The Best Food combinations in Ayurveda for your Digestion

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    Food, which is known as ahara in Sanskrit is considered a superior medicine and source of energy. Lifestyle disorders and various diseases occur due to wrong food habits which may be prevented by the right dietary habits.

    Food should be chosen according to the individual’s body constitution. According to Ayurveda Wholesome food is one, which is conducive for the maintenance of health, intellect, longevity, strength, good voice, and healthy complexion.For a healthy life, Ayurveda emphasizes the proper food choices, food combinations, and cooking methods.

    What is a combination of food?

    Food combination- when two are more foods having different tastes, energy, and post-digestive effect are combined, certain foods pair well together and help in digestion, while others do not and produce indigestion/digestive upset, fermentation, toxins build-up, and diseases.

    Careful food combining can improve digestion and helps in a deeper level of nourishment. However, in this modern era, people are accustomed to eating wrong and unhealthy food combinations.

    Food Combinations To Avoid

    1. Black tea and milk – Tea contains flavonoids, which have beneficial effects on the heart. When milk is added to tea, a group of vitamins present in milk interact with tea and reduce the concentration of flavonoids.
    2. Fish and milk – Both are sweet, but due to the opposite in potency, they obstruct the channels of circulation and develop diseases of the blood.
    3. Banana and milk -The most common combination people use, unfortunately, their qualities are very different because of which the intestinal flora gets disturbed, and that leads to the formation of disease-causing toxins.
    4. Beans and cheese– Both beans and cheese are hard to digest. Combination disturbs the Agni (digestive fire) and formation of toxins in the body.
    5. Tea and garlic– Tea contains coumarins which are anti-coagulants and Garlic also has anti-coagulant properly, they may increase the bleeding tendency when combined.
    6. Unripe Tomatoes and Alcohol– Green tomatoes contain a large amount of solanine which may interact with alcohol and increase the sedation effect.
    7. Milk with sour fruits– Citrus fruits cause curdling of the milk in the stomach and make it difficult to digest.
    8. Pomegranate and Grape– Both juices are known to block cytochrome p450 and 3A4 enzyme systems in the intestine, consuming together may synergize the above action.
    9. Ghee and honey– Avoid mixing an equal amount of Honey and Ghee, butit’s ok tocombine in an unequal ratio (2:1).
      • In an experimental study, it is found that mixing heated Honey and Ghee produced deleterious effects and act as poison which may cause death also.
      • ‘Ushnam cha samagrutham Madhu marayati’– Mixing Honey and Ghee in equal quantities leads to indigestion and the formation of Aama, which is the cause of various diseases.
    1. Milk and yogurt– They together can precipitate and cause nausea and vomiting.
    1. Tomatoes and pasta -Acid present in Tomatoes weaken the enzyme in starchy pasta, curdles the dairy present in cheese, and disturbs the digestive system.
    1. Milk and Egg –Consuming raw eggs with milk lead to food poisoning, bacterial infection, and biotic deficiency.
    1. Curd and fruit: Bacteria present in yogurt reacts with sugar present in fruits, which results in cold and allergies.

    A new emerging branch called ‘Topography’ tells about the combination of basic categories of food. According to this protein should not be consumed with starch and carbohydrates. They should be consumed separately.

    • Proteins must not get combined with Carbohydrates; it is because the medium required for the digestion is different. Protein digestion happens in an acidic environment whereas Carbohydrates need an alkaline environment for digestion.
    • Proteins and Starch: Consuming protein with starch will delay the absorption of one by other.
    • Animal and vegetable proteins should not be consumed together; this is again very heavy for digestion, may cause Aama which leads to the formation of diseases.
    • Sugar and Acidic fruits: This hinders the action of ptyalin and pepsin, delaying digestion.

    The unwanted effects of the wrong combination are not limited to the gut only they affect the major system and cause serious side effects.

    Diseases Caused by Wrong Food Combinations

    • Food poisoning
    • Distension of abdomen
    • Stomach ache
    • Skin disorders
    • Erysipelas
    • Dizziness
    • Vomiting, etc. and sometimes leads to death.

    Healthy Food Combinations

    • Beans – Grains, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds
    • Cheese- Grains and Vegetables
    • Milk- Best if taken alone.
    • Rice, Oatmeal, Dates and Almonds
    • Yogurt- Grains and Vegetables
    • Eggs- Grains and non-starchy vegetables
    • Fruits- Other fruits with similar qualities
    • Lemons-  Small quantity as a garnish or flavoring
    • Grains- Beans, Vegetables, Eggs, Other grains, Meat, Fish, Seeds, Nuts and Yogurt
    • Vegetables- Other vegetables, Grains, Beans, Meat, Fish and Eggs
    • Nightshades- Other vegetables, Grains, Beans, Meat, Fish and Eggs

    Food combinations according to Doshas  and Gunas

    Vata dosha – people with predominant vata dosha should consume foods that are warm, oily, smooth, moist and nourishing.

    Pitta dosha – people with predominant pitta should consume a combination of cooling, grounding and carbohydrate rich foods.

    Kapha dosha – people with predominant kapha dosha should consume a combination of light, dry and warm foods.

    Conclusion:

    Charaka has also revealed that those who are capable to digest Viruddha Ahara perfectly, who are young, who exercise regularly and have a very good level of Agni can consume Viruddha Ahara. A healthy body due to absorption of good food combinations leads to happiness, observance of truth, and ultimately to salvation.

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