Incompatible Food Combinations (Virudh Aahar)

An individual’s digestive fire (agni) determines how well or poorly the food is digested.

Apart from the above, food combinations also play an important role in digestion. According to Dr Vasant Lad, the renowned Ayurvedic physician and professor, ‘when two or more foods having different tastes, energy and post digestive effect are combined, agni becomes overloaded, inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in the production of toxins. At the same time these foods, if eaten separately, might well stimulate agni, be digested more quickly and even help to burn or remove toxins’.

However, not all dietary concepts can be logically explained in Ayurveda. Apart from the individual quality of the food, it also possesses prabhava, an unexplained effect that can be identified only through sheer experience. Therefore, food combinations do hold importance even if some remain unexplained.

Nutrition science attributes consumption of acid ash producing foods (sugar, fats, colas), acid residuals in the body and improper digestion as the root cause of all disease. Similarly, in Ayurveda, it is said that improper food combinations produces weak acids leading to various disorders. Incompatible food combinations can lead to flatulence, indigestion, and fermentation. Prolonged intake of such combinations can lead to toxemia and disease.

On the other hand, the incompatibility gets neutralized somewhere down the line if-

  • the incompatibility is slight,
  • the person has a strong digestive power,
  • the individual is young,
  • the individual is habituated to regular exercise,.

Some basic rules of food combining and food consumption are as follows-

  • Curds not to be consumed in hot season, in hot form (kadhi, tadka in raita, curds in vegetables), without sugar, honey, ghee or amla.
  • Curds should NOT be consumed in the night. Buttermilk helps in digestion whereas curds to the contrary are heavy to digest. It can be best digested at lunch time when the digestive abilities are the strongest. Curd is acidic in nature. It aggravates pitta and kapha as it produces a lot of heat in the stomach. Curds are heavy, slow to digest and can be constipating too. People with weak digestion should avoid its consumption.
  • Milk not to be taken with fish as they have incompatible potency. Milk is of cold nature whereas fish is of hot nature. As a result the combination of milk and fish vitiates the blood and causes obstruction of channels.
  • Banana should not be eaten with milk, curds or buttermilk because it can diminish agni and cause production of excess toxins in the body. The combination may also cause cold and cough and even produce allergies.
  • Sweet and sour fruits should never be combined as in a fruit chat. Individual fruits should be eaten as such and as a different meal.
  • Chicken or fish should not be combined with milk, sesame, or sprouted grains as it may lead to digestive problems.
  • Milk and melons not to be consumed together. Both are of cold nature but milk is a laxative and melon a diuretic. Milk takes longer to digest. The stomach acid required to digest melons, curdles the milk.
  • Sour fruits should not to eaten or combined with milk. (Shakes, smoothies, milkshakes, fruit cream).
  • Avoid cold drinks during or directly after a meal. It diminishes the agni and causes digestive problems.
  • Avoid eating raw and cooked foods together. One can have the salad first and then proceed for dinner after a short gap.
  • Never cook honey as after cooking it becomes non homogenized glue that clogs channels and produces toxins.


  1. Dr Vasant Lad & Usha Lad. “Ayurvedic Cooking For Self Healing”. The Ayurvedic Institute. Albuquerque, NM, 2003.
  2. Dr S.P Kinjawadekar. “Hundred Years of Happy and Healthy Life through Ayurveda and Yoga”, Swami Prakashananda Ayurvedic Reserch Centre, Mumbai, 2002.
  3. Dr Pratap Chuhan, Jiva Ayurveda.
  4. Sharadini Dahanukar & Urmila Thatte – “Ayurveda Unravelled”2005


NewKapha Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I find it interesting that there are many variations of what is good vs what is bad. One example in the list above which is good for all is grapes, yet I have seen grapes listed as avoidance for Kaphas.

RSM27 Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is consuming bittergourd preparations during dinner harmful?

Ishanishah Friday, March 30, 2012

how will an individual come to know that he/she has vata/pitta dosha.

mitamajumdar Monday, April 16, 2012

plz check this out -

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