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Beyond Sweet and Salty: The importance of including bitter and astringent in our daily diets

Author - Sonia Velarsan

Have you ever stopped to think about the tastes you consume on a daily basis? While we may enjoy the sweetness of desserts or the saltiness of our favorite chips, Ayurveda guides us to include all six tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent - in our diets.

Vera L, et al., 2017

In modern foods, tikta rasa (bitter) and kashaya rasa (astringent) are often unpopular because these are evolutionarily aversive. Who would want to mistakenly eat a poisonous bitter berry? But foods containing predominantly these tastes can be healthy. Think kale (bitter) and raw plantain (astringent).