Incompatible Food Combinations


Ayurveda says that food is your medicine but it also says that some foods do not combine well with others.  This incompatibility stems from opposite qualities of food, which then produces contrary actions or otherwise toxic chemical reactions during or following the digestive process. Incompatibility may occur during the cooking process itself caused by chemical changes of the ingredients. Incompatibility occurs when grains or other foods, which have different cooking times, are prepared in the same pot.  Thus improper cooking results and leads to toxic substances being formed.  Also, foods having opposite energy (hot and cold) or opposite post-digestive effect (sweet/sour/pungent) give the body conflicting or stalemating information, which may produce ama (a toxic, sticky material detrimental to physiology). These latter two conditions are not easily knowable but can be found by consulting Dr. Lad’s Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing. Ama is experienced as gas, pain, loss of taste, lack of appetite, malaise, lethargy, and even IBS. Ayurveda  suggests simple meals of few tastes, especially  for those having digestive difficulties. The following abbreviated listing from Caraka Samhita, Ayurveda Today, l990, and The Healing Cuisine by Harish Johari includes the most common examples. The listing in the classical texts is quite extensive but many items are quite rare.

·        melons with grains, starch, fried foods, cheese

·        radish with milk, banana, raisins

·        lemon with yogurt, milk, cucumber, tomato

·        corn with dates, raisins, banana

·        mango with cheese, cucumber

·        eggs with milk, meat, yogurt, melons, cheese, fish, banana

·        yogurt with milk, sour fruits, bananas, melons, hot drinks, meat, fish, starch (grains), cheese, hot foods

·        starches with eggs, chai, milk, banana, dates, persimmon

·        milk with banana, sour fruits—lemons, oranges, plums, meat, fish, melons, curds, khicadi, cherries, breads having yeast, oil, salt, vinegar, yogurt, green squash, radishes, candy, and sesame, milk & water mixed with ghee

·        potato, tomato, eggplant, with yogurt, milk, melon, cucumber

·        peaches with rice

·        melons with grains

·        fruits with potato, tapioca, other starches

·        poultry, fish with yogurt or lassi

·        chicken with cheese

·        honey and ghee in equal amounts by weight or with radishes

·        vinegar and sesame seeds

·        honeydew melon with honey, yogurt, or water

·        cucumber with water

·        rice with vinegar

·        meat with sesame, milk, cheese, vinegar, or honey,  buttermilk mixed with bananas



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