Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ayurveda and food combinations


"Ayurveda" this word contains it all, the knowledge of life! And yes, when one is following ayurvedic diet he/she can not only expect health but also bliss of life! I had only mentioned about the principles of ayurvedic diets in my post on ayurvedic diets. One such principle is that the food consumed should not be contradicting in nature. And one of my blogger friend yummy team did ask me to elaborate it. Hence, I felt the need for this post on food combinations.

When we cook we always wish the food to appear and taste yummy, Won't we? We strive hard to prepare healthy food, don't we? Sometimes even the tastiest and healthiest food can bring ill effects due to its contradicting nature. Just imagine combinations like biryani with raitha, Rice or roti with chicken or fish curry, dahi vada, cheese omelette (I'm thinking of all other combinations like mushroom omelette, oyster omelette, Spanish omelette etc), paneer pakora, milk and nut kheer, ice creams (who wouldn't like to have it after a meal???), chicken with pineapples, or even healthy food like fruit salad (with lots of red and blackcurrants, strawberries, kiwi, apples, oranges, pineapples, with custard, cream etc.) salad with dash of lime, cereals with milk, curd rice, etc. Sounds yummy and healthy. In reality all are wrong food combinations due to its contradicting nature!!!

When people with similar ideas and thoughts work together, there will be harmony and peace. But, When people have different ideas and thoughts.... sometimes, they can adjust and work, otherwise there will be some clash or difficulty. Similar thing would happen with food leading to disorders like vomiting, loose stools, indigestion etc. Hence, in ayurveda, it is said that one should consume food that would work in harmony not in contradiction. Now, let me justify my above mentioned statement that certain food combinations are wrong....

  1. When there is a dominating leader in a team, it is very difficult for the rest of the team to perform....Same thing would happen when milk is consumed along with other food. Milk also acts like a dominating leader making it impossible for the other food to perform their work. Milk is a complete food by itself and needs a full fledged digestion. It is digested in duodenum and not the stomach unlike other proteins like meat, nuts etc. Its fat and protein content coagulates in the stomach to form curd. If any other food is consumed along with milk, its curd forms a insulating layer against the gastric juices. This prevents their digestion until the milk curd is digested. Leading to indigestion. Even curd should not be mixed with other food (raitha is a wrong food combination).Combinations like milk with biscuits, cereals are tolerable.
  2. A student of chemistry would understand this much better. Carbohydrates like rice should not be consumed with proteins like fish , chicken etc. Simply because carbs get digested in alkaline medium, and proteins in acid medium. When both are consumed together, the acid alkali react to neutralize each other, hindering digestion of both. Rice or roti with subzi, boiled potato with sauteed veggies etc. are perfect to be consumed together (simply because they are both carbs). Egg with bread, meat with rice etc. are wrong food combinations (because egg and meat are proteins, bread and rice are carbs respectively). Dal and rice is tolerable.
  3. Fruits and sweets must be consumed alone, or even before consuming any solid food. (Imagine consuming desserts even before having your meal!!! )Because , sugars undergo digestion in the intestines. When consumed alone, they are not held in the stomach for long but are quickly sent into the intestine.When consumed along with or after meals, its in the stomach for a long time (until the solid food is completely digested) and undergoes fermentation (sugars usually ferment in the presence of solid food, milk etc.). Sugar being acidic will cause acidity and indigestion issues. Next time, remember to have your chocolate or ice-cream before food. Two different fruits must not be consumed at the same time eg. acid fruits like strawberry, oranges, lemons etc. must never be consumed with sweet fruits like apples, banana,papaya etc.
  4. Medicines are always consumed as per the given dosage, what happens if there is a overdose? similar thing would happen if proteins are consumed along with sour food, citrus fruits etc. Protein is digested in acid medium, if more fruit acids are consumed it will inhibit the secretion of gastric juices. This will leave the proteins undigested. Remember this next time when you'll add a dash of lime on meat, or even add tomato or tamarind juice to the dal etc. (even I add them, if it is tolerable can continue to add, or else better to avoid). Even beverages should not be consumed with solid food.
  5. Even carbs should not be consumed with acid or citrus fruits because it will deactivate the action of saliva (alkaline mediuim) which is required for the digestion of carbs.
  6. Two different protiens like milk and meat should never be consumed together. The strongest juices are poured out in the 1st hour of digestion in case of meat and it is in last hours of digestion in milk (its completely fine to marinate meat with curd). Cheese omelette, paneer pakora, milk and nut kheer etc are all wrong food combinations. Can have turkey and chicken together, groundnut and almonds together etc. Milk and curd should not be consumed together.
  7. Anybody feels lazy after consuming fatty foods or fat rich meal. True, fat depresses the action of gastric glands and inhibits proper release of juices which are needed for protein digestion. Hence protein and fat should never be consumed together. Fried meat, chicken etc. are very wrong food combinations ( even fried dal). But, using ghee to give tadka for the dal is tolerable. But, carbs can be consumed with fats, so roti with ghee, bread with butter is tolerable.
Remember to eat only when hungry cause body can tolerate wrong food combinations in genuine hunger. Make a note of tolerable food combinations (though in nature if they are wrong food combinations) and can consume them as long as they don't cause any disorders like vomiting, indigestion, loose stools etc. Bread and egg, rice or roti with dal, mango and milk, ghee with dal etc are all tolerable food combinations. Try to take one type of food at a time or lesser variety of food. This will not strain the digestive system. (Very similar to forcing a child to perform well in everything like studies, sports, arts, crafts, swimming, dancing, music, etc, the child will only be confused and pressurized. Instead expose the child slowing one by one to everything , the child can perform better). Many variety of food taken at a time can lead to indigestion, fermentation etc. Try to consume healthy, organic, natural food like fresh fruits, veggies, sprouts, nuts etc. Eat healthy, live healthier!

References: Foods that are killing you slowly but steadily by M.K. Gupta

32 comments:

  1. nice combo! header pics r too gud...Makes me hungry.

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  2. thanks for that informative article.i will try to follow the rules.
    Q)usually @5pm i have fruits(grapes or apples) and pair them with digestive biscuits.And i land up with gastric problem.Is the combo wrong or something else.

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    Replies
    1. Fresh fruit should be eaten on its own. Combining with the digestive biscuits is most likely the cause of your gastric problems.

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  3. Rach very very informative. Thanks for sharing dear. Can I link this post of urs to my blog???

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  4. Great post!! Thanks a lot for sharing this helpful information, Rach. I had absolutely no idea that rice with meat and egg with bread etc are all wrong food combinations. But I really cannot imagine a biriyani without raita and lemon pickle. Next time I will make sure that I will have biriyani when I am really, really hungry :). Jokes apart, I will surely try not to include any wrong food combinations in our daily diet.

    I am sure that most people are not aware that incompatible food is one of the main causes of food poisoning and other diseases especially that of the skin. I will surely share this post with all my friends. Looking forward to more of such posts and ayurvedic diets. Thanks again :).

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  5. Lovely post rach, very informative...am feeling much better now,had back ache so didnt blog for a while..

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  6. Very informative post rach...Nice explanation on food combinations... thanks for sharing.

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  7. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing these infos..

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  8. Premalatha, nice combo, but completely wrong food combos in nature. Thanks :)

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  9. Thanks Sharada :) Well, gastric issue is a very large pool, it would not be wise to relate it to one particular meal of the day. It depends on what kind of food you are consuming? Try to avoid foods that increase gas like potatoes, groundnuts, pop-corn etc.what is your nature (in ayurveda gas its referred to as vata)? Never fast or feast. Include spices which can relieve gastric issues like pepper, jeera, aniseed etc. Keep up the timings. Apple if consumed alone is no issue at all (try to consume in mid-morning). Oh, I can really post on this somtime. This space is very small here :(

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  10. Thanks Suhaina :) Yes, you can link back. Kindly, stick on to my copyright policy. No alterations in any form, no renaming etc. You can just mention the link :)

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  11. Thanks YUmm T :) Yes, you can try and avoid wrong food combinations. But, if it is tolerable... like you have biryani with raitha and you don't have any issues of indigestion, loose stools, vomitting etc.(nature's way to flush out toxic materials from the body) Then you can continue to have them that way.
    Oh, Food poisioning, skin rashes after comsuming certain foods etc. are again a brand new topic (food allergy), now you are tempting me to write on food allergy too :)
    Yes, you can link back to my post (no alterations, renaming etc. )

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  12. very resourceful article ...thanks for sharing...i will try to implement it in our daily life ...

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  13. Nice tips Rach. If I follow all these I am sure I woud as healthy as I can be.

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  14. thanks 4 sharing such an informative post

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  15. Nice readup and love your blog...the header is cool..

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  16. Great post..thanks for sharing..very informative Rach.

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  17. great post nice information. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Rach, lovely post. But docs advice to take carbs with protein to prevent rapid spikes in insulin and for diabetics consuming carb with protein is very good. Medical opinion differs too :)

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  19. Thanks Manju :) Well, I can understand what it means. They are trying to tell, that one needs to comsume a well balanced meal (which would have lots of carbs, proteins in limited quantity, little vitamins and minerals, very little fats). Due to the above mentioned reasons it would wise if we dont mix protiens with carbs. Best is to consume protiens, after 20min gap to consume starches (if carbs are consumed before, when protien is consumed immediately, the starch digestion comes to halt ) You can consult some dieticians and Doctors, even before following this :)

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  20. awesome awesome n very very informative post rach..my dad mom both r doctors and they follow ayurveda in there day to day meals/diets....me too try to b like them....keep up ur good work rach..tc

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  21. Hi rach, Can you tell me if plain paneer is a bad combination? Or does adding lime/lemon to the milk during cooking create a different energetic (i.e., a combination that is tolerable to the digestive system?)
    thanks, Lois

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