly. What is your opinion.

    Also can we eat a sour fruit like strawberry with a sweet fruit like banana.

    Thank you

    Reply
  33. Hello Dr, Hebbar,

    Is it okey to consume Daal and Milk together ?
    Does it leads to any ill effects on skin or body ?
    Thanks

    Reply
  34. Sir, one of the lines says that mixing of any 2,3 items of the following in not recommend. In the list are two common ingredients which we have been using for a long time – meat and sesame oil. Could you please suggest whether it is harmful to use seasame oil for cooking meat? If so, why? Thanks, Suresh

    Reply

Write Your Comment Below

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: