Ayurveda suggests that some foods should not be eaten together to avoid indigestion and creation of toxins (ama). Here’s a food combining chart that summarises which foods are incompatible.
Food combining is an important part of a healthy diet. If we want to prevent imbalances and manifestation of disease, we need to prevent formation of toxins in the first place.
This starts with the digestion process.
First a healthy digestion fire or power (agni) is essential to digest whatever foods come into the stomach.
No fire, no digestion! So timing is of essence when deciding to eat.
When is the right time to eat ?
That is unique to each individual and follows their dosha tendency. To know when is the right time to eat for you just follow your appetite! We’re not talking about sweet tooth and desire to eat out of boredom, greed or sadness. We’re talking about that true and honest feeling of hunger in the stomach. It’s not rocket science, just simple connection with our intuitive capability.
Second the food that is ingested must be in the right quantity.
Too much food and you will overload your digestive capability (agni) and prevent it from digesting, absorbing the nutrients and eliminating the waste properly. So always evaluate your hunger level and eat accordingly. Consider the amount of activity that will follow your meal. If sleep is what you will do in the next two hours, then best to opt for a light meal. If you plan to hike a mountain to a mountain top, then a more consistent and energy giving meal is essential! Logical isn’t it ?
Third the quality of the food and that includes how it is combined.
Is the food right for your constitution and is it easy to digest ?
If you like to eat many foods at one meal chances are you will have some incompatible food combination.
It’s like if you try to cook in the same pot and under the same fire strength an apple and a peace of meat. What will happen after 45min? One will be overcooked and the other maybe still raw! So the enzymes and digestion time required for each ingredient varies and must be taken into consideration when preparing a meal.
Also some food have opposite qualities (gunas) and properties, so they are simply not easily assimilated by the body.
Food can be either medicine or poison depending on how we cook it, when we it and how we combine it
To make it simple, ayurveda proposes food combining guidelines that we may follow.
Some frequent and common food combination to really watchout for are:
- Fruit after meals
- Fruit with dairy and in particular banana milkshakes!
- Fruit or juice with yoghurts or any dairy
- Cheese with/after meals
- Honey in your tea !
Bon appétit! Healthy cooking !