“Man is what he eats.”
Do you know that the way we cook our food has a big impact on our health?
If you talk about the principles stated in Ayurveda, the process of cooking food is as complex as digesting it so that the nutritiousness of the food remains.Any food can be considered balanced and healthy only if it has a combination of six Ayurvedic tastes, is conducive to the body of the food and can be easily digested by everyone.
Today we will discuss about the taste of food which is the most important factor in preparing it.
Six juices: Just as understanding of diseases is necessary for its treatment, similarly understanding of taste is necessary.Each substance is made up of five elements – air, fire, water, earth, and space. The combination of different types of these elements produces six rasas (flavors) mentioned in Ayurveda. –
Madhura (sweet), amla (sour), lavana (Salty), katu (sharp), tikashna (bitter), and kashaya (astringent). These six flavors have certain properties that can be attributed to their two primary elements.
For example, the sweet taste is made of earth and water, which makes it heavy, thick and moist. Due to an increase of these juices or elements, diseases occur in our body. Excessive consumption of sweet-tasting food items will increase kapha dosha because it contains elements similar to earth and water.
Therefore, a balanced diet is one in which there is a balanced combination of all tastes according to the disease or defect of the eater. To cook a balanced diet it is necessary that we understand all the tastes properly.
Madhura: It is heavy, oily and cold in taste. When it is used in balanced amounts it gives energy and vitality to the body, reduces the effects of irritation and has a positive effect on skin hair.Eating more sweet food increases Kapha Dosha, which can cause cough, phlegm, congestion and heaviness.It keeps Vata balanced in our body and is pleasant for bile.
Ingredients in which it is found: Milk and milk products (butter, ghee and cream), grains (wheat, rice and barley), legumes (beans and lentils), sweet fruits (bananas and mangoes), and vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes And beet) etc.
Amla: This taste increases appetite, promotes digestion and has a good effect on the body. It’s excess in the body can cause indigestion, hypersensitivity and ulcers. This taste reduces vata and increases pitta and phlegm.
Food in which it is found: sour fruits (such as lemons and limes), sour milk products (such as yogurt, cheese, and sour cream), and fermented substances (including vinegar, pickles, and soy sauce).
Lavna: The salty taste is warm and heavy in nature. When taken in moderation and balanced doses, it provides energy, promotes growth and increases water retention. However, too much salt in the diet causes high blood pressure, edema, ulcers, and hypersensitivity. The salt increases the bile and phlegm in the body and works on vata. Vata patients are advised to consume it due to its ability to increase digestion.
Products in which it is found: Any salt (sea salt and rock salt), sea vegetables (like seaweed and kelp), and foods that contain large amounts of salt (such as chips and pickles).
Katu: It is warm, light and moisture-free in nature, helps in digestion and circulation and reduces excess fat from the body. When used in excessive amounts, it can cause swelling, burning, diarrhea, heartburn, and nausea. Pungent taste enhances vata and bile. Kapha patients are advised to consume it due to its ability to dissipate excess fat stored in the body.
Substances in which these are found: some vegetables (such as chilies, garlic, and onions), and in spices (such as black pepper, asafoetida, ginger, and cayenne).
Tikashna: This flavor is cool, mild and dry in nature.Due to its excessive amount in the body, it can cause weakness, fatigue and dizziness. The bitter taste enhances vata, Reduces bile and phlegm. It helps in balancing the bile in our body as it cools the excess heat of the body, enhances digestion and improves liver function.
Substances in which it is found: green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and green cabbage), other vegetables (including zucchini and eggplant), coffee, tea, and fruits (such as grapes, olives and bitter melon).
Kashya: Due to the soft, moisture-free and heavy nature of the astringent flavor, it helps in improving the adsorption and has the properties of reducing irritation.Due to excessive intake, it gives rise to circulation and constipation disease in the body. The astringent taste increases vata and reduces bile and phlegm.
Foods that contain: fruits (such as beans and lentils), fruits (including pomegranate, pears, and dried fruits), vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and turnips), grains (such as rye, grains, and quinoa), coffee and tea.