„Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food“ – Ayurvedic proverb
This ancient proverb forms the basis of Ayurvedic wisdom. When we learn to eat right - that is, in harmony with our physical and mental constitution - our body will be in balance and healthy.
The Theory of the 6 Tastes
This natural concept is based on the Ayurvedic theory of the six tastes. Each taste has a specific effect on our body and can be used for therapeutic purposes. Our body will be affected differently by a sweet taste, which calms and grounds, and a spicy taste, which increases the fire in the body. Thus, some people may benefit from spicy food because they need to support the digestive fire in the stomach and thus healthy digestion. However, for some people it can cause too much heat, which then manifests itself, for example, in inflammation and excessive anger. Being aware of which cravings do us good and which do not is fundamental to our own ability to regulate our health and maintain psychosomatic balance.
Diet According to Constitution
Try to be more aware of the properties and effects of flavours in your daily diet - you will learn a lot about yourself, your tendencies and inclinations. Our online dosha test can also help you with this, and determines the individual ratio of the three basic Ayurvedic principles (vata, pitta and kapha) in your body. Thanks to this, you can better understand why you like or dislike certain things, and it will also give you the key to creating a diet and choosing the right tastes, which will help you to easily regulate your physical and mental condition.
Here is a summary chart of the effects of tastes on the health of the body:
|Taste||Properties||Effects - Moderate Use||Effects - Excessive Use||Example of Food|
|SWEET||heavy, cooling, oily, anabolic||stimulates life essence (ojas), growth of body tissues, soothes burning, stimulates the senses, improves color, skin and hair, melodious voice, eliminates thirst, anti-starvation / brings stability, strength, energy, vitality and longevity, love and compassion||colds, coughs, heaviness, obesity, thickening of the blood, loss of appetite, tumors, swelling, diabetes, yeast proliferation and infections, laziness, induces thirst and drowsiness / induces attachment, greed and desire to possess||sugar, honey, dates, liquorice, rice, wheat, milk|
|SALTY||heavy, warming, oily, laxative, anti-spasmodic||aids digestion, anti-bloating, provides energy, electrolyte balance, muscle growth / strengthens spirit, confidence, courage and enthusiasm||thickening of blood and narrowing of blood vessels - increase in blood pressure, water retention - swelling, wrinkles, ulcers, bleeding, hyperacidity, skin problems / desire to possess, irritability||rock salt, sea salt, black salt, sesame salt, seaweed, tamari|
|BITTER||cooling, light, dry, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, laxative||against poisons, bacteria, removes burning, itching, cures skin diseases, against fever, cleanses the liver, strength of the skin, muscles, anti-bloating, for digestion, strengthens the pancreas - blood sugar regulation, removes toxins and fats / detachment from the desires of the mind and sensual desires||dizziness, loss of consciousness, dryness, extreme weight loss, wear and tear, osteoporosis/cynicism, dismissive attitude, resentment, withdrawal, isolation and loneliness||bitter melon, turmeric and dandelion root, aloe vera, sandalwood, coffee|
|light, warming, refreshing, anti-spasmodic||stimulates appetite, saliva production and digestion, anti-bloating, nourishes the heart, revitalizes the mind, balances cholesterol, reduces congestion / ability to appreciate, appreciation, discernment, alertness||congestion, inflammation (liver, bladder), hyperacidity, rashes, tooth sensitivity, thirst, heartburn, diarrhea/over-criticality, judgment, envy, hatred||sour cream, yoghurt, vinegar and cheese, citrus fruits, green grapes, fermented foods|
light, warming, drying, anti-spasmodic, anti-parasitic,
|improves digestion, absorption, cleanses the mouth, sinuses, aids circulation, dissolves clots, removes fat and promotes waste elimination / enthusiasm, mental strength, clear perception, determination||diarrhea, acidity, nausea, insomnia, stomach ulcers, inflammation, irritation of mucous membranes, hiccups/negative reactions, anger, violence, hostility, jealousy, aggression, rivalry||cayenne and black pepper, chili peppers, mustard seed, ginger, onion, radishes, horseradish, garlic|
|ASTRINGENT||cooling, drying, heavy, anti-inflammatory, grounding||improves absorption, anti-diarrhea, heals ulcers, removes fat, stops bleeding - promotes blood clotting, constricts blood vessels / strengthens a collected and organized mind, puts everything in order||induces cramps, constipation, dry mouth, impedes speech, promotes gagging, heart spasms, circulatory stagnation, may induce twitching, weight loss, neuromuscular disease/thought fragmentation, disorganization, insomnia, worry, anxiety, nervousness, rigidity, depression||unripe banana, pomegranate, chickpeas, green beans, alfalfa sprouts, most raw vegetables|
Kichadi - recipe for a dish full of harmony
An example of a harmonious and balanced food that properly nourishes all body constitutions is KICHADI - a treasure of Ayurvedic cuisine. Kichadi is suitable all year round. Basmati rice and mung beans, which form its base, together create a balanced food that is a good combination of proteins. We bring you a recipe for kichadi together with a vegetable mixture, but it can also be prepared on its own as a main course, making it quicker and easier to prepare if you don't fancy the vegetable part. Then the dish consists of mung/worm lentils, rice, herbs and spices. Wishing you a good, balanced and nourishing taste!
Kichadi with vegetables
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Portions: 6 to 8
Ingredients for rice and mung/lentils - kichadi:
3½ cups of water
¾ cup of husked or unhusked basmati rice (the most digestible type of rice)
¾ cup mung beans or red lentils
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper (sweet or hot to taste)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cardamom
⅛ teaspoon cloves
Ingredients for the vegetable part:
1 medium-sized yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 teaspoon finely grated or chopped fresh ginger
3 cups of water
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium sweet potato, cut into small cubes (about 2 cups)
2 stalks of celery, chopped (about ⅔ cup)
1¼ cups cooked peas (if using frozen, thaw with a little warm water)
4 cups of coarsely chopped leafy greens (you can use any kind of lettuce, spinach, arugula, field greens, sweet fennel in any proportion you like)
Place the water, rice, mung/lentils and spices in a pot designed for cooking soup and bring to a boil, uncovered. Then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes.
About 15 minutes before cooking the rice and lentils, heat 1 tablespoon of water in another tall pot over medium heat. Once the water begins to sizzle, add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, adding a little water as needed. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. To this add 3 cups of water, the potatoes, sweet potato and celery and bring to the boiling point, uncovered. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the peas and leafy greens, then cover and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Finally, mix the cooked vegetables in the pot together with the cooked rice, mung/lentil mixture and spices.
Notes: the various spices that are added to the rice and mung beans/red lentils can also be replaced with 2 - 3 teaspoons of your favourite curry spice to simplify the recipe. Mung beans can also be partially or completely replaced with red lentils.