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August 27, 2008


Ayurveda includes six tastes as an important part of every diet. All people need all tastes, but in different amounts according to dosha. But no matter what your dosha sweet taste (present in all fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates) should make up the bulk of your diet (not in the form of refined sugars!)

Second most important is salty taste. This is an unusual taste because all others are available in a wide variety of foods. Salty taste pretty much only comes from salt, though it can be found in trace amounts in some foods such as amla and seaweed.

Salty taste is made up of fire and water. This of course makes it most beneficial to Vata and less so for Kapha and Pita, both already having strong fire or water elements. When you put salt on the tongue saliva instantly comes. These secretions are preparing your body for digestion. the same thing will happen in your digestive system. Salt will encourage the secretion of digestive acids.

Salt plays another important role in helping us to taste all taste. Water is required in order to taste anything at all, so by eating salt, which induces water, our enjoyment of food is increased. Flavours are released and satisfaction is felt. The right amount of salt can help both in term of weight gain and weight loss, helping us to feel satisfied when full, or enjoy more food when it is needed. Without salt Vata can react and food feels heavy and unsatisfied, food tastes bland and cravings continue.

Now I'm not saying anyone should go overboard. The important thing to remember is that all tastes should be included in every meal (spices are the key) so your meal should never taste so salty that it numbs your taste buds to the other flavours. And remember to use Himalayan Rock Salt which is most friendly to all dosha.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julia. Good post. But, how does one know if we are using too much salt or not? I worry about this all the time, as both my parents have high blood pressure and from what I know, I will have it too. So, I want to do the right thing by managing my salt intake,...but don't really know how.

Julia said...

You're asking the wrong person! I'm a bit of a salt fiend. I have low blood pressure so I'm not too worried about it.

But seriously, if you use Himalayan rock salt (the black or pink stuff) it is very difficult to use to much as it is much lower in sodium then white refined salt.

Also avoid processed foods, especially sauces and prepared meals. These often contain a lot more salt than you would ever add to your own cooking.

And finally don't have salt on the table, it's easy to add a lot to your plate.

Just trust your body, the right amount of salt is different for every body.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips.... :)