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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Incompatible Foods According to Ayurveda - Viruddha Ahara

It is often seen that a huge proportion of the population now a day's is suffering from many stomach disorders such as ingestion, gas, bloating and fatigue. There is no surprise in that we can see different types of herbal remedies on the market for the treatment of these disorders. These conditions usually begin when we start combining incompatible food (Viruddha Ahara). The idea of some foods digest well together while others do not is completely new.

Incompatible Foods According to Ayurveda


The view of Ayurveda about incompatible food is quite different from the traditional view which believes that a balanced diet including meats, grains, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits is sufficient to live a healthy life. But according to Ayurveda, the careful combining of food can effectively improve the quality of a person's digestion. Moreover, combining foods of different radical energies can affect the digestive fire which in Ayurveda termed as Agni. Overwhelm Agni can lead to the creation of toxins, gas, and fermentation, etc. Ayurveda believes that each food has its own Rasa (Taste), Vipaka (a Post-Digestive Effect), and Virya (Heating or Cooling energy). Certain foods also possess Prabhava (Unexplained and undesirable effect). When 2-3 food of different Rasa, Vipaka, and Virya combined. They produce Prabhava which in turn overwhelm the Agni. Ayurveda suggests that a person should take fruits, proteins, fats, and starches separately at different times of the day. Because when they have eaten together they remain in the stomach for a minimum of 8 hours which can diminish the Agni and then this diminished Agni can cause variation in the intestinal flora. If this problem remains for a long time in the body it may cause Toxemia, Sinus and some other complex disorders.  Therefore, Food combining is very important and a person should pay towards its eating habit because it is the most powerful and effective tool in Ayurveda for improving digestive health.


This is the basic question which comes in every person's mind after reading this article but the answer to this question is YES. In the beginning, a person may face difficulty in changing its eating habits but if a person adapts these changes slowly and gently then these changes can act as a valuable opportunity for healing, and improved health. However, when a person is feeling motivated then he or she just made only one change at a time. Over time, you can progress toward the ideal. It is not necessary to stop consumption of incompatible food abruptly but reducing frequency can also act beneficial.

Note: Viruddha Ahara can also cause food-food interaction which is a serious issue. Therefore, it is always better to know about them.


According to Ayurveda some of the incompatible food combinations are as follows:

  1. Milk: Milk which is a white color liquid is a primary source of nutrients for all human beings. Because it is easy to digest but sometimes it may be consumed with those foods that are completely incompatible with it. Few names of the food that are incompatible with milk are Bananas, Meat, Sour Fruits, Fish, Cherries, Kitchari, Curd, and Bread containing yeast.
  2. Starches: Starch is a polymeric carbohydrate which is the most essential carbohydrate in human diets. Most of the times it is often seen that people consume starches with those things that are completely incompatible with it. Few foods with which starch is incompatible are Eggs, Dates, Tea or Milk, Persimmons, and Bananas.
  3. Melons: They are basically used in most of the countries for the making of squashes. But they are also not compatible with a variety of foods such as Grains, Starch, Fried foods, and Cheese.
  4. Nightshades: Now you guys are thinking that what are Nightshades. Basically, nightshades are the foods that we consume daily such as Potato, Eggplant, Chilies, and Tomato. But there are some foods with which nightshades are completely incompatible. They are Melons, Yogurt, Cucumber, and Milk.
  5. Yogurt: It is a food prepared by bacterial fermentation of milk. Yogurt (Dahi) is often consumed as such or in the form of lassi which is either salted or sweetened. But Yogurt may also cause different types of food-food interactions if it consumes with Cheese, Meat, Sour Fruits, Milk, Mangos, Fish, Starch, and Hot drinks.
  6. Mangos: Mango is the most favorite fruit among the huge proportion of the population but the king of fruits is also incompatible with certain foods such as Yogurt, Cheese, and Cucumbers.
  7. Eggs: Eggs should not be consumed with Yogurt, Melons, Fish, Bananas, Mangos, Cheese, and Meat, etc.
  8. Corns: They are incompatible with Dates, Raisins, and Bananas.
  9. Lemon: Lemon is incompatible with Milk, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Yogurt, etc.
  10. Honey is incompatible with Ghee.

In addition to the above-mentioned foods, a person should not eat Leftovers (More than 24 hours) and Raw foods with Cooked foods. Apart from this Beans eaten along Fruits, Cheese, Eggs, Fish, Milk, Meat, and Yogurt can also cause various types of food-food interactions.

To understand little more about how these food combinations affect our body. Few specific examples are as follows:

  • Milk and Bananas: It is usually seen that most of the people consume them together but both are very challenging to digest. Both have different qualities. Milk has cooling nature and bananas have heating. But this is not only the problem. Furthermore, Bananas on their breakdown becomes sour. Therefore, Agni (Digestive fire) needs to digest both milk as well as the sour substance at the same time. This may affect the digestion power of Agni which in turn affects the intestinal flora. The combination of milk and banana is very heavy and it lead to the formation of Ama and blockage of channels, especially if the digestive power is weak. However, Ripe banana can be consumed with milk but during day time and only by those people who have good digestive power and fast metabolism.
  • Cheese and Nightshades: The combination of these two foods is so demanding for the digestive fire. Nightshades contain the alkaloids. However, the main role of the alkaloids is to provide a defense against various infections. These alkaloids are very difficult to digest and they also have the capacity to disturb the Doshas present in the human body. But when we combine these nightshades with cheese which is very rich in fats and heavy oil. Agni faces huge difficulty in digesting them.
  • Beans and Cheese: Both beans and cheese have heavy nature and both are very difficult to digest. A very strong digestive strength is required for their digestion. Beans are sweet and mostly astringent. They can either have a cooling or heating nature and they also have pungent effect after post digestion. On the other hand, cheese has a sour taste as well as heating nature and also poses a sour post-digestive effect. Two different types of post-digestive effect can confuse the digestive fire because combined heavy digestion leads to the accumulation of Ama (undigested form derived from food) or poor digestion.
  • Fruits and Complex Foods: Fruits are everyone's favorite because they are easy to digest, simply acidic, and quickly digestible. Whereas, digestion of fruits decreases when they are consumed with food that is complex in nature. The major  reason behind this is that the digestion of fruits is inhibited by the complex food which can cause gas, bloating, and fermentation.

Therefore one should think twice about digestion before consuming Pizza or some other Italian dishes which include nightshades along with cheese. However, different types of fruit-flavored yogurts can also cause the problem of ingestion or gas.

Ayurveda also suggests that very cold or iced water should be avoided during or after meals because it slows the digestion as well as Agni. Ayurveda insists that a person should drink a small amount of warm water while having meals. On the other hand, a person should properly chew the food for its softening and to ensure its proper mixing with saliva. According to Ayurveda, a person should finish his or her meal with Lassi. The lassi can be prepared by blending a small amount of yogurt (Dahi) with very small amount of cumin and ginger powder along with 1-2 cups of water.


Ayurveda also has an answer to this question. Ayurveda divided the stomach into parts and suggest that only one-third part of the stomach should be filled with food when eating, the one-third capacity of the stomach should be filled with liquid and the one-third portion should be left empty. This will promote mental clarity as well as the proper digestion of foods.

There is a passage in the Ayurvedic literature that describes the actions of different types of food on the body. According to that literature, water is very beneficial in improving absorption as well as digestion of food. However, Salt which is added into food to bring taste is very helpful in retaining water. Whereas, Alkali's in food regulates the digestive fire. Meat gives energy to the body and Ghee stimulates the digestion of food. The foods that are sour and pungent increases Pitta Dosha. Milk products aggravate Kapha while Vata Dosha is over-stimulated by bitter or astringent substances, dry-fruits, and beans.


After reading the above article you might be thinking about the perfect diet for a healthy lifestyle. Ayurvedic doctors suggest that a perfect daily diet for maintaining good health should include:

  • 45-55% of well-cooked rice (basmati), corn, barley or wheat depending upon their availability.
  • Half tea-spoon pickles (Achar).
  • 20-25% legumes (well-cooked).
  • 5-10% vegetable soups.

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