Back in the days when I counted calories before every bite and my ideal weight was always somewhere I was not, the word “sweet” made nothing but noise in my head. Those were sad, sad, times and I am glad they are finally over. Sweetness is so essential in our lives, it is a taste strongly linked to pleasure; it helps us feel comforted, content and nurtured. It is essential to build up strength, also nourishing the body and soothing the mind. The sweet taste deserves a closer look and its healing potential should not be underestimated.
Getting good quality food is essential: when we speak about sweetness we don’t mean industrial products made with the cheapest of ingredients that are not only highly refined but have also additives that make them simply TOXIC. A toxicity that messes up with our body’s natural intelligence and is thought to lead to cravings. We refer to the natural sweetness in ripe fruits, whole grains, milk products and many vegetables that also provide a great deal of the sweetness we need in our lives.
The quantity is also essential. Ayurveda teaches us to satisfy our hunger and to listen to our bodies. Its signals are the best way to determine what we need and what is good for us. In excess the sweet taste can produce heaviness, dullness, colds, loss of appetite and obesity.
My Ayurvedic Guide to Sweetness:
1. Avoid all refined sugar and all processed foods.
2. Make sure you get enough high quality nurturing foods to avoid sugar cravings.
3. Experiment with replacing part of the sugar in recipes by adding raisins, dates or other forms of dry fruits.
4. Use honey (thought to be an natural fat metabolizer and a blood sugar stabilizer, making us feel satisfied longer) or other non-refined sweeteners like rice, date and maple syrup.
5. Make nurturing yourself (at the physical, emotional and spiritual level) a priority in your life. Life is just too short not to do it!