Ayurveda and food combinations

Anandi - The Sleep Guru

Good sleep means balance according to Ayurveda and it is brought about by many different aspects of one’s life. The physical being can be brought back into balance with foods and herbs, getting more vital energy from breathing exercises, balancing the mind by addressing negativity, spiritual therapies and, lifestyle. Food, therefore, is just one yet very important part of Ayurvedic therapy.

In the West taste is used simply to identify the food, in Ayurveda taste represents a whole host of healing properties from gross to subtle. Ayurveda considers herbs and foods as therapeutic substances and divides them into six tastes or Rasa in Sanskrit. Each of these six tastes has different healing qualities that balance and heal the body and mind. 

The Six Tastes:

  • Sweet (sugars and starches)
  • Salty (salt, seaweed)
  • Sour (fermented food or acid fruit)
  • Pungent (hot spices like cayenne or ginger)
  • Bitter (bitter herbs like aloe vera, nettle, leafy greens)
  • Astringent (apple, lentils, cauliflower)

According to Ayurveda Each Taste Has a Different Effect:

  • Heating or cooling affects the digestive system
  • Heavy or light property builds or reduces the body
  • Moist or dry property lubricates or dries the body

The Basic Rules Of Each Taste:

  • Sweet, sour and salty increase Kapha and decrease Vata
  • Pungent, bitter and astringent increase Vata and decrease Kapha
  • Sweet, bitter and astringent decrease Pitta
  • Pungent, sour and salty increase Pitta

Food therapy is a very large subject, but if you can slowly identify your dosha and where your imbalances are you will be able to introduce the appropriate food you need for your best healing. For example, Vata types are usually cold and dry with poor digestion. The sweet taste helps build lightweight Vata types, the sour and salty tastes are heating. If you add the pungent taste into your diet, taking a piece of ginger before or with food, is particularly good for Vata. Vata is not good with cold or dry food, they are better with cooked, slightly spicy food that warms them from the inside.

If this has got you interested in finding out more about Ayurvedic Retreats call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or  enquire here.

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