Food as medicine
In Ayurveda, food is one of the primary ways of restoring and maintaining balance and harmony in the body and mind. By eating delicious foods that suit our body, we can begin to feel great in all areas of life.
Eat for your type
Food is our fundamental building block. What, how and when we eat is at the heart of Ayurveda, which teaches us to nourish and satisfy our bodies — a very different approach for those of us in the West who have been taught that the way to a healthy life is a low-cal, low-fat diet.
Digestion and gut health are central to our wellbeing and, like all other parts of an Ayurvedic way of life, are specific to each individual. If you take away only one thing from this system of health, know that by eating the delicious foods that suit your unique mind-body type (known as 'dosha') best, you can begin to feel great in all areas of your life.
Nourishing your body and mind
In Ayurveda, the way food is perceived goes beyond biology and chemistry. Food is alive, with a quality and prana (life energy) of its own. When consumed, the quality of the food, along with your state of mind, influences the qualities of your body and mind. The line "you are what you eat" takes on a whole new meaning.
If we pay sufficient attention and become aware of the subtle connection between food and the body, we will effortlessly know from within what we need to eat and how much. We will not need to seek external sources of information. Armed with this awareness, what is merely a daily intake of food can be transformed into a process of nourishment and healing. Our food literally becomes our medicine.
The 6 tastes
How many tastes as you familiar with? And what tastes or flavours do you find you gravitate towards?
A unique aspect of Ayurveda is the emphasis it places not just on the nutrients of different foods, but on how these play out as different tastes – which are based on the five elements.
In Ayurveda, six tastes are recognised, along with their relationship to the five elements including:
Sweet (water + earth)
Sour (fire + water)
Salty (fire + earth)
Pungent (air + fire)
Bitter (ether + air)
Astringent (air + earth)
The six tastes are the codes of information that inform our nervous system about a meal's nutritional content. And each taste has a function which is why it’s so important for us to eat a wide variety of foods and flavours to maintain balance and wellbeing.
Tastes to balance your mind-body type
If you have completed the survey to find out your dosha, you will have gained insights as to your unique mind-body type. You will have also discovered that certain flavours can help restore balance if you’re showing some of the signs of an imbalance.
For instance, if you are predominately Vata, favouring Sweet, Sour and Salty tastes is recommended. These tastes consist of primarily water, earth and fire elements. This will help to ground and nurture Vata imbalances such as feeling anxious or scattered as a result of an overabundance of ether and air elements in your body-mind.
If you’ve discovered that you are predominantly Pitta, favouring Sweet, Bitter and Astringent tastes is recommended. These tastes include all of the elements aside from fire, which helps to ‘cool down’ Pitta imbalances associated with an overabundance of fire.
And if you are predominantly Kapha, favouring Bitter, Astringent and Pungent tastes is recommended. These tastes primarily consist of air and ether, plus a little fire and earth, to balance feelings of heaviness, sluggishness or congestion associated with an overabundance of the water and earth elements in your body-mind.
While Ayurveda recommends incorporating all of the six tastes into every meal, try favouring the foods and tastes that help to balance your mind-body type and see how you feel.
Here are some examples of foods that fall within each of the six tastes.
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Meet with our Ayurveda Doctor face-to-face or online for a comprehensive assessment using traditional techniques such as pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, eye diagnosis, face, lips and nails examination to confirm your dosha (mind-body type), any current imbalances and develop a personalised wellbeing plan.
Based on the findings you will be given an individualised plan to follow which may include a number of approaches to restore balance and harmony to your body, mind and life such as:
- Nutritional suggestions
- Daily routines and lifestyle practices in accordance with the season
- Yoga, meditation and breathing practices
- Therapeutic treatments
- Herbs and herbal oils
- Cleansing techniques and detoxification
View our collection of organic, handcrafted, herbal tea blends and Ayurveda lifestyle products to help balance your dosha and restore harmony to your body, mind and life.