At a glance: Many sincerely try to eat healthily but still face minor health issues such as abdominal bloating. It might be due to the incompatible combination of foods you eat in one meal. In that case, Ayurveda’s food combining rules can help you prevent such issues and stay in good health.
Maintaining good health can be tough when we are tempted by so many different types of food around us that are not particularly healthy, especially in an urban setting, such as delicious fried and sugary foods, appealing fast food, and more. And sometimes, it is more of a convenience; we don’t have the time to prepare food from scratch, and all we can do is grab at go any food we find.
But, even if we try to let go of such unhealthy habits and turn to eating healthy in order to rebuild our well-being holistically, there are still gaps. It makes us wonder where we are going wrong!
If this is the case, it is time you turn to Ayurveda for answers.
Are you really eating healthy?
Surprisingly, we make quite a few mistakes within the context of “eating healthy”!
For example, it is not good to combine fruits and milk, and fruits with yogurt. But aren’t smoothies that combine such ingredients our go-to drinks while making a healthy choice? We try hard to find such juices to avoid more readily available bottled beverages or coffee. But the results are different from your liking! Gas and bloating caused by poor digestion of such incompatible foods!
And the trouble doesn’t stop there. Most of us would treat issues such as gas and bloat as a problem, take quick fixes with over-the-counter remedies, and keep going. What we don’t realise is that such issues are symptoms of a larger problem that we need to address.
Yes, gas and bloating are a direct result of weak digestion. And the root cause needs to be addressed, which in this case is eating incompatible foods together.
Ayurveda and food combining
According to Ayurveda, every food is associated with a specific taste and energy. Accordingly, your body processes them. Hence, when radically different energy/taste foods are combined, your digestive system is overwhelmed, resulting in gas, bloating, and more toxins. Only by eating compatible foods together can one ensure optimal digestion, which is essential to optimal overall health.
Certain food combinations to be avoided as per ayurveda food combining rules to promote optimal digestion and overall health include:
- Sweet and sour tastes
- Sweet and salty tastes
- Bitter and sweet tastes
- Hot and cold foods
- Cooked and raw foods
Let us understand where we go wrong with some of the common healthy food options in terms of ayurveda food combining rules.
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A few examples of incompatible foods
1. Raw and cooked foods
You should not eat raw and cooked foods together. But this happens with so many of our healthful choices, such as burritos packed with salad leaves, cooked rice, beans and other such items which are either raw or cooked.
2. Fruits and dairy
It is best to eat fruits alone. Yet, we eat fruits with yogurt and granola or fruit milkshakes which are again very healthy and nutritious in general, but the wrong combination. So, it is best to eat fruit separately as a snack between meals.
The only exception here is dates, which can be combined with milk.
3. Combination of fruits
It is also important to eat only those fruits of similar quality together. For example, don’t eat sour fruits such as berries with sweet ones like pear or apple. Thus, for a healthy snack, you go for an apple+pear, berry medley, a bowl of watermelon, and so on.
Milk is considered a complete food by itself and is supposed to be consumed alone. The exception to this rule is combining milk with certain foods such as oatmeal, dates, almonds, and rice.
It is okay to combine eggs with non-starchy vegetables but not with items such as fruits, cheese, milk, yogurt, potatoes, meat or fish. Think of a cheesy omelette, scrambled eggs (when prepared by adding milk) with a side of a fruit bowl or a hashbrown.
6. Nightshades with dairy
Similarly, nightshades such as eggplant are not to be combined with dairy. But, it is typically the case with our favourite pizzas. So, when we try to eat healthily and load it with nightshades such as peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, etc., it is still a problem when combining with cheese.
7. Fruit and protein
Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach, as they are quickly digested. Eating them with protein can slow down digestion and cause fermentation.
8. Yeast and sugar
Yeast is considered a “heating” food, while sugar is a “cooling” food. Consuming these two foods together can disrupt the balance of heat and coolness in the body, leading to indigestion and other digestive problems. Additionally, the fermentation process that occurs when yeast and sugar are combined can create toxins in the body, further exacerbating imbalances and contributing to health issues.
In this infographic, we have tried to compile a comprehensive list of compatible and incompatible food combinations. The list is quite elaborate, and it might be overwhelming to understand and do it all at once, so take it in your stride and take it once at a time.
Click the image to view the pdf.
Some people are not affected by incompatible food combinations. Why?
But there are a few whose digestive systems are least bothered by such food incompatibilities. How is that possible?
- That is because such combinations would not have a detrimental effect on those with a strong digestive fire.
- Similarly, those who have been used to such combos since they were young might not be a problem, while the immediate effect can be noticed in someone new to it.
So you may pay attention to such signs from the body. It is amazing how our body can notify us when we are messing up our system.
Incompatible food combining is not the only area where we go wrong. There might be deficiencies in our daily routine. So it is helpful to learn “Ayurveda Dinacharya”, which clearly states what a daily routine should look like for a healthy body and mind.
Similarly, it also makes sense to understand our “Dosha”, which would serve as a guide related to what foods are most suitable for your constitution, the most beneficial types of exercises, the amount of sleep needed and so on.
Basically, you can look into the concepts of ayurveda to serve as a blueprint for framing a healthy lifestyle, one that gives you health and happiness!