What is Viruddha Aahara ( Food Compatibility)?
According to Ayurveda, the quality of the food we eat is determined by various factors that can affect its taste, texture, and nutritional value. Viruddha Aahara, also known as incompatible food combinations or food compatibility, is a concept in Ayurveda that suggests certain food combinations can negatively affect our digestion, leading to various health issues. According to Ayurveda, food is not only a source of nutrition but also a form of medicine. So, it is important to eat food in the right way to promote good health. In this blog, we will explore the concept of Virudha Ahara, its types, effects, and how to avoid it.
Viruddha Aahara- Types and Effects on the Body of Incompatible Food
According to Ayurveda, Viruddha Aahara can have various effects on the body and overall health. Here are 18 factors of the potential effects as follows,
- Desha Viruddha
Desha Viruddha refers to a dietary practice that goes against the norm of a particular region, resulting in food incompatibility. For instance, consuming dry food items (Ruksha Ahara) in dry areas or oily and unctuous food items (Snigdha Ahara) in marshy regions would be considered as Desha Viruddha, leading to an imbalance in food compatibility.
- Kala Viruddha
Eating food that contradicts the time and season is when you eat food items such as Sheeta (cold) and Ruksha (dry) during the winter season.
- Agni Viruddha
This refers to consuming food that is not compatible with one’s digestive power, such as consuming heavy foods when the digestive fire is weak. This can lead to indigestion and other digestive issues. For example, consuming heavy foods during illness or after surgery can lead to poor digestion and other health issues.
- Matra Viruddha
Consuming diets that are incompatible in terms of the need for quantity refers to the consumption of equal amounts of honey and ghee, for instance.
- Satmya Viruddha
This refers to the consumption of food that is not familiar or not part of one’s regular diet. This can lead to digestive issues and other health problems. For example, trying a new exotic dish that your body is not familiar with can lead to indigestion and other digestive problems.
- Dosha Viruddha
Consumption of food or substances that have similar qualities to Doshas, but are incompatible with an individual’s constitution. It may refer to the use of drugs, diets, or regimens that have similar qualities to Doshas but are in opposition to the individual’s nature. For instance, hot and spicy food for someone with a Pitta Prakriti. This can lead to an imbalance in the Doshas and result in various health issues.
- Sanskar Viruddha
When certain food items are prepared in a particular way, they can become poisonous upon consumption. For example, Ayurvedic texts caution against heating honey as it can result in Sanskar Viruddha Aahara. Similarly, deep-frying potatoes can lead to the development of toxic substances like acrylamide, which can potentially be carcinogenic.
- Virya Viruddha:
This refers to the mixing of opposite potencies, such as combining hot and cold foods, which can result in food incompatibility. This combination can lead to an imbalance in the body’s doshas, adversely affecting health and overall well-being.
- Koshtha Viruddha
Koshtha Viruddha Aahara refers to the consumption of food items that are not by one’s digestive nature. For example, if a person with a soft bowel (Mridu Koshtha) consumes heavy food (Guru), in large quantity (Bahu), or has mild purgative properties (Bhedaniya), it would be considered Koshtha Viruddha.
- Avastha Viruddha
Avastha Viruddha, also known as Viruddha Aahara, refers to the consumption of food that is in contrast to one’s current state of health. It involves consuming food that aggravates a particular dosha or is incompatible with the body’s condition at that time. For example, after engaging in physical exertion, consuming food that aggravates Vata dosha, such as dry and light food, would be considered Avastha Viruddha.
Similarly, eating Kapha-aggravating food when feeling sleepy or consuming heavy (Guru) food during a fever would also fall under this category. Avastha Viruddha can disrupt the body’s natural balance and contribute to various health issues. It is important to be mindful of one’s current state of health and choose foods that are compatible and supportive of the body’s needs.
- Krama Viruddha
It refers to the consumption of food in a contradictory order, which can lead to imbalances in the body. For instance, consuming curd at night is considered Krama Viruddha Aahara because it is heavy and difficult to digest at night, which can lead to digestive issues. Similarly, drinking hot water after consuming honey can negate the benefits of honey, as it is believed to turn it toxic.
- Parihar Viruddha
Certain foods are said to be avoided eating together as they are against things, which relieve the symptoms. For example, consuming cold water at once after drinking hot tea or coffee is considered Parihar Viruddha, as it can bring about the body’s temperature to fluctuate and affect digestion.
- Upachar Viruddha
Consuming foods or substances that are incompatible with a particular treatment or therapy can hinder its effectiveness. For instance, consuming cold items after taking ghee or clarified butter is considered Upachar Viruddha Aahara, as it can create an obstruction in the digestive system and slow down the healing process.
- Paak Viruddha
Paak Viruddha Aahara is a term used in Ayurveda to describe the consumption of substances that are incompatible with proper cooking methods, which can result in food incompatibility. This includes the use of bad or rotten fuel for cooking, undercooking, overcooking, or burning the food during the preparation process. Such practices can lead to the formation of harmful substances that can have detrimental effects on health, causing digestive problems and toxicity. It is important to ensure proper cooking techniques and the use of fresh ingredients to maintain food compatibility and promote overall well-being.
- Samyoga Viruddha
Food items that are incompatible when combined. It may result in the formation of harmful substances in the body, leading to various health issues. An example is the intake of sour substances with milk, which is believed to produce toxins in the body. Another example is the consumption of fruit salad or a combination of milk and banana, which is considered to be incompatible. The combination of these foods can lead to indigestion and other digestive problems.
- Hridya Viruddha:
Hridya Viruddha Aahara occurs when a person consumes food items that they do not like. Consuming food items that are not palatable to a person can lead to a disturbance in the digestive system.
- Sampad Viruddha
Sampad Viruddha Aahara refers to the consumption of substances that do not possess their appropriate qualities. This can include the intake of childish, over-matured, or putrefied substances. Consuming such substances can lead to various health issues and is not considered good for the body.
- Vidhi Viruddha
Food that goes against the established rules of eating. This type of incompatibility can manifest in various ways, such as eating in a public or open place. The laws of eating are important in Ayurveda, as they dictate not only what should be eaten but also how it should be eaten.
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Final Revelations of Viruddha Aahara
Now that you have a better understanding of the 18 factors that can affect food quality and its impact on the body, you can make better choices for your overall health and well-being. Remember to pay attention to the foods you eat, their preparation, and the way you eat them to avoid any Viruddha Ahara and ensure optimal health. While some of the food combinations may seem harmless, their bad effects on our digestion can be severe and lead to serious health issues. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this blog, we can make sure that we are consuming compatible food combinations that promote good digestion and overall well-being.
Remember, always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your health regimen, and embrace the power of natural approaches to support your liver health and overall well-being. We hope this blog has provided valuable insights into how Ayurveda, naturopathy, and osteopathy can contribute to liver health. Take proactive steps to care for your liver and prioritize your overall health for a vibrant and fulfilling life.
At Sri Sri Ayurveda Hospital, we also offer online consultation support with our Ayurveda specialists to get the right guidance from the comfort of your home. Connect to our specialists and plan an individual path back to health.