Health + Fitness

5 Food Combinations That Will Affect Your Digestion

by Narissa Moeller

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In Ayurveda, we aim to increase “Agni” which translates to digestion. The stronger your "Agni" or digestive fire, the better your health will be! In fact, it is Agni that decides what nutrients enter our cells and tissues and which should be removed as waste product.

There are certain foods when combined incorrectly that may affect your digestion. They are everywhere, in cafes, restaurants, juice bars. Knowing what they are and being more mindful around them can dramatically improve the quality of your digestion and support the body in receiving the nutrients it needs.

So what are they? Ayurvedic Consultant, Narissa Moeller shares them here: 

Eating hot and cold foods together

While hot, cooked foods ignite the digestive fire, cold, icy substances put it out and cause digestive problems, allergies and colds. That’s why plain hot water and herbal teas are always advised in Ayurveda. Avoid cold or iced drinks during and especially after a meal, ice-cream, slushies and frozen yogurt are big no-no’s as well.

Milk

Milk is incompatible with bananas, fish, meat, cherries, melons, sour fruit, kitchari (Indian rice and lentril dish), lentils, yogurt and bread containing yeast. The big stand out here is milk and banana’s which are commonly found in milk and fruit smoothies. The combination is difficult for the body to digest as bananas are heating and milk is cooling so when mixed together, their opposite qualities tend to put out the digestive fire and generate imbalance. It can also be a cause for congestion, colds, allergies and rashes.

Fruit

Fruit in general should always be eaten alone and not be eaten with any other food. There are some exceptions such as cooked fruit combinations as well as dates and milk. The best time to have fruit is between meals as a snack or minimum 30 minutes away from your main meal.

Honey

Honey is incompatible with equal amounts of ghee by weight and honey should never, ever be boiled or cooked. Cooking with honey turns it into a sticky glue that clogs the body’s channels and can take a lifetime to remove. This includes having honey in your tea, drizzling honey over hot meals, using honey as a binder in your baking or drinking something hot after eating honey.

Emotions & Stress

Eating when stressed out and emotional is what I consider to be the biggest incompatible food combination. Same as with eating on the go, at your work desk, or in front of your computer or television. Eating should be a sacred and loving experience, as ultimately you are digesting everything around you. Take a few deep breathes before meal time, show gratitude and ENJOY whatever it is you are eating, incompatible or not.

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