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15 Food combinations can be potentially dangerous for your digestive system. 

Remember how your grandmothers always told you not to have sour foods after having milk? It is rule of nature that certain things do not go with others. 

If you have lemon with milk then it mixes in your stomach to form acid and therefore becomes toxic food. You have to follow certain basic food combining rules to be on the safe side of matters because some food combinations are really dangerous, even can be fatal. 

Here are some basic food combining rules that you must follow while you plan your meals. 

Food Combinations To Avoid:

1. Limes and cough medicine. You may have heard not to drink grapefruit juice with some prescriptions, including cholesterol-lowering statins. But limes, pomelos, and Seville oranges—although not the more-common navel and Valencia varieties—also may block an enzyme that breaks down statins and other drugs, including the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. Because the medication then builds up in your bloodstream, the risk for side effects increases.

With dextromethorphan, this includes hallucinations and sleepiness; in statins, you may sustain severe muscle damage. These fruits’ effects can linger for a day or longer, so it’s best to avoid them and their juices altogether while taking these drugs. And if you’re a citrus fiend? Check in with your pharmacist about potential drug interactions, Gullickson recommends.

2. Mint With Aerated Drinks: It is believed that peppermint must never be had along with aerated drinks because it leads to a fatal toxic food combination in the stomach. Cyanide can be formed by the combination of these two eatables if it is mixed in the right proportions. Now what the exact proportion is that is not known but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Dairy products and antibiotics. Some antibiotics, including Cipro, bind to calcium, iron, and other minerals in milk-based foods. “This prevents the absorption of the antibiotics, ultimately decreasing their ability to fight infections,” Gullickson says. When you get a new prescription for acne or an infection, ask if the drug falls into a class known as tetracyclines or flouroquinolones. If so, avoid milk, yogurt, and cheese 2 hours before and after taking the pills. And talk with your pharmacist about proper timing if you take multivitamins with minerals—they can have a similar effect, Gullickson says.

4. Milk With Citrus Fruits or Vegetables: Milk is on its own a difficult food product to digest. Some people also have lactose intolerance or lack of the enzyme to digest the lactose protein of milk. Now whats happens when you squeeze a lemon into milk, it coagulates due to acidity. The same thing happens inside the stomach and the acidity causes heat burns and gas.

5. Smoked meats and antidepressants. Check the label on your happy pills. If they belong to a class called monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs—brand names Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, or Parnate—combining them with foods rich in the amino acid tyramine can cause life-threatening spikes in blood pressure, says Gullickson.

Unfortunately, the list of no-nos includes not only summer sausage and smoked salmon, but also red wine, sauerkraut, hot dogs, aged cheeses, soy sauce, and draft or home-brewed beer.

The good news? Canned or bottled beer probably won’t hurt you—and MAOIs have largely been replaced by newer-generation antidepressants, which don’t have the same effect on tyramine levels, says Nicole Gattas, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

6. Starchy Food With Fruits: Why does mom tell you to have fruits at least half an hour after having a meal? It is because fruits are quick to get digested but starch which our meal invariably contains (rice, potatoes, etc) takes along tome to digest. So this food combination makes the fruits stay in the stomach for a long time and ferment.

7. Chocolate and Ritalin. Besides caffeine, chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine, says Tom Wheeler, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., director of pharmacy and pulmonary services at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. (It’s the reason chocolate harms dogs—canine bodies can’t break it down.) Combining all these stimulants in humans can potentially lead to erratic behavior and seizures.

As with caffeine alone, the risks are largely individual. Your best bet: Take note of whether you feel more nervous, irritable, or wired when you combine Ritalin—especially the extended-release forms—with chocolate. If so, increase the amount of time between downing your pill and having dessert. Or, lighten up: “The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine and theobromine it contains,” Wheeler says.

8. Apple juice and allergy meds. Nix the nectar from apples, oranges, and grapefruits if you take Allegra (fexofenadine) for hay fever—at least within 4 hours of swallowing the pill, Gullickson advises. These juices inhibit a peptide that transports the drug from your gut to your bloodstream.

The resulting lack of absorption makes Allegra up to 70 percent less effective at stopping your sniffling and sneezing, Wheeler says. Other medications also travel with the help of the same peptide; lay off these juices while taking the antibiotics Cipro or Levaquin, the thyroid medication Synthroid, or the allergy and asthma treatment Singulair, Gullickson says.

9. Cinnamon and warfarin. People taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin—prescribed to prevent or treat clots—have long been warned to keep their intake of vitamin K steady, says Wolfe. This means you shouldn’t change your weekly intake of foods like leafy greens or broccoli; because vitamin K plays a key role in clotting, doing so could affect the thickness of your blood.

But there’s another risk. Cassia cinnamon, the kind on most American grocery-store shelves, contains high levels of a compound called coumarin that can thin blood and potentially cause liver damage.

10. Alcohol and acetaminophen. Resist the urge to wash down your Tylenol with a cold one—your body uses the same enzyme to break down the two substances. It’s generally best to put 6 hours between drinking booze and taking any medicine containing acetaminophen, including over-the-counter and prescription pain and cold medicines, Gattas says.

But the bigger risks come with time: “If you drink alcohol every day, it’s probably not a good idea to take Tylenol,” Wheeler says. Pairing them regularly can contribute to kidney and liver disease.

11. Proteins With Starch: Why is potato chips with fried chicken considered an unhealthy meal? Not only because it has trans fats but also because the digestive procedure for these two nutrients is different. Proteins are digested in the stomach whereas the digestion of starch takes place primarily in the small intestine. So as the proteins get digested they hold back the starch in the stomach making the food toxic.

12. Sugar With Proteins: Are you one of those who round off your meal of chicken steak with a juicy dessert? Then you must be prone to gastric problems. Sugar acts on the protein digesting enzymes and makes their action sluggish which means food takes a long time to get digested and there are chances of indigestion taking place.

Desserts should be postpones from the dinner table or you have to have desserts that use sugar supplements like honey. It actually much better to have sweets a couple of hours after a protein rich meal.

13. Cereal or oatmeal with milk and orange juice. Acids in orange juice or any acid fruits destroy the enzyme that is responsible for digesting starches present in cereal. Also, acidic fruits or juices can curdle milk and turn it into a heavy mucus-forming substance. To keep your breakfast healthy, try having fruit or orange juice 30 min before the oatmeal.

14. Bananas and milk. Ayurveda lists this combination as one of the heaviest and toxin-forming. It is said to create heaviness in the body and slow down the mind. If you are a fan of milk-based banana smoothies make sure that banana is very ripe and add cardamom and nutmeg to stimulate digestion.

15. Yogurt with fruit. Ayurveda and food combining theory, don’t advise mixing any sour fruits with dairy as it can diminish digestive fire, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins and cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies. Ayurveda suggests avoiding congestive and digestive fire dampening foods like cold yogurt mixed with fruits.

However, if you can’t resist the temptation of a yogurt parfait, there are ways to make it more digestion friendly. First of all, go for a room temperature natural unflavored yogurt.  Secondly, mix a little bit of honey, cinnamon, and raisins instead of sour berries.



  • Various Internet articles

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