Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, marks the beginning of the new year according to Hindu lunar calendar. On this day, Ugadi pachadi is served in the households of Andhra, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other northern parts of the country. This mixture made with neem flowers, tangy raw mango, jaggery, salt, chilli powder and tamarind signifies the importance of all tastes in life.

According to Ayurveda, all six tastes are necessary for total wellbeing. Learn how each taste contributes to our overall health.

Sweet

All of us like eating sweet treats. Our body needs sugary stuff to keep our energy levels going, regulating hormonal functions, balancing fluids, repairing tissues and soothing nerves. However, it is important to eat sugars in the right amounts from the right sources.

Sources:

Eat fruits, whole grains, milk, palm sugar, jaggery to treat your sweet cravings.

Salt

Salt is a must-have ingredient in all our dishes. Salt or sodium plays an imperative role in balancing electrolytes in our body. Salt is crucial for hydration, to manage blood pressure, heart health and elimination of waste, skin health and promotes overall well-being.

Sources:

Fruits, vegetables, dairy products are natural sources of salt. However, remember to limit added salt.

Sour

Sour is hot, intense and tickles our taste buds. Sour foods aids in promoting digestion and absorption helps with circulation and elimination, boosts energy, strengthens the heart, sharpens the senses and also help in absorbing vital minerals like iron from the food.

Sources:

All citrus fruits, curd, sour cream and cheese are a good source.

Bitter

The bitter taste is often less relished by most of us, but it promotes the appetite and brings out the flavour of other taste in the food. Indeed, bitter tasting foods are a powerful detoxifier and possess strong antiseptic, antiviral and antibiotic properties. In addition, it is also helpful in reducing weight, fluid retention, treats skin disease, acidity and nausea.

Sources:

 Dark green vegetable, bitter gourd, black coffee, and dark chocolate.

Pungent

Pungent is the hottest of all the 6 tastes and it is very intense. Pungent taste helps in promoting digestion, detoxification, clear the sinuses, aids in circulation, boosts metabolism and eases muscle pain.

Sources:

Chilli pepper, garlic, onion, black pepper and cayenne.

Astringent

Astringent gives a puckering sensation in the mouth and it is one of least enjoyed taste. It gives a dry feeling on the tongue, due to the shrinking of pores and this effect is called astringent. Astringent taste helps in absorbing water, tighten tissue and burning fat.

Sources:

Lentils, dried beans, pomegranate and tea.

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