The Salty Taste: 5 Ways to Avoid Inflammation

saltThe energy science categorizes food according to taste(rasa which has an effect on the energy patterns of VPK), virya(effect that food has on our small intestine and tissues), vipak(effect that food has on our colon and cells), and prabhav(effect that it has on the DNA of our cells) This makes the interpretation of how foods affect us quite complex and explains why the nutritional formats at are useful because they simplify our understanding of foods and allow us to make healthy balancing food choices that help treat disease states

To recall the qualities of Vata(cold, light, mobile, dry, rough, subtle, clear) and Pitta(hot, light, spreading, sharp/penetrating, liquid, oily) and Kapha(heavy, slow/dull, cool, slimy/smooth, liquid, dense, soft, hard, static, sticky) give rise to disease in the mindbody  These qualities combine in various combinations to produce the diseases due to their physiologic excess

The key to understanding the energy science disease model is to begin to appreciate the imbalance in qualities that occur in the mindbody physiology and how you bring about the imbalance As we have discussed in the past the primary way we go out of balance is through foods

The Unique Salty Taste

The energy science of Ayurveda recognizes that there are 6 tastes called rasas(sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) that allow us to scientifically study foods and their intimate impact on the mindbody energy field These tastes are typically in combination with one another in foods For example, seafood(meat that has lived its life in saltwater) has a salty rasa or taste energtically even though it doesn't taste salty Due to protein of the meat it has a heating vipak, and the dense and heavy qualities of seafood produce the sweet taste as the vipak energetic influence

Aside from seafood, mineral salts such as sea salt or table salt and surprisingly cottage cheese are the only ways we encounter the salty taste in foods so the salty taste becomes our first encounter with the concept of a "culinary spice"salty cottage cheese

The qualities of the salty taste are hot, light, liquid, soft, smooth/slimy, and subtle From the above qualities of Vata we can appreciate that the mobile quality will be reduced by the slimy/smooth quality of salt but Pitta will be increased due to the hot quality Because the salty taste carries the hot quality it will be aggravating to people with high Pitta

Due to the hot quality salt produces inflammation and due to the liquid quality it produces its well known congestive effect with fluid retention

Since rasa(taste) has an influence on our mindbody through the qualities of the foods that we take in, if we get an excess of the salty taste it can produce with the hot and liquid qualities, impatience, irritability, and easy frustration

As advertised in potato chip commercials, "Bet you can't each just one", implies that the salty taste can be addictive This addictive like characteristic of salt is why ALL fast food chains use a lot of the salty taste in their food preparation

Due to salt's penetrating and hot qualities it can be very effective in massaging and warming muscles and so soaking in epsom salt baths becomes valuable Another use of salt is with neti sinus wash that reduces Kapha mucous in the sinuses where it accumulates This is the experience everyone has with the common cold   Neti uses a salt solution since tap water will burn the delicate mucous membranes But salt also is important in mobilizing with its hot quality the cool, slimy/smooth, liquid, heavy, dense, slow/dull, and static qualities of Kapha which are those of mucous

5 Takeaways About the Salty Taste

When it comes to high Pitta disorders(anything with inflammation) there are some basic things to remember when it comes to the salty taste

Avoid salt at the dinner table

Avoid all seafood Eat fresh water fish

Avoid all fast food

Avoid salt in food preparation at home

Avoid cottage cheese

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