“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
Or does it?
Ayurveda promotes the intake of ALL the Five Elements via ALL the five core home health care actions -- diet, supplements, movement, massage and lifestyle -- and within this ALL the five tastes -- (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent).
The sweet taste (madhura rasa) is a combination of the Earth and Water Elements which is the same combination of Elements as Kapha. The Sweet Taste has the same qualities as Kapha also: oily, cooling, soft, grounding, building and nourishing.
Just like each of us have an optimum level of Kapha in our body that is different to everyone else's, each of us also has a specific requirement for the sweet taste which is individually yours.
Because Ayurveda realises, due to the luscious, stupendously gorgeous effect this taste has on our taste-buds, that we are all quite likely to decide that our own body has an unlimited need for the sweet taste - it gives us a run down of how our body will protest when we are getting an over-fill.
You can look back upon the old posts and find the list of the symptoms of ama. This is a good run down of over-sweeting!
On top of those digestive signs there may be a feeling of the breath being inhibited, weight gain, unhealthy cravings, fungal infections, sleepiness and frequent cough/colds.
The good news is that it is entirely a 'must have' in the diet. The photo is a little misleading. We don't need pancakes and syrupy fruits everyday but we do need a regular intake of the sweet taste (it is sometimes called a neutral taste to veer us away from the idea of getting your required intake from things made from sugar) with foods such as bananas, dates, figs, mango, prunes, root vegetables (cooked), corn, rice, wheat, almonds, cashews, coconuts, ghee, milk, eggs, meats, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla (this is not a complete list and all of these foods have differing quantities of all the other tastes in them also).
The benefits of getting the right balance of the madhura rasa in your diet for your body is:
- Healthy mucous membranes - Promotion of reproductive health - Increasing strength - Soothing inflammation (sugar promotes inflammation) - Hydration of the body - Cooling and soothing the mind and stress symptoms - Supporting wound repair (sugar inhibits wound repair) - Pleasing the senses - Enhancing the immune response (sugar impairs the immune response) - Increase Ojas (ultimate energy reserve in the body) - Improve symptoms of aging (sugar increases signs of aging)
When I teach about the six tastes and how to get them into your diet, I usually encourage a diet diary and a regular check in to see if you are getting all the tastes into each meal. I have never come across anyone who wasn't getting the sweet taste in
So, better to check in with the symptoms of excess and play around with your intake to find the optimum benefits above for you.
Enjoy your sweet day!