Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 07:53 AM IST

Unfavorable Foods and Combinations


In the previous topic, it is discussed how compatible foods safeguard human health and maintain the dosas in their balanced state and in the same way an incompatible diet affects health and aggravates the dosas. Incompatible foods are of several kinds. Some foods are incompatible by nature and create a problem on consumption because they are heavy, aggravate the dosas and cause disease. Some of these foods by nature are very beneficial and health-promoting when consumed alone but become incompatible when taken along with other foods or when taken at a particular time, season or cooked in a particular container. Instead of benefitting health, they may harm the body and become the cause of several diseases. This includes an opposing combination of substances which do not have an affinity for each other. Such foods are incompatible because they corrupt the dhatus, aggravate the dosas and cause an imbalance in the constituents of useful body secretions. They do not allow generated wastes to be eliminated smoothly. In this way, at times serious problems develop in the body and the correct diagnosis of their cause becomes difficult. Prolonged use of unfavorable foods slowly and steadily affect the health of an individual by disturbing the dhatus and their normal functioning and may give rise to several diseases. Unfavorable foods are of several kinds:

  1. An unsuitable diet in a particular area: Consuming watery and oily foods and those that are cool in attribute in humid areas.
  2. An unsuitable diet in a particular season: Cold and light food in winter.
  3. An unsuitable diet according to one’s digestive power: Heavy, oily, cold and sweet food being consumed by a person with weak digestive power.
  4. An unsuitable diet based on the quantity: Ghee and honey in equal quantities acts as a poison, but consuming the same in small amounts and in different proportions, it becomes nectar.
  5. An unsuitable diet as per one’s habit: Wheat or barley being consumed by a person used to eating rice every day.
  6. An unsuitable diet according to the dosas: A person with a Vata dominant constitution eating a Vata aggravating diet and one with Kapha-type body consuming a Kapha provoking diet.
  7. An unsuitable diet according to cooking habits and tradition: Cooking sour foods in a copper or brass vessel.
  8. An unsuitable diet according to the potency: Eating hot and cold potency foods together. For example, taking orange, sweet lime or pineapple along with milk, yogurt or buttermilk.
  9. An unsuitable diet as per the bowel habits: Fecal elimination naturally takes place with difficulty in persons with slow peristaltic movements in the gastro-intestinal tract (bowel movements). Due to aggravated Vata such individuals suffer constipation and pass hard stools. Similarly, those having moderate bowel movements are Kapha dominated individuals. In such individuals the process of fecal elimination is moderate and still difficult. For such individuals, light, constipating, Vata and Kapha provoking substances are incompatible. On the other hand, those having soft bowel movements are /•mo-dominated individuals. In them, fecal elimination takes place smoothly and easily therefore, pungent, purgative and laxative substances are incompatible.
  10. An unsuitable diet according to the condition of the body: Obese people taking heavy and oily foods whereas dry and light foods being taken by emaciated person.
  11. An unsuitable diet as per the time and routine: Eating before morning ablution, eating without hunger, not eating when hungry and so on.
  12. An unsuitable diet as per healthy diet principles: Breaking rules regarding healthy food habits. To counter the bad effect of a particular substance, one must consume some other substance after the previous one, e.g., do not drink cold water after ghee (ghee must always be followed by warm drinks), do not exercise after a meal, and do not drink cold water after consuming food containing wheat or barley.
  13. An unsuitable diet based on cooking: Taking uncooked or half cooked or overheated food, food cooked in a bad medium or with a polluted fuel source (heat).
  14. An unsuitable diet in a combination: Combining wrong foods like sour things with milk, eating muskmelon, watermelon or salty foods with milk.
  15. An unsuitable diet based on the taste: Forcing oneself to eat food that one dislikes, eating delicious food without interest.
  16. An unsuitable diet according to the properties: Food without taste or bad in taste or food whose taste has been changed.
  17. An unsuitable diet as per classic texts: Foods taken against ‘Acara samhita (dietetic facts).

Examples of some incompatible combinations

  • Milk with: Yogurt, salt, radish, radish leaves, green and raw salad, drum stick, tamarind, muskmelon, Bengal quince, coconut, Indian hog plum, lemon, monkey jack, cranberry, star fruit (carambola), blackberry, wood apple, pomegranate, Indian gooseberry, angled luffa, jaggery, sesame cake, horse gram, black gram, Turkish gram, Indian millet, coarse grain flour of barley and gram (sattu), oil, sour fruits and substances, fish. Milk, wine and gruel eaten together.
  • Yogurt with: Rice pudding, milk, cottage cheese, hot foods and other hot substances, cucumber, muskmelon, the fruit of the toddy palm.
  • Rice pudding with: Jackfruit, sour foods (yogurt, lemon, tamarind and so on), coarse grain flour of barley and gram (sattu), alcohol.
  • Rice with:
  • Honey with: Black nightshade, clarified butter (ghee along with an equal quantity of old honey,), rainwater, oil, fat, grapes, lotus seeds, radish, very hot water, hot milk and other hot substances, safflower leaves, sugar (sherbet containing sugar syrup) and date wine. Warm honey is prohibited.
  • Cold water with: Clarified butter (ghee), oil, warm milk and hot substances, watermelon, guava, cucumber, snake cucumber, groundnut, chilgoza (which is an edible pinenut). Hot water or other hot drinks with: Honey, ice cream and other cold items. Ghee with: Equal amounts of honey and cold water. Ghee: Kept in a brass container for more than 10 days. Muskmelon with: Garlic, yogurt, milk, radish leaves, water.
  • Watermelon with: Cold water, mint.
  • Sesame paste with: Cooked Malabar spinach.
  • Salt: Its excessive and prolonged use.
  • Mustard oil with:
  • Sprouted pulses and grains with: Lotus stems; also raw sprouts along with cooked food.
  • Black nightshade with: Long pepper, black pepper, jaggery, honey, black nightshade kept overnight and cooked in a utensil in which fish has been previously cooked.
  • Black gram with:
  • Banana with:
  • Radish with: Milk, banana and raisins.
  • Mango with: Cucumber, cheese, yogurt.
  • Incompatible non-vegetarian* combinations
  • Fish with:
  • Fried fish with: Long pepper.
  • Cooked in fish oil: Long pepper.
  • Pigeon meat cooked in mustard oil with: Honey and milk.
  • Water animals with: Honey, sesame, milk and raddish.
  • Parakeet bird flesh with: Mustard oil and honey; roasted on turmeric wood.
  • Crane flesh with: Alcohol and roasting in pork fat.
  • Mutton: Roasted on coal.
  • Pork with: Hot foods.
  • Egg with: Milk, meat, melon, cheese, banana and fish.

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Published on: Sunday, April 02, 2017, 02:56 AM IST