There are some questions always arise in everyone's minds that whether we should combine fruits with vegetable, fruits with meal etc. Do they really hurt our digestive system? Food combination is not modern science rather ancient science.
1. According to Ayurveda, when different foods are eaten together, due to different characteristics of each food, toxins may form in the body that can harm us in long run. But the food having similar properties do not cause any harm and digested easily.
Even there are some combinations which should be avoided according to Ayurveda but dietician recommend them like eating fruits with protein and/or fat to help balance the rise in blood sugar especially for diabetic patients.
Further, most of the food combinations are based on the pH level for easier digestion. But our body is more adapted to handle pH level own its own.
Ayurveda's food combination rules are not based on biochemistry.
2. There is no scientific evidence or report available that shows a food combination in diet is beneficial or harmful. However there is a detailed concept about Viruddh ahaar (restricted food) in Charak Sahinta and Sushrut Sahinta. Ayurveda clearly defines that certain diet and its combinations can interrupts the metabolism of tissue, and inhibits the process of formation of tissue. The food taken in wrong combination, consumed in incorrect time of day and in wrong season comes under Viruddha Ahara.
Hay Diet, a concept of food combining, was given by New York-based physician William Howard Hay in 1920. He classified foods as acid, alkaline, or neutral. He gave idea of proper combination of foods to improved health. According to this rule, carbs should not be eaten at the same meal as fruits or protein, but should be eaten with neutral foods like fats.
3.A basic rule for food combining is there:
a. Foods that can be eaten together:
Starches + non-starchy vegetables
Protein + non-starchy vegetables
b. Foods that shouldn't be eaten together:
Starches and protein
Protein and other proteins
Some of the food combinations should be avoided:
i). Melons like watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupe and honeydews should not be mixed with other fruits. They should be consumed alone and will not be digested if taken with other fruits.
ii). Do not mix acidic or sub-acidic fruits with sweet fruit. For example, grapefruits and strawberries (acidic), or apples, pomegranates and peaches (sub-acidic) fruits should not be taken with sweet fruits, such as bananas and raisins. It can affect digestion.
iii). Fruits and vegetables digest differently and should not be consumed together. Fruits have a quicker pace of digestion and also have more sugar content while vegetables take time to digest. That's why orange should not be taken with carrot, they may cause digestive problems like heartburn and acid reflux.
iv). Starchy food should not be mixed with high protein diet.
Common incompatibility/antagonistic food :
i. Potency incompatibility : fish + milk should not be taken together.
ii. Processing incompatibility: Honey should not be heated. Hot water after taking honey should be avoided.
iii. Dose incompatibility: honey + cow's ghee mixed in equal proportion.
iv. Time incompatibility: hot and spicy substance in summer and cold substances in winter should not be taken.
v. Order incompatibility food: consuming curd at night should be avoided.
vi. Combination incompatibility: fruit salad or milk + banana combination should be avoided.
vii. Contraindication incompatibility: consuming cold water immediately after having hot tea or coffee should be avoided
4. According to Ayurveda , food combination of certain type of food may have -
i) Opposite activities on the tissues
ii) Unwanted effect on the body when processed in a particular form
iii) Undesirable effects, when combined in certain proportion
iv) Unwanted effect if consumed at wrong time.
5. Wrong combination should be avoided. But if you have eaten then gap of at least half an hour between the two should be maintained.