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Tips For Combining Foods

Drs. Indrajeet tyagi and Iranna Hirapur

Simple Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Your Healthy Life
Tips for Combining Foods
Drs. Indrajeet tyagi and Iranna Hirapur

The Ayurvedic concept of food combining or incompatible foods, known as Viruddha Ahara in Sanskrit, is all about optimizing digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food in the body. The idea is that some foods digest well when paired together, while others do not. Conscious food combining can drastically improve digestion, help the body receive deeper nourishment, and positively affect our overall health and well-being.


It is important to note that mixing of Viruddha (opposite) or incompatible foods should be avoided as per Ayurveda literature. Persons who consume Viruddha Ahara (foods) are prone to many systemic and metabolic disorders. It is also essential to know how certain food combinations interact with each other and create some ailments/diseases like blindness, ascites (pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity), bullous pemphigoid (fluid-filled blisters), insanity, fistula in ano (anorectal abscess), coma or fainting, intoxication, abdominal distention, stiffness in neck, varieties of anemia, indigestions, various skin diseases, diseases of intestines, swelling, gastritis, fever, rhinitis, visarpa (skin infection), and infertility.


The combination of certain type of food may have opposite properties or opposite activities on the tissues. May cause some unwanted effect on the body when processed in a particular form or may have undesirable effects when combined in certain proportion, or may have unwanted effect if consumed at wrong time.


The following list of incompatible foods is a general guide to keep in mind. Do your best to follow these guidelines, listen to your body, and take note of which combinations make you feel uneasy, and which ones do not seem to affect you that much. It will get easier with time and practice.


Examples of incompatibility/antagonistic (Viruddha-Ahara) foods:


1.              Dosa Viruddha (dosa incompatibility) - the utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with your own dosa but at variance with the dosa of the individual

2.              Veerya Viruddha (potency incompatibility) — Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency, fish + milk.

3.              Sanskar Viruddha (processing/mode of preparation incompatibility) — diets when prepared in a particular way produce poisonous effects; heating honey and heating of curd.

4.              Desha Viruddha (region incompatibility) - diet which is contradictory to a given region. Intake of dry and hot foods in deserts; unctuous/creamy/oily and cold substances in marshy land.

5.              Agni Viruddha – (power of digestion incompatibility) -- diet not in accordance with one’s digestive fire; intake of heavy food when the power of digestion is mild [mandagni]; intake of light food when the digestive power is sharp [tiksnagni]. Similarly intake of food at variance with irregular and normal power of digestion.

6.              Matra Viruddha (dosage/quantity incompatibility) — diet incompatible in quantity; consumption of honey + cow's ghee mixed in equal proportion.

7.              Satmya Viruddha – (habit incompatibility) - diet not in accordance with a person’s eating habit; intake of sweet and cold substances by persons accustomed to pungent and hot substances.

8.              Kosta Viruddha – (bowel incompatibility) - administration of a mild purgative (medicine or food that causes the bowels to empty) in a small dose for a person of costive bowel and administration of strong purgatives in strong doses for a person having laxed bowel.

9.              Avasta Viruddha – (state of health incompatibility) -- Intake of Vata aggravating food by a person after exhaustion, sexual act and physical exercise or intake of kapha aggravating food by a person after sleep or drowsiness.

10.           Kala Viruddha â€” (time incompatibility) -- diet contradictory to time and season; curd at night, hot/pungent substance in summer and cold and dry substances in winter.

11.           Krama Viruddha (order incompatibility) — Eating food before one’s bowel and urinary bladder are clear[empty]or when he does not have the appetite or after his hunger has been aggravated; consuming curd at night or taking Madhura Rasa food or Dravya at the end of meals and Tikta and Katu Rasa or Dravyas (food substances) at the starting of meals.

12.           Parihara or Upchara Viruddha -- (prescription incompatibility) -- consuming food against prescription; intake of hot things after intake of pork, and cold things after taking ghee.

13.           Paaka Viruddha – (cooking incompatibility) -- preparation of food with bad fuel or oil, undercooking, overcooking, or burning during the process of preparation.
Reheating of oil creates more oxidation and if consumed may create more oxidative stress creating more free radicals. Oxidative rancidity occurs when fatty acids are exposed to oxygen in the presence of heat or light, resulting in the formation of hydro peroxide compounds. These hydro peroxides in turn form aldehyde molecules. Oxygenated aldehydes are toxic compounds that cause oxidative stress in the cells of the body and may increase the risk of degenerative illness and atherosclerotic disease (
plaque builds up inside your arteries).

14.           Samyoga Viruddha (combination incompatibility) — intake of sour substance with milk, fruit salad or milk + banana.

15.           Hriday Viruddha – (palatability (preference for a food) incompatibility) -- consuming food that is not suited for one’s palate (person’s appreciation of taste) i.e. taking food, which is very much disliked by one.

16.           Sampad Viruddha – (richness of quality incompatibility) -- Taking food which does not have any useful qualities, i.e., bakery items or junk food.

17.           Vidhi Viruddha -- Not taking food in accordance with the rules of eating.

18.           Parihar Viruddha (contraindication incompatibility) — consuming cold water immediately after having hot tea or coffee.


Toxic Combinations according to Ayurveda






·      Do not drink hot water after having curd, honey and alcohol.

·      One should not heat honey, drink honey in hot water nor drink hot water after consuming honey.

·      Honey, Ghee, Oil, water -- Any 2 or 3 or all should not be taken in equal quantity. Even if not 

together, do not take honey and ghee and drink water as anupanam (It is a liquid that is advised

along with the medicine).

·      Banana should not be mixed with buttermilk, curd, and milk,

·      Do not eat or drink anything hot after you have consumed alcohol, curd, honey

·      Consuming proteins and starches together will result in absorption of one being delayed by the

other. If insufficient amylase is present in the mouth, starch will not be digested at all in the stomach, instead clog up, until amylase in the small intestine can get to work on it.

·      Eating sugars and acidic fruits together hinder the action of ptyalin (starch splitting enzyme of saliva) and pepsin (gastric enzyme that acts on protein), reducing the secretion of saliva, and delaying digestion.

·      Avoid Green /black tea together with milk since tea contains flavonoids called catechins,

which have many beneficial effects on the heart. When milk is added to tea, then a group of

proteins in milk, called caseins, interacts with tea to reduce the concentration of catechins (natural polyphenolic phytochemicals that exist in food and medicinal plants, such as tea, legume and rubiaceae). So avoid tea and milk together.

·      Consuming milk and yoghurt together can precipitate milk inside the stomach that may irritate

and induce vomiting. So avoid milk and yoghurt together.

·      Tea contains anticoagulant compounds called coumarins. When combined with garlic (that also

has anticlotting properties), may increase the risk of bleeding. So, better to avoid having tea

and garlic together.

·      Pomegranate and grapefruit juice are both known to block the cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme

systems in the intestines and increase blood levels of many medications you are taking. Taking

these two juices together may combine the above action.

·      Avoid consuming unripe (green) tomatoes or potatoes and alcohol together. The unripe green tomatoes contain huge amount of solanine, which may interact with alcohol. You may feel more sedation if the intake is in excess.

·      Oil and foods must not be reheated because they may increase risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, various liver disorders, and cancer.


If above-said rules for the diet are not followed then several hazardous diseases occurring due to&

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Dr. Indrajeet Tyagi

Dr Iranna S. Hirapur, MD, DM (Cardiology)

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