I’ve heard that fish and yogurt is a wrong food combination and could even end up being toxic. Is that true? Could you throw some light on other wrong food combinations according to ayurveda?
According to ayurveda, virudha ahara is any food/drink which when combined with other food/drink causes imbalance of doshas (the life force), upsets digestion, produces toxins and leads to disease. The combination of yoghurt and fish falls under this.
A major number of diseases, especially life style and auto-immune, are related to wrong food habits. Agni (digestion), prakriti (constitution), vikriti (imbalance), season, geographic area, eating time, among others, have a bearing on diet.
Each food has its own quality (heavy, light, oily, dry, soft, hard) taste (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent), heating or cooling energy (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipak). When two or three different food substances of different qualities, tastes, energies and post-digestive effects are combined, the digestion system could become overloaded inhibiting enzyme production resulting in production of toxins in the system.
To answer the second part of your question, ayurveda classifies foods that are incompatible according to its cause and origin. I mention a few below:
Desa Virudha: Foods that grow in one place may not be suitable for an individual living in another place. Consumption of dry foods in dry areas and cold and unctuous food in wetlands is incompatible.
Kala Virudha: Eating contrary to climatic conditions. Eating spicy food in summer and cold foods in winter are examples.
Agni Virudha: Food that affect te digestion. Eating heavy foods when appetite is low and eating light when very hungry is agni virudha.
Matra Virudha: Foods that act as toxins when combined in certain proportions. Eg: Honey and ghee in equal quantities.
Satmya Virudha: Foods that are contradictory to one’s diet regimen. Eating sweet and cold food when accustomed to hot and spicy foods or a regular rice eater suddenly switching to wheat are examples.
Dosha Virudha: Food that is contrary to an individual’s dosha imbalance. Eg: Eating sour, salty and spicy food while having a Pitta imbalance.
Veerya Virudha: Combination of foods having different potencies. Eg: Milk (cold potency) and fish (warm potency).
Avastha Virudha: Food that is contrary to a particular state of health. Consumption of cold water after physical exercise is an example.
Krama Virudha: Food that is consumed in a wrong order. Eg: eating breakfast before emptying bowels, or bathing immediately after eating.
Parihara Virudha: Food that is contrary to disease pathology. Eg: eating yoghurt while having eczema.
Upachara Virudha: Food combination that is not suitable during particular treatments. Eg: eating heavily during a panchakarma procedure.
Paaka Virudha: Improperly cooked. Example: Undercooked, overcooked, and burned during cooking.
Samyoga Virudha: Improper combination of food items. Eg: sour substances with milk.
Hridaya Virudha: Foods that do not taste good or are unpleasant to the taste
Sampad Virudha: Low quality foods. Eg: Unripened fruit; putrefied food.
Other examples of Virudha:
• Fish is incompatible with black gram, honey, milk, yogurt, sprouts, radish and jaggery.
• Prawns with milk is incompatible.
• Drinking milk after consuming green leafy vegetables should be avoided.
• Chicken should not be taken along with yogurt
• Banana with butter milk, yogurt or dates is not recommended.