The ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine teaches us that our diet should be changing and adapting with each season, stage of life and the specific needs of our personal health. In our modern world we are surrounded by fake food filled with added sugars, refined flours, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, and commercial oils. These foods will not nourish our bodies and actually increase the toxic load as they weaken our organs and vitality. The only way to truly eat healthy foods that are customized for our specific health needs is to prepare simple meals that we will love to make and to eat.

Cooking is personal and we must all learn to select and adapt recipes for our own personal lifestyle and health needs. In these coming blogs I aspire to expand your understanding of choosing foods that support a healthy digestion. My hope is to deepen your skills as a healthy cook so you can prepare the best tasting medicine everyday. 

I’m going to bring this information to you in small increments to give the opportunity to integrate them in your everyday life.

For todays discussion I’d like to go over the five flavors recognized by Chinese Medicine as important staples in our cooking to nourish our organs and maintain overall health. 

  • Sweet – This flavor is associated with the earth element and can influence the pancreas, spleen and stomach. It’s important to note that I’m referring to the sweet flavors that come from whole foods found in nature, such as cabbages, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and fruits.
  • Pungent/Spicy – These flavors are associated with the metal element and can influence the lungs and large intestine. Pungent/spicy foods include scallions, daikon radishes, ginger, peppers, horse radish.
  • Salty – This flavor is associated with the water element and can influence the kidneys and bladder. Salty flavor foods include sea vegetables, miso, sea salt, sesame salt, soy sauce, animal protein.
  • Sour – This flavor is associated with the wood element and can influence the liver and gall bladder. Sour flavors include foods like vinegar, fermented dishes, sauerkraut, lemons, limes.
  • Bitter – This flavor is associated with fire element and can influence the heart and small intestine. bitter flavor foods include dandelions, burdock root, mustard greens, kale, collards.

One of the mosts simple ways to maintain healthy eating habits is to maintain a balance of these five flavors with each meal that you eat. Including these five flavors to your everyday diet will slow down aging, keep your immune system strong and prevent disease.

Take away action for the week: Try to consciously include one flavors in your food preparation each day of the week.

P.S. Stay tuned each week for more tips on healthy eating, recipes, and unlocking your personal digestive hacks.

In healthy living,

Marya