Concept of The Six Tastes
To westerners, a balanced diet requires the
understanding of the different food groups, nutrient values of the food and an
understanding of the daily requirements of the food items to get a balanced diet. If a
person consistently eats an unbalanced diet, his health will suffer from the deficiency of
the nutrients to be obtained from the food or from the excess of the nutrients he is
taking. (For example, a diet which is high in saturated fat and red meat is known to cause
hardening and blockage of the arteries ultimately resulting in heart disease.) In the
absence of such sophisticated knowledge as we know on the nutrition content or
requirements and due to the fact that most of the people who lived at the time Ayurveda
was written may not be able to understand a complicated nutritional requirement, the
creators of Ayurveda have developed a very simple dietary program. This is called the six
tastes. According to this system, all the important nutrients that we need for life, such
as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, etc. are contained in a meal that
consist of all six tastes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent.
The food items that belong to each of these tastes is given in the table.
Any meal that contains food items from all
these six tastes will be a balanced meal. It has all the nutrients for the proper
functioning of the body and will balance all the doshas. This is a very simple system and
easy to practice and follow.
Can We Use the Information on The Six Tastes To Improve Our Health
How The Six
Tastes Affect The Doshas
Next Topic: Effects of The Six Tastes: Sweet