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Food combining in Ayurveda

Updated on September 30, 2012

According to Ayurveda an important factor in food digestion is proper food combination. Every food has its own taste, a healing or cooling energy and a post-digestive effect. Mixing different energies, food tastes, or post-digestive effects can cause fermentation, indigestion and gas formation resulting in bad digestion and production of toxins. If such alterations are present during longer periods of time they can lead to various diseases.

According to Ayurveda one should avoid certain food combinations.
- Avoid combining milk or yogurt with sour or citrus fruits. Fruits should be eaten alone because they are not digested well when combined with other foods;

- Avoid eating fruits with potatoes or other starchy foods. Fructose and starch are digested in different times, fructose more quickly and starch slowly, leading to improper digestion of sugar;

- Avoid the meat protein and milk protein combinations. In Ayurveda meat has heating energy while milk is cooling and therefore they counteract one another, disturbing a proper digestion.

- Avoid melons and grains together. They have different digestion times. Melons should be, like all fruits be eaten alone.

- Milk and melons should not be mixed together. Both are cooling, but milk is laxative and melon is diuretic, and milk requires more time for digestion.

- Avoid combinations with milk and bananas. Even though they have both a cooling energy and a sweet taste their post-digestive effect is different. Bananas are sour while milk is sweet, and this causes confusion to the digestive system and produce toxins in your body;

- Avoid eating lots of raw and cooked food together as well as fresh food and leftovers;

Short guidelines for food combining

  • Milk is incompatible with bananas, sour fruits, melons, milk, yogurt, sour cream, fish, meat, curd, bread containing yeast, eggs.
  • Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and chilies are incompatible with: milk, yogurt, melon and cucumber.
  • Eggs are incompatible with: milk, meat, fish, yogurt, cheese, bananas and melons.
  • Yogurt is incompatible with: meat, fish, starch, milk, cheese, sour fruits, mangos and melons.
  • Starches are incompatible with: eggs, milk, bananas, dates and persimmons.
  • Radishes are incompatible with: milk, raisins and bananas.
  • Corn is incompatible with: bananas, raisins and dates.
  • Lemon is incompatible with: milk, yogurt, tomatoes and cucumbers.
    Beside the mentioned guidelines in food combining there are other factors to consider like one’s age, constitution, age, present diseases as well as the year’s season.

Some Ayurvedic tips to help your digestion

It is suggested to chew ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger with some salt before each meal in order to stimulate appetite and digestion. Avoid drinking cold or icy water during or after meals because it will slow your “gastric fire” or agni. It’s recommended to drink warm water in small sips during the meals. A cup of lassi at the end of the meal can help the digestive process. Lassi is prepared by mixing 4 teaspoons of yogurt with 2 pinches of ginger and cumin powder in a cup of water). Ghee helps the digestion of food as well. And last but not least proper chewing is essential for good food digestion.


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      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      I have been aware of different food combination no-no's, but this was interesting because you tell us Why. Thank you.

      Voted useful and interesting.