Viruddha Ahara – Incompatible Foods lead to Inflammation and Digestive Disorders!
The so-called lifestyle diseases, we are witnessing today are the direct or indirect result of improper foods. To top it all, there are incompatible foods and food combinations, commonly known as Viruddha Ahara in Ayurveda. These are two or more foods which cannot be taken together. Regular consumption of Viruddha Ahara causes severe digestive and metabolic disorders as they act in opposite direction creating a havoc inside our body. Incompatible foods produce a negative reaction, generating excess water in the body (called kleda). Viruddha Ahara also blocks the channels of the body.
Hippocrates had said- “Let Food be Thy Medicine…” Food indeed can be medicine and has the power to heal, but the reverse is also true. Food can harm a human being to the point of death.
What is Viruddha Ahara?
Viruddha Ahara – Incompatible foods include foods that should not be taken in a particular season or time of the day or year as they produce heat which causes pitta disturbances like acne, heartburn rashes etc. Some of the incompatible foods include Fruit with milk , cheese and fruit, milk and yogurt in excess, milk with meat or fish, honey with ghee, lemon with cucumber or milk or tomato, yogurt with cheese, egg, fish, radishes with milk, grains with fruits or tapioca eggs with fruits, specially melons.
There are scientific explanations to the harmful health effects of incompatible foods. Let’s look at one of the very popular drinks and learn why banana shake is harmful to health. This will exactly explain why milk shakes can do more harm than good to the human body.
Milk Shake or Smoothie – One of the most popular Viruddha Ahara around! Know Why!
Separately, banana and milk are very wholesome and nutritious foods. Each of them has got tons of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins all packed together under one roof. However, the problem starts when we combine these two foods and consume it in form of a banana milkshake or the other.
First of all, banana heats up the body and milk cools down; taking both of them together might neutralize each other’s effects.
Secondly, have you ever added some lemon/ lemon juice to milk or poured milk into something sour? You will instantly find that the milk curdles. This is exactly what happens when both of them are taken together in the digestive tract. Ripe banana may be sweet, but by the time it reaches the stomach from the mouth, it has already turned sour and it coagulates or breaks milk.
Bananas which are not ripe or artificially ripen are anyhow sour. Moreover banana is laden with vitamin C or ascorbic acid (10-14%). The sourness and ascorbic acid of banana curdle the milk and this leads to heaviness in the stomach. Also, the fat present in milk slows down the gastric emptying rate. So the ascorbic acid remains for more time with milk in the stomach and react. The Agni becomes overloaded which inhibits the enzyme system and produce toxins. The reaction also causes indigestion, congestion, heaviness in stomach, cough & cold, rashes, hives etc.
For Kapha dominance people, the combination of milk and banana can diminish agni and cause allergies.
The way forward – Away from Viruddha Ahara
So try to eat the fruit and milk separately, keeping at least one hour and ideally 3 hours in between. Taking banana after warm milk helps in sleep and bowel movements. Vata(major), Pitta (Minor) and Vikruti people can tolerate banana followed by warm milk.
But what to do if you are a fan of milk-based banana smoothies/shakes? Adopt one of the methods below:
- Make sure that banana is very ripe before adding to milk
- Add nutmeg and cardamom shake to improve digestion.
- Consume the shake within one hour.
- Instead of regular milk, try adding coconut or almond milk to the fruits.