Viruddha Ahara | Incompatible Food Combinations That You Should Avoid
— Dr. Namitha Suseel B.A.M.S
A Healthy Diet Is A Must For A Healthy Living.
Healthy and balanced diet varies according to one’s lifestyle, culture and geography. A farmer would not have the same diet need like that of an I.T. professional. An Indian and a European does not have the same diet.
Depending on the seasonal conditions, the combination of food ingredients vary. Hence there is not a unique healthy diet plan for all persons.It varies, but there are some basic things that determine the quality of the diet.
One among them is the food combinations.
The scholars of Ayurveda had done a detailed study on this ages ago and have formulated the unique concept of Viruddha Ahara which clearly explains about the incompatible food combinations. The modern world has understood the importance of proper food combinations and so wide study is going on in this area.
The food substances that provoke the dosas[three fundamental energies namely vata, pitta and kapha which govern the body functions] but do not expel them out of the body are known as viruddha(incompatible). The food items may be harmless when consumed individually, but they end up to cause biochemical toxins in the body in certain combinations.
A number of food incompatibilities are mentioned in the ayurvedic literatures like Charaka samhita, susruta samhita and ashtanga hridayam . Many of the incompatible food combinations mentioned in them may not be relevant in the present era, but the Acharyas have elaborately explained about different types of combinations which become viruddha from which we can infer the food items we use today that are viruddha.
18 Types Of Virudha Ahara
In the famous ayurvedic treatise , CHARAKA SAMHITA , 18 types of viruddha are said.
- DOSA VIRUDDHA
The utilisation of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with dosas but at variance with the habit of the individual
- SAMSKARA VIRUDDHA/ MODE OF PREPARATION
Drugs and diets which when prepared in a particular way produce poisonous effects. Eg; heating of honey and heating of curd.
- DESA [PLACE ] VIRUDDHA
Diet which is contradictory to a given region. Intake of dry and sharp substances in deserts; unctuous and cold substances in marshy land.
- KALA /TIME VIRUDDHA
Diet contradictory to time and season.Intake of curd at night.Intake of cold and dry substances in winter; pungent and hot substances in summer.
- AGNI VIRUDDHA [POWER OF DIGESTION]
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.
- MATRA VIRUDDHA / DOSAGE
Diet incompatible in quantity.Intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity.
- SATMYA VIRUDDHA / HABIT
Diet not in accordance with one’s eating habit.Intake of sweet and cold substances by persons accustomed pungent and hot substances.
- VIRYA VIRUDDHA / POTENCY
Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.
- KOSTA VIRUDDHA / BOWEL
Administration of a mild purgative in a small dose for a person of costive bowel and administration of strong purgatives in strong doses for a person having laxed bowel.
- AVASTA VIRUDDHA / STATE OF HEALTH
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.
- KRAMA VIRUDDHA [ORDER]
If a person takes food before his bowel and urinary bladder are clear[empty]or when he does not have the appetite or after his hunger has been aggravated.
- PARIHARA and UPACHARA VIRUDDHA
Consuming food against prescription. Eg intake of hot things after intake of pork ,and cold things after taking ghee.
- PAAK VIRUDDHA [COOKING]
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 hydroperoxide compounds. These hydroperoxides 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 artherosclerotic disease.
- SAMYOGA VIRUDDHA [COMBINATION]
Food which becomes viruddha in combination. Eg Intake of sour substance with milk.
- HRID VIRUDDHA [PALATABILITY]
Consuming food that is not suited for one’s palate ie taking food which is very much disliked by one.
- SAMPAD [RICHNESS OF QUALITY]
Taking food which does not have any useful qualities. Eg : bakery items or junk food.
- VIDHI VIRUDDHA [RULES FOR EATING]
Not taking food in accordance with the rules of eating.
We might be taking any one type of the above-said viruddhas or a combination at times. Imagine a dinner party with a buffet. There will be lots of food items both veg and non veg.We eat biryani [ or some other heavy oily non-veg food] with deep-fried barbecue chicken which is followed by a dessert like ice cream. Here kaala , samyoga and samskara viruddha is combinely taking place.
Viruddha can cause sudden ill effects like poison or will accumulate over years and produce deadly health issues after a long time.
Wrong Food Combinations In Your Daily Diet
MILK AND FRUITS
Milkshakes are all-time favourites, especially in hot seasons. Different fruits are mixed with milk to make a variety of shakes like Sharjah shake, Mango shake, Chikoo shake….the list goes on. But most people don’t know that fruits and milk are incompatible. One shouldn’t even eat fruits before or after drinking milk.
Fruits are mostly acidic and once they break down they turn sour. So imagine what happens when you squeeze a piece of lime into milk. It curdles. Same happens in our stomach when we eat fruits along with milk. This can cause acidity, belching and will hamper the digestive fire leading to the creation of endogenous toxins called ama.
MILK AND SALT
Milk is cooling [sheeta virya/ cold potency], and salt is heating [ usna virya/ hot potency]. Due to their opposing potencies when combined, they become harmful to health.
MILK & FISH
Fish is hot in potency which, when combined with milk, turns harmful.
Fish should not be taken along with any of the following :
- Sesame seed
- Black gram
CURD & CHICKEN
It’s a common cooking style to marinate chicken using curd and then cooking it. Curd should not be used with chicken and shouldn’t even be cooked or used with any hot food items. It said that one should not even drink hot water after consuming curd.
Do not drink hot water after having curd, honey and alcohol.
HONEY & HOT WATER
Drinking honey in hot water is believed to be good to reduce weight. One should not heat honey, drink honey in hot water nor drink hot water after consuming honey.
Honey glazed chicken and other meat preparations where honey is used in the cooking process is also not a healthy choice as honey shouldn’t be heated.
HONEY, GHEE, OIL, WATER
Any two or 3 or all shouldn’t be taken in equal qty.
Even if not together, don’t take honey and ghee and drink water as anupanam.
Banana should not be mixed with buttermilk, curd, and milk,
Do not eat or drink anything hot after you have consumed any of the following
Usage of these viruddha ahara produces toxins in the body known as annavisha, it causes inflammation in the molecular level and can hamper your health in a dangerous way.