When it comes to maintaining you overall wellness, citrus fruits are a wonderful addition to your diet. High in plant compounds, flavonoids, fibre and many other micronutrients, consuming citrus fruits regularly can boost immunity, protect heart health and reduce inflammation. While citrus fruits are superfoods in their own way, one should be careful while eating them in combination with other foods, as per Ayurveda. For instance, combining them with milk could lead to toxin build-up which may manifest as skin issues. Be mindful of not eating them along with spicy foods as it can lead to sensitive bowel and cause gut health issues. (See pics: Honey to citrus fruits; 5 foods to help you fight seasonal allergies)
According to an Ayurveda expert, citrus fruits being acidic in nature must be paired with right foods to reap maximum benefits out of them as consuming them with incompatible foods can lead to pitta and kapha imbalances in the body.
“Citrus fruits are acidic in nature they have a natural tendency to affect heat regulation of Pitta and water regulation of Kapha. Alone they are excellent for bone and connective tissue health. Not pairing them with the right foods, can disharmonize Pitta and kapha levels in the body,” says Ayurveda expert Dr Zeel Gandhi.
In an interview with HT Digital, Dr Zeel shares food combinations involving citrus fruits that can lead to worrying health issues.
1. Cucumber and melons
Watermelons, musk melons, cucumbers have high water content and deeply affect Pitta. Eating them with citrus fruits may lead to heaviness, bloating or hyperacidity.
It can increase kapha and Pitta. It causes congestion and increases pitta in blood. Along with citrus fruits, they can lead to overwhelming problems on skin if consumed unabated.
Milk is a complex diet. Adding salt and sour foods with it, makes digestion difficult. It leads to toxins that can overburden the system and manifest as skin problems.
4. After a long fast
Hunger increases Pitta, if you do long fasts, intermittently or otherwise, do not break the fast with citrus fruits. Choose warm herbal teas with cooling herbs (fennel, cumin, coriander) instead.
5. With spicy pungent foods
Citrus fruits coupled with Spicy pungent foods can irritate the gut especially if you have a sensitive bowel. It can also burden the liver and weaken it in the long run.
6. With salty-fatty foods
Citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants. Salty and fatty foods (think French fries), tax and fatigue the gut. The delicate nutrients would thus be lost. Together they can again increase heat and acidity.
Dr Zeel says all contraindicated foods should be consumed with a gap of minimum 30 minutes.
“Citrus fruits, if known to increase acidity should be consumed with a little black pepper and black salt, it helps balance its Pitta and Kapha disharmonizing potential,” concludes Dr Zeel.