In the study of Ayurvedic Practice, it is proposed that satisfaction of hunger and that pleasurable feeling of 'just enough' is related to the combination of flavors available in the food eaten. It also suggests that good fresh food, well prepared and seasoned to meet the needs of the body is a strong beneficial medicine.
Western science identifies 4 flavors of taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter. Ayurveda identifies 6 flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent. The field of culinary science adds an additional flavor to the 6, and that is umani which is a specific savory flavor which the taste buds identify and respond to.
Ayurvedic wisdom suggests that when the senses experience the entire spectrum of smell and taste that the appetite is well satisfied and the body's balance is restored.
Ayurveda proposes that there are three main body-mind- chemistry types which can be balanced with some types of taste more than others. The three primary types are called Doshas, and are just different combinations of characteristics we all contain, both in body chemistry and personality.
Using taste and flavor to help balance the body is an interesting concept and Ayurveda proposes three dominate 'pacifiers', or food combinations that sooth the aspect of the body that is out of balance. These include a combination of tastes that encourage relaxation, calm or energy.
For example, fresh ginger is seen as an energy stimulant and is recommended for times when one's digestion is feeling bloated or sluggish and in need of increased stimulation. Another example is roasted fennel seeds, which when about 1 teaspoon is chewed and ingested it can offer calm to a stomach that is feeling sluggish. Ayurveda is an approach which increases the mindfulness of the body and encourages attention to the balancing effects of all the aspects of our environment that we consume, food being only one aspect.
Combinations of seeds (or ground spice combinations) that when sprinkled over prepared food or cooked with the food
promote balance are some of the following combinations:
Relaxing six taste spice mix: fennel, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom, black pepper
Calming/cooling six taste spice mix: coriander, cumin, fennel, sesame, cardamom, cinnamon
Energizing six taste spice mix: ginger, black pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin, sweet paprika
Sprinkle on popcorn, salads, veggies. Use as rubs, in salad dressings and whenever you want a little extra flavor and crunch to uplift you.