Friday, October 4, 2013

Ayurveda: The Six Tastes

Remember: Food is medicine!

According to Ayurveda, there are six categories of food which can be used to balance our natural tendencies or doshas (refer to this post to read more about that).  Each type should either favor or reduce each of the tastes.  So, without further ado, here's an explanation of each!

Sources: proteins, carbohydrates, fats.
Function: most nutritive, builds tissue.
Examples: grains, dairy, breads, pasta, starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, sugar, honey.
Who should favor: Vata & Pitta
Who should reduce: Kapha
Sources: alkaloids, glycosides.
Function:  anti-inflammatory, detoxifying.
Examples: green & yellow vegetables, green leafy veggies, coffee, aloe vera.
Who should favor: All
Sources: mineral salts, ocean.
Function: mildly laxative, sedating, promotes digestion.
Examples: salt, seafood, sauces, meat.
Who should favor: Vata
Who should reduce: Pitta & Kapha
Sources: organic acids.
Function: promotes appetite & digestion.
Examples: citrus fruits, sour fruits, tomatoes, yogurt, cheese, pickles, vinegar, alcohol.
Who should favor: Vata & Kapha
Who should reduce: Pitta
Sources: essential oils
Function: stimulates digestion, clears congestion, detoxifying.
Examples: hot peppers, ginger, salsa, radishes, garlic, cayenne pepper.
Who should favor: Vata & Kapha
Who should reduce: Pitta
Sources: tannins, fiber.
Function: healing, compacting, drying.
Examples: beans, legumes, lentils, berries, potatoes, wheat, apples.
Who should favor: Kapha & Pitta
Who should reduce: Vata

Also, here are a few Ayurvedic guidelines for eating in general (or, how many folks eat in India!): eat freshly prepared food (local if possible).  Lightly cook OR blend food before consuming.  Avoid fried foods, leftovers, and anything in excess.  Reduce highly refined carbs like white flour and sugar, heavy or oily nuts, and minimize red meat.

Anyway, stay tuned for a more in-depth discussion about Ayurvedic eating! :)


  1. This looks like a really interesting book! I definitely would like to start eating a bit cleaner again and these seem like really natural steps to follow! I hope you are having a wonderful day!
    xo Hannah

  2. Wow, this looks so interesting Megan! I sort of follow the Ayurvedic guidelines already...such a lover of fresh foods! I am gluten free and try to eat a minimal amount of refined carbs and use natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey, but I have my treats too, haha! Sounds like a good way to eat though, and I like how the categories are split up and explain each type of food. I'd love to see another post on this!

    xo, Alyssa