Food Combining – Ayurvedic Perspective

Food Combining – for better digestion

According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (Rasa), a heating or cooling energy (Virya), and a post-Various types of fooddigestive effect (Vipaka).  Some also possess prabhav (an unexplained effect).  So while it is true that an individual’s agni (digestive fire) largely determines how well or poorly food is digested, food combinations are also of great importance.  When two or more foods having different taste, energy and post-digestive effect are combined, agni (digestive fire) can become overloaded, inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in the production of Ama (toxins).  Yet these same foods, if eaten separately, might well stimulate agni(digestive fire), e digested more quickly and even help to burn Ama (toxins).

Poor food combining  can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction, and gas formation and if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease.  

It is no surprise to see on the market today so many digestive and dietary aids for the stomach, along with pills for gas and indigestion.  Most of these conditions likely begin with poor food combining.

There are various factors that can help lessen the possible effect of a bad food combination.

  • A strong digestive fire (if we are so blessed) can be the most powerful tool of all to deal with “bad” food combinations.
  • Different quantities of each food involved in a combination can some times help significantly.  For instance equal quantities by weight of Ghee and Honey are a bad combination since Ghee is cooling, but Honey is heating.  Whereas mixing a 2 to 1 ratio is not toxic.  The Reason?  Prabhav, the unexplainable.
  • Very often spices and herbs are added in Ayurvedic cooking to help make foods compatible or to ease a powerful effect, e.g. cooling Cilantro in very spicy food.


Don’t eat: With:
Beans fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, meat, yogurt
Eggs fruit, especially melons; beans, cheese, frish, kitchari, MILK, meat, yogurt
Fruit As a rule, with any other food (there are exceptions, such as certain cooked combinations, as well as dates and milk, which have the same taste, post-digestive effect, and the energy)
Grains fruit: tapioca
Honey when mixed with an equal among of Ghee by weight (i.e., 1 tsp. honey with 3 tsp. Ghee); boiled or cooked honey.
Hot drinks mangos, cheese, fish, meat, starch, yogurt
Lemon cucumbers, milk, tomatoes, yogurt
Melons EVERYTHING – especially dairy, eggs, fried food, grains, starches.  Melons more than most fruit – should be eaten alone or left alone.
Milk BANANAS, cherries, melons, sour fruits; bread containing yeast, fish, kitchari, meat, yogurt
Nightshades (Potato, Tomato, Eggplant) melon, cucumber, dairy products
Radishes bananas, raisins, milk
Tapioca fruit, especially banana and mango; beans, raisins, jaggary
Yogurt fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat, MILK, nightshades
  1. These guidelines are by no means an exhaustive list.  It must be remembered that a proper Ayurvedic diet should consider nutritional value, constitution, seasons, age and any disease condition.
  2. Foods in CAPITALS case are the most difficult combinations.
  3. According to ancient Ayurvedic literature, honey should never be cooked.  If cooked, the molecules become a non-homogenized glue that adheres to mucous membranes and clogs subtle channels, producing toxins.  Uncooked honey is nectar.  Cooked honey is considered poison.


– Ayurvedic cooking for self-healing by Mrs. Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad –

– the image credit:


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