Ayurveda is a very ancient science that guides us in a logical way about Ayurvedic diet, food, yoga, and lifestyle. The basis of Ayurveda depends upon the Prakriti (Vata, pitta, Kapha). This approach is quite different from the contemporary view of a balanced diet which includes eating from various food groups. For finding a truly balanced diet, Ayurveda believes that understanding the individual is the key. It teaches that the gastric fire or Agni in the stomach and digestive tract is responsible to perform and maintain various life functions.
Most of the medical conditions likely begin with poor food combinations.
Our lifestyle, food, beverages that cause digestion problems and disbalance the doshas are called as Viruddha ahara, which vitiate rasa di dhatus and do not help in the nourishment of Dhatus. However, because of the vitiation of Dhatus & Doshas, they produce many disorders or diseases. According to Ayurveda, each and every food item on this planet has its effect on the body. Every food has a particular taste, cooling and heating energy, post-digestive effect, and even some unexplained ones also. So while it is true that an individual’s Agni is responsible for digestion, food combinations also play an important role. Foods having different taste, energy, and post-ingestive effects are when combined together, agni can become overloaded, and results in the production of toxins.
The poor combination can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction, and gas formation and, if prolonged, can lead to the production of toxins, disease afterward. For example, eating bananas with milk can suppress agni can change the intestinal flora, produce toxins, and may cause sinus congestion, cold, cough, and allergies. Banana and milk are both sweet in taste, also have a cooling effect but bananas are sour while milk is sweet. Because of this confusion digestion issues flourish. Another good example of the wrong food combination is eating muskmelon and milk together. Although both are cooling, milk is laxative and melon diuretic. Milk requires more time for digestion. So according to Ayurveda, One should not take milk with sour foods. These foods lead to the deposition of toxins in the body and cause long term health hazards.
Different combinations and quantities of each food can sometimes help significantly. For instance, equal quantities by weight of ghee and honey are a bad combination because ghee is cooling, but honey is heating. whereas mixing in different ratios is not toxic. Therefore Spices and herbs are added in cooking to help make foods compatible or to ease a powerful effect, for example cooling cilantro in very spicy food. Through many years of use if our bodies have become accustomed to a certain food combination, such as eating cheese with apples, then it is likely that our body has made some adaptation or become accustomed to this. this is the reason people face indigestion issues when starting to eat this combination than people who have been eating it for years.
Cardamom in coffee, or ghee and black pepper with potatoes, often can help alleviate some of the negative effects, It works as an antidote. Hence using appropriate spices and herbs helps with this too. Eating a bad combination occasionally generally does not upset the digestion too much.