Viruddha Ahara - Incompatible food
The literal meaning of word Viruddha is opposite. The food combination of certain type of food may have reverse properties and opposite effect on the tissues. It may exert some unwanted effect on the body when processed in a particular form or have unwanted effect if consumed at wrong time.
There are some food combinations, which are not compatible as per Ayurveda. Below are the some common ones:
- Fruits with milk;
- Eggs with milk;
- Fish with milk;
- Yogurt with milk;
- Lemon with yogurt, milk, cucumber;
- Nightshades (potato, tomato, eggplants) with yogurt, milk.
Food and temperature:
- Cold food with hot food;
- Heating honey.
Food and seasons are also important. The following are also considered Viruddha ahara.
- Pungent food in summer;
- Cold food in winter.
Food and emotions: The emotional state of the person cooking and serving the meal affects your meal as well.
- Eating food, which you hate;
- Eating at a restaurant you hate or prepared by a person who is upset;
- Eating food when you are upset.
There are many instances when we take Viruddha Ahara without knowing their effects. If the digestive capacity of the individual is at its very best, the food may be digested well. But for those who have weaker digestive capacity:
- The food may take long to digest and create a fullness of stomach and reduced or no appetite for the next meal;
- Most of it may be eliminated in semi-digested form;
- Some of the undigested food may be absorbed into the system creating toxins in the body;
- If incompatible food is taken for a long term, it may lead to ailments.
Best practice is to take fruits and milk separately. Sitting in a calm place and eating mindfully gives you a compass of whether the food is right for you. Most often, you would have a natural repulsion for incompatible food; so, do not eat if you don’t like it.
And before a meal, thank everybody who helped to get food onto your plate – the farmer, the traders, the person who cooked the food and everybody - Annadata Sukhino Bhavantu.
Super Cool Summer Foods!
Mango – It is rightly called king of fruits, fights cancer and dry eyes, lowers cholesterol, promotes good eyesight, and also prevents night blindness.
Antioxidants such as quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat present in mango protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Mango has high level of Vitamin C, pectin and fibers that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. It has a low glycemic index (41-60) so going a little overboard will not increase your sugar levels. Mango contains enzymes that help in breaking down protein. Its fibrous nature helps in digestion and elimination. One cup of sliced mangoes equals 25 percent intake of your daily need of vitamin A. Mango is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids -- a cup of sliced mango contains 77 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Melon - Watermelon is effective in reducing both body temperature and blood pressure. The reasonable amount of potassium and magnesium present in watermelons is also beneficial to maintain insulin levels. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby stimulating increased blood flow and reducing the stress in the cardiovascular system. Antioxidant potential of Vitamin C and the impact of lycopene make watermelon a great anti-cancer fruit. Arginine, another component found in this fruit, is effective at enhancing the impact of insulin on blood sugar. Diabetic patients can have curries, salads made from watermelon rinds, which are even low in sugar.
Berries - Powerful antioxidants that appear in berries include anthocyanins, quercetin and Vitamin C. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work with quercetin to help slow age-related memory loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C is largely responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating Vitamin C-rich berries will contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of arthritis, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Cucumbers - Eating cucumbers is an easy way to meet the recommended 4700 mg intake of daily potassium. Cucumbers contain potassium (152mg per cup), which can help lower blood pressure. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered an anti-inflammatory substance called fisetin plays a vital role in brain health, reduces impact of age-related abnormalities on brain function and helps maintain cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Cucumbers can lower the inflammatory response in the body. They also contain plant nutrients called cucurbitacins and phytochemical lignin, which have anti-cancer properties. Fiber and water-rich vegetables like cucumbers can boost your mouth’s saliva production, which in turn helps wash away the bacteria that cause the odor in the mouth. High amount of Vitamin K provides about 17 µg of this vitamin per 100 g. Vitamin K has been found to have a potential role in bone strength by promoting osteotrophic (bone mass building) activity. It helps in absorption of calcium from food.
Recipe of the month:
Watermelon Rind Indian Curry
- 2 cups watermelon rind (dark green part removed), cut into ½ inch pieces + ¼ cup water.
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil, cumin seeds, chilli-ginger-garlic minced
- Salt, Red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Garam masala ½ tsp amchur dry mango powder, Handful of cilantro
Heat oil/ghee, add cumin seeds and fry ginger garlic paste for few minutes. Add all masalas except for amchur and garam masala. Add watermelon rind and water, cover it and cook for about 15 minutes stirring halfway through. Once the rind is soft and water is absorbed, add garam masala and amchur. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with roti or rice.
To our health!
Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org