Nutrition experts counter myths on food combinations

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Nutrition experts have countered the notion that certain foods when combined may be dangerous. The experts, Mmesoma Ezeh, Nutritionist at NOWA Educational Centre, and Anicho Prosper, Nutritionist and Dietitian at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital noted that claims that the combination of some foods is unhealthy are often based on myths and not backed by scientific evidence, stressing that all foods can be eaten together except in cases of allergies.


They said that it may be necessary to address the reasons why some people find certain foods repulsive and not generally claim the combination of foods is dangerous


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Ezeh said all foods can be eaten together as long as the tastebuds and the stomach can tolerate it, noting that except there is an allergy to the food. She said: “Total avoidance of certain foods should be based on allergic reactions, inability to digest certain nutrients contained in certain foods, or nutritional advice from a nutritionist or dietitian to stay off certain foods for obvious health reasons.

“In cases of allergies, swelling shortness of breath, etc. If certain foods that one cannot digest are consumed, indigestion, diarrhea, and discomfort may occur.”


She stressed that people should be sensitised and educated to know that the claim that some foods cannot be combined is a myth.  “Nutritional Education can be done in various ways. It can be done via posting educative nutritional information on various social media platforms, and billboards. Workshops and health talks can also be organised by nutritionists or dietitians.”


According to Anicho Prosper, every edible food can be eaten as people deem fit, noting that there are no restrictions to that. He urged Nigerians to rather look into the quantity and quality of the foods they consume while also trying to ascertain the ones they may be allergic to, adding that some of the foods people may not be able to tolerate could be due to the mode of preparation, the level of flavour, and the ingredients used in their preparations.


He said: “The reason for their not being to combine some foods could include lack of tolerance and allergy. However, we must understand that foods require some vitamins and minerals for their absorption like the heme iron which requires Vitamin C for its digestion.

“The health implications of eating some foods that people are allergic to include vomiting and nausea. Like those who are allergic to eating protein-based foods( Beans, eggs, milk). Such foods could damage some of their intestinal walls or even lead to injury inside the walls of the intestine.

“Sensitisation on the reality of allergies as being the real danger of food combinations could occur via the print media, the use of food aids, community outreaches, and evidence-based nutrition (gotten from research conducted by people.”