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Ayurveda includes ahara (food) as one of the trayopasthambha, one of the three pillars to keep the body healthy. The term ahara stands for the healthy eating habits. The disciplined eating habit will nourishes and keep a person healthy, on the other hand undisciplined eating habit can lead to serious health issues.
Virudhahara (incompatible food) is the main output arising from the undisciplined eating habit.
It can be consider as one of the major thread for the new age diseases.
- Viruddha (incompatibility)
What is viruddha?
Those substances which cause the imbalance of doshas in the body but do not expel them out are known as viruddha and so they remain antagonistic to the dhatus. When foods with different qualities, heating or cooling properties and different post digestive effect are combined in one meal they suppress the digestive fire (agni) and lead to accumulation of toxins in our body.
Bad effect of viruddha:
The use of viruddha food will produce boils, swelling, toxicity, abscess, tumors, cancer, weakness, loss of vigor loss of strength, loss of memory, loss of sense perception and intellect. Also causes fever, hemorrhagic disorder, skin diseases, diabetes etc.
Avoiding the incompatible food combination from the food habit is the first line to prevent the bad effect arising from virudhahara. If a person already in the habit of taking foods which is incompatible, advised to reduce the quantity of such foods gradually from the diet rather than stopping it suddenly. Ayurveda explains the panchakarma (5 purificatory therapy - vamanam, virechanam, vasthi, nasyam and raktha mokshanam) as a real solution to expel out the toxins accumulated in the body.
- Viruddha ahara (incompatible food)
Milk with fish, horse gram, black gram, salt, sour things, bananas, meat, melons, curd, bread containing yeast, cherries
Meat of aquatic animals with honey, jaggery, sesame, milk, black gram, raddish, germinated grains
Lakucha with curd, jaggery, honey, ghee
Banana with curd, buttermilk, fish, meat, melons, curd, sour fruits, bread containing yeast, cherries
Leafy vegetables with butter
Melons with dairy, eggs, fried food, grains, starches, cheese
Equal quantity of honey and ghee
Equal quantity of honey and water
Beans with fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, meat, yogurt
Eggs with fruit (especially melons), beans, cheese, fish, milk, meat, yogurt
Hot drinks with mangos, cheese, fish, meat, starch, yogurt
Lemon with cucumbers, milk, tomatoes, yogurt
Potato with melon, cucumber, dairy products
Radish with bananas, raisins, milk
Tapioca with fruit, especially banana, mango, beans, raisins, jiggery
Yogurt with fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat, milk, potato
Chilies are incompatible with, yogurt, milk, melon, cucumber
Yogurt is incompatible with milk, sour fruits, melons, hot drinks, meat, fish, mangos, cheese
Mangos are incompatible with yogurt, cheese, cucumbers
Corn is incompatible with dates, raisins, bananas
Pigeon meat prepared in mustard oil, honey after heating
Drink hot water immediately after honey intake, cold water immediately after ghee intake, immediate exposure of extreme hot to cold and vice versa, cold drinks put down the digestive fire especially when taken with the meals, intake of milk when the body is heat, intake of food immediately after physical work
- Ayurveda offers some advice concerning eating habits:
There should be at least 6-hours interval between the meals.
Do not drink water one hour before and one hour after eating. It is advisable to have like warm water along with the meal.
Do not eat many items in one meal.
Eat according to your own digestive capacity.
Do not mix fruits with your meal. Substitute one of the meals with fruits or eat them between the meals.
There should be at least 4 hours between the last meal and going to bed.
Sleeping in day time especially immediately after a meal is harmful.
A short walk after a meal helps digestion.
Do not eat when you are worried or depressed.
Do not eat if you are not hungry.
Eat in a clean and pleasant environment.
Do not read a newspaper or watch the tv while eating
Do not eat too fast or too slow
- Taste and food: according to ayurveda there are six basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. They are composed of the five principal elements.
1) water and earth - sweet taste.
2) earth and fire - sour taste.
3) water and fire - salty taste.
4) fire and air - pungent taste.
5) air and ether - bitter taste.
6) air and earth - astringent taste.
Tastes not only influence digestion, but they also have a profound influence on our doshas. A basic principle in ayurveda is similar increases similar.
1) sweet taste is composed of water and earth element. It increases kapha dosha which is composed of the same elements, but reduces vata and pitta dosha. Sweet foods are bread, rice, milk, sugar and most of the fruits. They are necessary for every constitutional type, but in excess they increase kapha and lead to overweight, increase of the mucus secretion in the nose and sinuses, increase of the mucus in the lungs, create e feeling of
Heaviness, laziness and causes diabetes.
2) sour taste is composed of the elements fire and earth. Sour foods are mostly beneficial for vata dosha. Small quantity may be used by kapha and a very small by pitta dosha. Sour foods are citrus fruits, yogurt, vinegar, cheese, all foods produced by fermentation. Used in moderation they stimulate appetite and salivation, improve digestion and refresh one's mind. Used in excess they cause thirst, burning sensation, indigestion and may help progression of different diseases.
3) salty foods are used in small quantities by all types, but are mostly beneficial for vata and increase pitta and kapha. Salty foods are sea salt, rock salt, kelp. Salty taste has laxative effect, reduces spasms in the colon, supports the electrolyte balance, stimulates salivation, improves the taste of foods and helps digestion and elimination. Used in excess it may disturb the balance of pitta and kapha. It causes hypertension, deterioration of heart conditions, skin diseases and causes early formation of wrinkles.
4) pungent taste is mostly beneficial for kapha, may be used in small amounts by vata and in very small quantity by pitta dosha. Pungent foods are many varieties of peppers, onion, radishes, garlic and ginger. They improve digestion, clean the sinuses, stimulate nasal and eye secretion. Excessive use may cause burning sensation, thirst, ulcer, skin diseases, diarrhea and insomnia.
5) bitter taste is good for all doshas in small quantities. It is mostly beneficial for pitta dosha. Bitter foods are coffee, aloe, curcuma, salads. Bitter improves the taste of foods in combination with other tastes. It is considered antitoxic. It cleans the body and the liver from toxins. It relieves the burning sensations and itching in skin diseases, reduces the fever and improves digestion. It has a drying potency and causes reduction of the adipose tissue. Excessive use is not recommendable. It causes dryness of the skin, weight reduction and sexual disturbances.
6) astringent taste should be used in pharmaceutical quantities. It may be used by all doshas in small amounts, but pitta and kapha a little bit more than vata dosha. Astringent are pomegranates, beans, cherries and foods rich of tannins. Astringent is constricting, reduces secretions, helps wound healing and reduces bleeding. Excessive use may cause
Dryness in throat and mouth, constipation, gas, weight loss.
- Advise according to dosha
People with vata dominant constitution should avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods. Good for them are sweet, salty and sour foods. Light, dry and cold foods are not recommendable. It is good if everything is cooked, warm, with oil because vata dosha is light and dry.
People with pita dominant constitution should avoid sour, salty and pungent foods like citrus fruits and pickles. Beneficial for them are sweet, bitter and astringent foods. They must not be warm and with a lot of oil, but only with a small amount of sunflower oil or ghee.
People with kapha dominant constitution should avoid sweet, sour and salty foods. Beneficial for them are bitter, pungent and astringent foods. They have to be warm, with only a small amount of oil, mainly sunflower or corn oil.
We hope that this article will improve your eating style and health too.
Keep enjoy healthy eating:)