Kitchen is the biggest laboratory in the world and every one cooking is a scientist .But accidents can happen in lab and in kitchen too. No I am not saying about the accidents or casualties or physical harm. The experiments or wrong practice of cooking and its long time health concerns is the topic of this blog.
The science of food might be the largest and oldest of all. With every part of the world adding it’s unique cultural touch to the food. There’s a certain protocol for every recipe. Experimenting with the food sometimes cause havoc in body .
Ayurveda describes the food as the one of the pillars who supports the life and health. The tongue satisfying and eye pleasing food every time may not necessarily is good for the health. Every culture in the world has its own ways to prepare the dishes. There are rules about food and its ingredient. You cannot just take, mix and prepare whatever your imagination and cooking skill allows to.
When two different property bearing substances are mixed and processed with various methods like heating, cooking, crushing, frying, etc the resultant substance may not carry the same properties of the ingredients. The physical as well chemical changes in the molecular structure due to the preparation methods alters the original properties of parent substances many times.
To simplify the concept take an example of milk and tomato. What will happen if I pour tomato purée in milk? The milk will lose its original physical as well chemical molecular pattern resulting in sour milk with tomato juice. This newly formed food with different acidic ph and some altered physical change can act differently on stomach mucosa as well as can produce toxin after the digestion and after it is absorbed in blood. The immediate effects sometimes are nausea, discomfort and vomiting due to the curdling of milk in abnormal way with sour tomato further initiating the nausea.
The tangy sour taste of tomatoes is the reason behind it. The tomato taste is opposite to the slightly sweet taste milk which is not compatible with each other.
Or if I ask you pour some milk in your chicken soup, you will laugh or call me the disaster chef for sure. But chicken is healthy and so do the milk so what’s wrong if I combine them both? It’s the combination , it’s the loosely bound outer molecules that mixes , alters the property of newly formed mixture and ruin the health value of both the ingredient.
There you are! This is the basic concept to remember when we experiment with new dishes. We should know what exactly we are playing with. Knowing the basic properties of food items is the key to avoid incompatible food combination.
Compatibility of the two or more food items with each other is expected when we combine or consume them together. Ayurveda has the scientific description and explanation of this incompatibility theory. Ayurveda dietary principles mention the combinations of some of the incompatible foods which are frequently consumed because of the ignorance or lack of knowledge about the same.
What is more alarming about the incompatible food that many time it doesn’t cause the fatal harm to the body immediately but it surely hampers the digestion , absorption by the toxins that is formed by these food when taken in large quantity and on regular basis. The immunity is targeted causing various allergic and immune disorders. To list some of them are psoriasis, allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis , colitis etc
Following are the bold examples of some incompatible food items as described in Ayurveda text.
- Fish + curd mixed together :Fish is soft and loosely bounded body of tissues. The shelf life of fish is less , that means it loses it freshness and is prone to get contaminated by microbes early. The curd itself contains the bacteria though gut friendly also bear less shelf life. The bacteria in curd can easily affect the fish tissue. Also according to Ayurveda this typical combination result in abnormal mucous secretions in many glands along with gastric mucosa (inner lining of stomach). This typical combination if consumed in large quantity and frequently may cause allergic conditions in some person. The cases and deep history about diet and lifestyle throw light on this fact. Many times curd is used to marinate fish. I will suggest avoiding this particular combination. The coolant property of milk and hot property fish are clearly incompatible and can vitiate the blood and causes the micro obstruction in channel of digestion system .
- Fruits + milk mixed together: Shelf life and alteration of physical as well as post digestion properties is the concern of this combination again. Almost all the fruits are citric in nature which turns the good and healthy milk curdled. Further addition of gastric acid i.e. digestive juice is also acidic. So the Ph of overall contents in stomach is high in acidic nature which may cause hyperacidity and also the first stage of digestion is hampered at high level to cause the indigestion induced health disorders.
- Curd heated and used as an ingredient : Heating curd disintegrates the gutfriendly bacteria containing curd. It also increase the hot property of curd. This alterd from of curd causes the hyperacidity
- Milk +salt combined together: the sweet and coolant property and salty taste cannot along in the course of digestion and causes indigestion.
- Radish +milk together combined : strong flavor of radish alter the original properties of milk in the course of digestion
- Milk and melons must not be consumed together because milk is a laxative and melon a diuretic, the combination.
- Honey heated and consumed : study showed that when honey is heated it produces a chemical called hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF) as well as altering the chemical content in other ways (eg: increased peroxides). After heating the molecules of honey forms glue like sticky form which adheres to the microchannel in digestive system resulting in slow digestion and toxic effects after digestion . So be aware when you use honey in recipes, those who need heating .
- Buttermilk heated and consumed or used in dishes: alter the properties and chemical composition and hot property is increased.
- Milk or cream used in curries and soups: this combination is opposite in their properties and causes indigestion. The milk products will get curdled increasing the acidic nature of the dish abnormally which may be opposite to original property of the ingredients.
- Hot and cold food together: Some dishes and desserts like ice-cream and hot cake on one plate or fried ice creams are the most confusing for digestive system. System cannot decide whether to digest according to the hot or the cool temperature. Indigestion, hyper stimulation or lethargic stomach is result no wonder.