Six Tastes to Happiness – Ayurveda’s Answer to Food Cravings

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Ayurveda, the “knowledge of life” and India’s original body/mind medicine tells us that all foods are categorized into six tastes. Balancing all six tastes will leave you satisfied. That means you might eat less and have fewer cravings. Each taste has a specific effect on the mind and body.

A meal that contains all of the tastes balances the palate and the elements in the body. Try to get all six tastes into your meals and see how you feel! If after your meal, you feel only bliss in your heart, then it is the right food. A complete meal should bring contentment, not the desire to eat more food.

Soluna Yoga + Spa hosts periodic workshops on Indian Ayurvedic cooking, which feature demonstrations and hands-on food preparation, highlighting sattvic (pure) dishes using healthy, fresh ingredients. We then enjoy the meal together, featuring all six tastes, and leave feeling happy and satisfied!




Sweet grains, dairy, oils, starchy vegetables, meat, fish, sweeteners Builds, Strengthens, Energizes, Calms the mind. In excess can cause fat tissues and diabetes
Sour citrus fruits, tart berries, pickled foods, spinach, chard, cheese, vinegar, fermented foods Stimulates the gastric juices in the small intestine, energizes and cleans the tissues, awakens the mind and senses, increases absorption of minerals. In excess can cause irritation and swelling.
Salty salt, seaweed, seafood, soy sauce, salted meats Stimulates digestion, lubricates tissues, calms nerves, relieves anxiety. Salt is an important electrolyte that helps the body retain water body. In excess, can cause dry skin and decreased strength.
Bitter turmeric, coffee, celery, beets, zucchini, eggplant, olives, leafy greens Detoxifying, fat reducing, increases lightness in the mind, antiseptic, antibiotic. In excess can cause dryness, cause you to feel cold and depleted.
Astringent pomegranate, red wine, cranberries, honey, beans, grains (rye, buckwheat, quinoa), green apples, cauliflower, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, pears, dried fruits, turmeric, coffee, tea Contracts and dries the tissues, cools, absorbs water, promotes healing, cleans the blood, tones watery or fatty areas. In excess can cause constipation, thirst and stiffness.
Pungent spices, herbs and vegetables that increase the temperature of heat in the mouth such as raw garlic, onion, peppers, cayenne, black pepper, cloves, ginger, mustard Enhances digestive fire, removes mucus, heating, drying, opens the mind. In excess can irritate the stomach