For healthy living avoid food that can cause antagonism due to contra-indications

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1. Experiencing swelling due to consumption of antagonistic food

There are dietary regulations or rules regarding what should one do after having a meal or what can one drink after consuming a specific food. Not following these dietary rules is called as ‘antagonism due to parihar (Contra-indications)’. One of the rule is to sit directly on the floor while eating and then to walk briefly for 100 steps after finishing the food to ensure proper blood circulation towards the feet. However one may think that when the food in consumed in a ‘buffet’ style meaning while walking around, then automatically the blood gets circulated towards the legs, then what is the need to walk for 100 steps post meal? Drinking hot water after eating fried food or food with heavy cheese or butter is essential so that the greasy food does not stick to the internal walls of the intestine. Today it is customary to drink cold drinks after eating buttery food items like pavbhaji (One of the Indian fast foods) and cheesy items like pizza, burgers, etc. This is antagonism due to contra-indications. Therefore, one experiences swelling like painful ailments.


2. Avoid eating raw or half cooked
food as it leads to various stomach ailments

One child was suffering from malaria. With Malaria one’s appetite becomes low and digestive power becomes weak. In addition to that the appetite gets further reduced due to medications. In order to recover quickly from severe weakness, the boy started consuming raw vegetables (salads) and sprouted raw pulses as nutritious food. Within 8 days he again had a fever. During this time also, all the medical tests were done; but the reason for fever could not be detected. Eating half cooked or uncooked food when the digestive power is already low, causes antagonism. Most of the time, the food items such as vegetables and rice used in ‘Chinese’ food are half cooked. Many a times, food items like tandoori roti (Flat bread), uttappa or dosa (Crapes made from rice and other beans) in the restaurants are blacked from outside and half cooked or uncooked from inside. Various types of stomach ailments may break out due to having such foods.

3. Increased susceptibility to skin disorders
or anemia arising from antagonism due to combination
of food items that are not supposed to be mixed and consumed

Few of the food items are not supposed to be combined or mixed as per dietetics. Combining and eating any two food items from the list – alcohol, khichadi (Rice made by mixing various beans), milk or kheer (A sweet-dish/dessert made from boiling the milk along with other ingredients), bananas, tadgole (Ice apples), yogurt and buttermilk causes antagonism due to combination. Antagonism due to combination of food can induce deteriorating action on the body tissues and blood tissues and result in ailments like anemia and skin diseases.


4. Food consumed against one’s wish does not
provide any nourishment and hence not beneficial to the body

A 8 year old boy did not like milk; however his mother under the influence of various advertisements had developed a strong belief that if her son does not drink milk, then his growth will halt. Every day the mother used to forcibly make her son drink milk and within 15 minutes he would vomit it. When she was asked, ‘Why do you force him to drink the milk if he throws it up ?’, she replied, ‘The milk remains in his body for at least 15 minutes, therefore, at least some nutrients from it would get absorbed by the body. At least that much benefit he will derive out of it !’ Forcing someone to consume food items in such a way against ones’s wish is called as ‘Hriday viruddha’ (Against one’s heart).

Elders do take the liberty of eating whatever they like to eat and avoid eating the food items that they don’t like. Only the children are forced to eat ! Children are compelled to eat food items like milk, green vegetables, bitter gourd, dill leaves, etc., which they do not like. Their parents would not have eaten these things in their childhood; but their children cannot say no to them. Even if the food item is nutritious, still if it is consumed against one’s wish, how will it be beneficial to the body ?


5.  As rotten, rotting, moldy and dried out food is harmful
to the body, one should avoid taking antagonistic food devoid of quality

Once a lady was arguing with the vegetable vendor for merely 5 rupees, ‘The vegetables that you sell are very expensive, I always buy the vegetables over here, it is cheap at the other vendor …’ The vegetable vendor annoyingly replied, “O sister, these vegetables have been sorted and only fresh ones are kept here. The rotting vegetables have been kept separately in a different basket. The restaurants nearby buy these rotting vegetables. At the restaurants you eat the food prepared with those rotting restaurants at whatever price they charge and here are you bargaining with a poor vendor for merely 5 rupees ?” The lady felt like throwing up just by looking at those rotting vegetables. It is important that food ingredients always be rich in quality. Rotten, rotting, moldy and dried out food ingredients can never constitute superior and pure body components. With respect to outside food our condition is like ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

One of the food inspectors had told me that many of the large brands that make biscuits use rotten food grains infected by worms and insects. Dried vegetables are deliberately used in the food items that are labelled as ‘ready to cook’. One of my friends used to go late night for buying vegetables to save money. She could buy the left-over vegetables in half the price; but those vegetables were nothing less than garbage left by the people. Once I created a comparison of the money saved from buying those left-over vegetables with the money spent on curing the ailments arising from consumption of those vegetables and showed it to her. Such diet without any enrichment is the diet against sampat (Richness of quality).


6. For proper digestion, food items should be
warm, fresh and greasy and should be consumed
with complete concentration leaving some space in the stomach !

Detailed information about the method of having food is given in my book ‘Ayurvediya Aharmantra’. There are few primary rules related to eating such as, when one feels hungry, one should wash hands thoroughly and eat warm, fresh and greasy food with complete concentration leaving some space in the stomach. Food consumed by not following these rules is called as consuming food against vidhi (Rules) for eating food.

There is a rule that, the food should be consumed with ‘concentration’. We must pay full attention to what we are eating. Mind can also experience the bliss of the tasty food; but these days it is customary to consume food while sitting in front of the TV and focusing on the TV shows. By doing this, the intense emotions from the TV serials, movies or the news have an impact on our mind. Science tells that, no matter how much nutritious, light and of excellent quality the food is, if there are emotions of desire, anger, arrogance, envy and lust in the mind while consuming it, then the food will not get digested properly.


7. Fruits, vegetables, and grains available as
per the season and specific food recipes prepared for the holy
festivals have varieties in them and these are beneficial for our health

Nobody likes such dietary restrictions. Perplexed with the lengthy list of different types of antagonist food items that should be avoided, people make fool of Ayurvedic doctors and plead them to tell what they should eat. Due to their inappropriate eating habits people suffer from various ailments; therefore they have to be first advised against eating specific food items. There is a simple rule that, ‘One should eat opposite of what should not be eaten’ for example, one should not eat against the vidhi, which itself means that one should eat as per the vidhi. When it is said that one should not eat against Agni, an important factor of digestion and metabolism in our body, It is obvious that the food should be consumed as per the Agni  or hunger. The implied meaning of ‘food items that one is not habituated to, should not be eaten’ is that one should eat the food items that one is habituated to eat. In spite of this, after looking at the list of the food items that should not be consumed people feel that ‘there are lot of restrictions put on their diet’, for no reason.

In reality, people from the cities eat lot of different types of food items. One should leave the stubbornness that, ’I should be able to eat all types of food items in this world’. Just observe that all animals have been eating specific food since their origination till date. While in jungle, do they look at each other’s diet and try to imbibe variety in their diet ? The variety in diet that we intake was not found in our healthy ancestors’ diet (who were devoid of various ailments) and is also not found in various healthy tribes around the world even during the current times. There is enough variety in the food items customarily prepared during the holy festivals and the fruits, vegetables, and grains available as per the season. This variety is beneficial to our health too. Indian dietary is such highly prolific that, there is no need for including the food items from other countries including the artificial food. Therefore, the easiest answer to a question, ‘what can be eaten’ is that follow the diet as observed by our great grandparents as per the seasonal availability.


8. If one wants to fulfill all desires of the taste buds
then one should improve one’s digestion through physical exertion !

When people ask the question, ‘Are we are supposed avoid such antagonistic food items for the entire life ?’, they should remember that one needs to have strong digestive power to digest the food items that are against the rules. Excellent digestive power is either by nature, meaning it is inherited or one must acquire it. The only way to acquire strong digestive power is by physical exertion. In the city life, we are heavily dependent on machines. We have adopted the wrong principle of minimum exertion and maximum food intake. Those who want to fulfill all the desires of their taste buds, they should first undertake a lot of physical exertion for benefit of themselves, their family and our country such that they feel extremely hungry and can digest even the stones. Nature has given the right to eat only to a hard-working people. There is no excuse from this law of nature. Therefore, for the healthy India let us now begin the ‘Hard-working India Campaign’ !

— Vaidya Suchitra Kulkarni (With grateful thanks : Daily ‘Tarun Bharat’) (29.12.2019)

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