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Venerina Conti

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Ayurveda - (Part 3) - Food combining
10/15/2006 7:09:28 PM

Dear friends


First of all ... thank you for all the well wishes, private messages and emails ... they have all been very much appreciated.  I am slowly getting better, by the day, and definately much stronger ...


I am playing catch up with a lot of things ... but I am slowly beginning to sift through it all ...


Here's part 3 of Ayurveda ... and probably the most important ....

Enjoy and hugs to all ....




The Ayurveda concept of food combining offers a rational and scientific approach for determining the correct diet an individual should follow based on their innate constitution of being either a Vata, Pitta or Kapha type, which, in turn, determines the foods that are best for maintaining a physiological balance for each given individual.


Conventional food combining diets encourage us all to eat from the same basic food groups: meat, dairy, fruit, grains and vegetables and achieve the same "standard" levels of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, whereas Ayurveda takes into account each individual’s uniqueness and takes into account factors such as age, sex, race, climate, digestive capacity, stress, immune status, strength, illness, emotions, and adaptability.


In the Ayurvedic literature there are six types of nutritional imbalances:


  1. Quantitative deficiency. This includes malnutrition due to insufficient food, and even starvation.
  2. Quantitative excess, excessive amounts of both health foods and even water.
  3.  Qualitative deficiency. This includes wrong food combinations, which results in malnutrition, toxic condition and lack of essential nutrients.
  4. Qualitative excess. This includes emotional overeating of rich or high fat foods which can result in obesity and/or high cholesterol which and promote hypertension, coronary vessel disease, and stroke.
  5. Ama-producing. Certain foods and food combinations lead to toxemia and to certain digestive disorders.
  6. Prakriti. Foods not appropriate for one's constitution may reduce immunity and cause disease.


These six factors are closely correlated with the strength of agni (the gastric fire). There are four types of agni:


  1. MANDAGNI, due to an excess kapha condition, leading to slow metabolism, overweight, allergies and congestive diseases.
  2. TIKSHNAGNI. Pitta dosha is responsible for this type of agni disorder. It may cause hyper-metabolism, hyperacidity, heartburn and hypoglycemia leading to inflammatory diseases.
  3. VISHAMAGNI. Due to vata dosha the gastric fire becomes vitiated, causing irregular appetite, indigestion and gases. Emotionally this can result in anxiety, insecurity, fear, and neurological or mental problems.
  4. SAMAGNI. This type of agni is the result of balanced tri-dosha. A person having this type of agni can eat almost any type of food without difficulty. Digestion, absorption and elimination are all normal.


According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipaka). When two or three different food substances of different taste, energy and post-digestive effect are combined together agni can become overloaded inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in production of toxins in the system.


When foods, (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) having different attributes, tastes, heating or cooling properties and post-digestive effects are eaten together, agni will be slowed down. The foods can then remain in the stomach for seven to eight hours. These same foods, if eaten separately might well stimulate agni, be digested more quickly and even help to burn ama.

Ayurveda advocates that an individual should eat according to his/her own constitution and take fruits, starches, proteins and fats separately at different times of the day.

Combining foods improperly can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. This condition, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease complex. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish agni, change the intestinal flora producing toxins and may cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies.


The principles of Ayurvedic food combining are derived from written information left us in the ancient writing of the Indian physicians living around 100 A.D. The essential aspects, of food, to be held in mind are:


Prakruti            Nature of food articles, i.e. their natural and innate properties.

Karana            Method involved in the processing of the food articles, i.e. whether or not additives have been made, what such additives are and how they affect the body.

Samyoga            Combination of food articles.  Some substances, when taken on their own can be beneficial to the body but when they are combined with other substances, they could be toxic.

Rasi            Quantity of food articles. The amount eaten, which helps in determining the effects of the right and wrong doses of foods in our diet.

Desa   Habitat or climate, i.e. environmental/geographical factors/effects on, both, food consumed and the body. It indicates variations in food substances due to difference in soil, use and climate.

Kala    Time, used in two senses; time in the general sense and time in the sense of a stage. Stage is used in relation to disease, whereas time, in the general sense, is used in relation to seasonal wholesomeness.

Upayoga samstha  Rules governing the intake of food, which are usually determined by the strength of digestion of a person and unique to each individual constitution.

Upayokta            Wholesomeness of individual who takes it. 


Ayurveda has categorized personality traits into three different kinds, based on the food habits the Satvic or spiritual quality, Rajasic or active quality, and Tamasic or material quality of the mind is all affected by the food we eat. The activating Rajasic quality may dominate or combine with the other two qualities to form different mental tendencies in man; spiritually active, intellectually active, or materially active. Satvic food is elevating while Rjasic foods lead man to a materialistic, selfish way of living. Tamasic food is one, which leads to a devilish streak in a person.

Since diet, along with daily habits, is crucial to the health of an individual, it must be made clear at the outset that there is no standard ideal diet for all people in general as everybody has a different body structure and digestive system. The various factors that need to be kept in mind while working out the ideal diet for every individual, which will be distinctly different based on the person's specific constitutional characteristics, are as listed below:


The natural quality of each food it should be full of all the nutrients.

How those natural qualities can get altered.

The effects of combining foods - proper and unacceptable combinations.

The quantity of food intake.

Individual differences in food intake.

The places and climatic condition where the food is grown prepared and consumed. The effects of the seasons and time of day.

Avoidance of artificial flavors, chemicals, preservatives and colors.


An example of Ayurvedic Food Combining is as follows:


Avoid taking milk or yogurt with sour or citrus fruits.


Avoid eating fruits together with potatoes or other starchy foods. Fructose(fruit sugar) (and other sugars) is digested quickly, whereas starch takes quite some time. In this case the sugar would not be properly digested.


Avoid eating melons and grains together. Melons digest quickly whereas grains take more time. This combination will upset the stomach.


Melons should be eaten alone or left alone.


Honey should never be cooked.


Honey digests slowly when cooked and the molecules become a non-homogenized glue, which adheres to mucous membranes and clogs subtle channels, producing toxins. Uncooked honey is nectar. Cooked honey is poison.


Meat protein and milk protein should never be eaten together.


Milk and melons should not be eaten together. The action of hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes the milk to curdle. For this reason Ayurveda advises against taking milk with sour fruits, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and fish.


Cold beverages should not be consumed during or directly after a meal as it reduces agni and digestion. Small sips of warm or tepid water taken during the meal serves to aid digestion.


While eating one should properly masticate the food in order to soften it and ensure that it is thoroughly mixed with saliva.


The one major factor which determines the completeness and efficiency of our digestive processes, is the proper production and secretion of our digestive enzymes. The Ayurvedic correlate of these enzymes is known as the jatharagni, which is the main agni of the body and which controls all other agnis (the five bhutagnis and the seven dhatvagnis.  Therefore, by optimizing the function of this multi-faceted system of digestive enzymes we can utilize our diet as a major disease-fighting tool




Robert Talmadge

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Re: Ayurveda - (Part 3) - Food combining
10/16/2006 8:48:08 AM


Thank you for giving us more information on Aurveda. This is well
written and informative. Very interesting facts. It puts some
pieces of the Anthropology puzzle together.

Some professors I had the pleasure of having as teachers
had expounded on an ancient skull, thousands years old that
had the distinct marks of brain surgery. They went on to
say that it was successful. From the forensic evidence it is
suggested that the person lived another 20 years after.


Robert Talmadge To follow your dream, follow your heart.
Judy Woodson

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Re: Ayurveda - (Part 3) - Food combining
10/16/2006 9:08:42 AM

Welcome back, Venerina.

This really is interesting. I have one small book in my health library on this, but it's been years since I looked at it and some of the information has simply slipped through the holes in my brain. ; )

Thanks for posting. I'll have to go back and catch up on parts 1 and 2.

  Have a great week!

Judy ; )

Venerina Conti

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Re: Ayurveda - (Part 3) - Food combining
10/17/2006 7:42:05 AM

Hello Robert,

Thank you .... and my humblest apologies .... again!!!! 

All brain cells weren't firing at the same time ehehehehehe ....

It never ceases to amaze me what ancient civilisations use to be able to do ... it, also, mystifies me ... which I guess is where my passion for Atlantis comes in ... we, as a society, seem to have lost so much through the centuries that we find it incomprehensible, sometimes, that other times and other civilisations where in fact more evolved than we are now.

But I guess you and I could blab about that for hours .... me thinks...

Take care and thank you again for your patience.




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