Ayurvedic Nutrition: The Six Tastes

For much more on Ayurvedic nutrition, grab a copy of my book In Your Elements on Amazon!

Ayurvedic nutrition has such a different and refreshing lens!

Is there such a thing as "Ayurvedic food"? No. Food is food.

So don't stress about whether food is "Ayurvedic" because there is no such thing. Yay!

What matters is a) the quality of food — is it high quality or low quality and b) are the "tastes" of the food — and whether those tastes balance your dosha

In Ayurveda, foods consist of the 6 tastes. The 6 tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter astringent.

Having a balance of the six tastes in our diet creates harmony in the body and mind. Each taste contains certain elements (space, air, fire, water, earth), so depending your dosha, there are tastes that will be more balancing for you than others.

The tastes that balance vata are: sweet, sour, salty.

The tastes that balance pitta are: sweet, bitter, astringent.

The tastes that balance kapha are: pungent, bitter, astringent.


"How do I know which foods are which tastes?!"

Below are some examples of the foods for each taste. If you'd like more details, I dedicate 3 chapters to nutrition in my book In Your Elements

Sweet: carbohydrates/grains, rice, bread, sweet fruit, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk, oils, meats, nuts

Sour: citrus fruits, yogurt, alcohol, vinegar, cheese, tomato, raspberries, strawberries
Salty: all salts; sea, black, rock

Pungent: garlic, onion, ginger, wasabi, black pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper, horseradish, salsa, jalapenos

Bitter: coffee, rhubarb, turmeric, most green and yellow veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leafy greens, cabbage

Astringent: fruit peels, unripe banana, leafy greens, blueberries, cranberries, beans, legumes, peas, green tea

What foods are best for the doshas?

Vatas need more of the carbs, dairy, fruits and a little meat. Vatas need less vegetables, hot spices and bitter things like coffee.

Pittas need carbs, dairy, sweet fruits, a little meat (non-red) too. But they also need a good amount of greens for the bitter and astringent tastes. A very spicy meal will leave them overheated.

Kaphas do best with spices and a good amount of vegetables/greens to keep them light. Anything too rich, heavy or sweet will leave kapha lethargic and weighted down.

If you don't know your dosha, take the test here. And keep bringing Ayurveda to life!




Learn mindset shifts and daily practices to help you feel GOOD each day when life brings stress or the unexpected.