How the Flavor of Food Harms or Heals -
Barr, 2000-16. All rights reserved.
The food you consume is regenerating or degenerating your body,
mind, emotions, and spirit. Most people do not have a clear
understanding of how food is affecting them or which foods are
best for overcoming personal health, emotional, and weight
The cure for many health maladies is in your kitchen and your
ability to transform food into the healthy body and mind that
you desire. I've had thousands of formerly sick clients who are
living proof of this truth. Using food to restore health is not random. Food acts in
specific ways in the body and does not affect everyone in the
same way. Not everyone benefits equally from the same foods as
scientific nutrition would have you believe.
Traditional Healing wisdom has provided an accurate and unique
dimension to food analysis for thousands of years. It
classifies food and disease according to specific patterns,
therapeutic properties, subtle energies, and flavors. With this
knowledge it is easy to accurately determine which foods will
restore your body to good health and balanced weight; maximize
vitality; and establish a clear, focused mind and emotional
This article will help you understand the specific healing
properties of the five flavors all of which are important and
pungent, salty, sour, bitter, and sweet.
This knowledge can help you improve your health, lose weight,
create balance, and bring you into harmony with the seasons. You
can use the five flavors to eliminate excess fat, cholesterol,
salt, toxins, and regenerate your health.
Cravings for certain foods are often a signal that you need the
particular flavor. You don't need every flavor at every meal.
Do have each flavor every day to maintain good health. Most
physical and emotional imbalances benefit by emphasizing
specific flavors. The same flavors that, in moderation, help
reverse certain conditions, can cause discomfort, overweight
conditions, and illness when eaten in excess.
flavor clears phlegm and mucous and
dries congestion, especially in the respiratory system. Pungents
keep the lungs clear and open; improve digestion and
circulation; stimulate slow metabolism; improve sluggish liver
function; relieve arthritis; help weight loss; and warm and
stimulate the body. If you're feeling sluggish, bloated, puffy,
dull, lethargic, or overweight, you will benefit by emphasizing
the pungent flavor.
Common Pungent Foods
Parsley, scallions, turnips, cabbage, onions, kale, leeks,
mustard greens, collard greens, celery, radishes, horseradish,
garlic, basil, black pepper, celery seed, cinnamon, cloves,
cumin, fennel, mustard seeds, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary,
marjoram, spearmint, and turmeric. Use 3 or more of these
for Roasted Root Vegetable recipe.
Salty Flavor Benefits
Salt, an important mineral, is vital to human life. Without
it, you would die. Too much causes water retention, high
blood pressure and kidney and heart problems. The right quality
and amount can improve health of the kidneys, urinary tract,
adrenals, bones, fluid metabolism, hair, and sex organs. It can
improve energy and digestion; build healthy bones and joints;
moisten dryness; detoxify poisons from poor quality foods; and
enhance mental focus and emotional stability. Salt has the most
grounding and centering nature of all the flavors, and is
greatly misused. Poor quality salt and too much of it creates
the opposite effect.
Symptoms of salt (and other mineral) imbalances
include bone problems, anemia, metabolic imbalances, depressed
mental activity, weak digestion, gas, bloating, poor
circulation, feeling cold, difficulty losing weight, frequent
fatigue, arthritic pain in hands, arms, feet, knees, lower back
and shoulders, and emotional imbalances from anxiety to extreme
commercial salt is highly refined and contains 99.5% sodium
chloride, anti-caking chemicals, potassium iodide, and sugar to
stabilize the iodine. Common table salt is refined through heat
processing and bleached with chemicals.
labeled sea salt is typically refined and has been stripped of
nearly all of its sixty trace minerals. You can buy good
quality unrefined sea salt in which sunshine alone has been used
to extract it. Some brands include Lima, Muramoto, Malden, Real
Salt and Mexican “Si” sea salt. Whole salt from the sea has a
mineral profile similar to that of your blood and, when used
properly, helps to maintain good health and eliminate cravings.
in the habit of using a small pinch of unrefined sea salt in
cooking only. Avoid adding salt to the food on your plate.
If your food tastes salty you’ve used too much. Chew your food
thoroughly and you’ll be satisfied with the flavor of food
rather than the added salt. Eliminating processed foods, salty
snacks, and commercial salt is important.
Mineral rich Alternatives to the Salt Shaker
vegetables have been used for thousands of years for their
ability to prevent disease, prolong life, and impart beauty and
health. Eating small amounts on a regular basis is a balanced
way to include the salty flavor. Sea Vegetables are the most
nutrient dense group of foods available.
here for recipe.
is an extremely nutritious and health-supportive food and a
healthy way to include the salty flavor. Miso is a fermented
soybean paste made by combining soybeans, a culture, sea salt
and various grains, then fermenting for 3 months to 5 years.
The longer it is aged, the stronger the taste and effects. Miso soup in
restaurants is usually far too salty. If you make your own, you
control the amount of miso you add which should be ˝ - 1
teaspoon per cup of liquid. Many popular cookbooks call for as
much as 10x more which will work against your health.
Click here for recipe.
Salt: Friend or Foe for more benefits and
information on sea vegetables and miso.
flavor is astringent, contracting, and cooling. It prevents or
reverses abnormal leakage of fluids and energy, and dries and
firms tissues. This flavor is useful for urinary
dripping; excessive perspiration; hemorrhage; diarrhea; weak,
sagging tissues including flaccid skin; hemorrhoids; uterine
prolapse; and strengthening weak lungs.
counteracts the effects of rich, greasy food, functioning as a
solvent and breaking down fats and protein. It extracts
minerals from food for improved digestion and assimilation.
Common Sour Foods
lemon, lime, grapefruit, leeks, sauerkraut, vinegar, pickles,
strawberries, tart apples, rhubarb, raspberries, cranberries,
pickles, and black and green tea. Aduki beans, blackberries,
grapes, huckleberries, mango, and sourdough bread also contain
for pickle recipes.
is the most cooling and drying flavor, and is helpful for
overweight conditions, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and
tension or migraine headaches. Bitter foods reduce excess;
drain dampness (edema, mucus); help rid the body of parasites,
cleanse the arteries, and have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory
properties. They offset stress from alcohol and drugs, and
detoxify the liver. Bitters are beneficial for treating
bloating, gas, distention, belly fat, water retention, herpes,
and a hot temper. Bitter foods help you have a more focused
treat infections and candida yeast overgrowth, fungus,
swellings, skin eruptions, abscesses, growths, tumors, cysts,
and obesity. They remove mucous and heat in the lungs and are
an antidote for hot climates. Many bitter foods enhance
lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, leeks, parsley, arugula,
broccoli, celery, escarole, collard greens, kale, dandelion greens,
mustard greens, bok choy, kohlrabi, scallions, turnips,
watercress, papaya, quinoa and amaranth. Other foods containing
bitter flavor are wasabi, rye, unsalted pumpkin seeds, marjoram,
oregano, white pepper, and vinegar.
for Escarole Soup recipe.
is warming and harmonizing with a slowing, relaxing effect.
Sweets are building foods and especially benefit the thin, dry,
emaciated person. The sweet flavor activates insulin production
by the pancreas. In the form of whole food it activates
pancreatic enzymes; soothes aggressive liver emotions such as
anger and impatience; and can calm acute liver attacks. Sweet
foods moisten dry lungs and slow an overactive heart and mind.
Before you run to the candy bowl, it’s important to understand
that there are two classifications for the sweet flavor.
are nourishing, tonifying, strengthening, and satisfying. They
include whole, unprocessed grains, especially brown rice,
millet, kamut, barley, and spelt; beans, legumes and nuts;
beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, cabbage, carrots,
spinach, peas, eggplant, and winter squashes; beef, pork, fish,
eggs and chicken. Other full sweets are apricots, cherries,
grapes, figs, and dates. Brown rice syrup and barley malt syrup
are complex sugars and full sweets. Try
Sweet Chickpea Stew. Both are full sweets.
help deficient blood sugar levels which can cause dizziness,
irritability, and headaches. Balanced blood sugar levels
maximize tryptophan sent to the brain. Insomnia, depression and
pain problems diminish when full sweets are eaten daily. Full
sweets are fuel for muscles, nerves and brain and are the
principal source for energy for all bodily functions.
are what most people commonly eat
including: fructose, most fruits, fruit juice, honey, maple
syrup, whole sugar, and sucrose. All simple sugars are empty
sweets. They cause infections, promote yeast and fungus; retard
calcium metabolism; promote bone loss and arthritis. They cause
a scattered mind, anxiety, worry, restlessness, hair loss,
headaches, obesity, irritability, and all blood sugar
imbalances. They acidify the blood, destroy B and other
vitamins, and deplete mineral reserves. Empty sweets burden the
digestive system and food cannot be digested properly. Empty
sweets are addicting and lead to disease and unhappiness.
Complex Sugars in whole foods are balanced with minerals and
fuel muscles, nerves and brain. The energy you receive from
breaking down and assimilating complex sugars from whole grains
is steady and constant. Please don't lump simple sugars
and complex sugars together. The simple ones compromise
your health while the complex variety is essential for good
Determine which flavors you need to emphasize or
minimize and create a plan for using the five flavors every
day. Soon you’ll notice improvements in your body and mind.
Flavors are one criterion for choosing the best foods for you.
Other discerning food factors are the thermal nature (whether
the food is warming or cooling); building or cleansing
qualities; and drying or moistening characteristics. My
Holistic Weight Loss
comprehensive information on food therapeutics and much more.
Even if you're not trying to lose weight, you'll benefit from
this true Holistic approach to health and nutrition.
Barr, 2000-16. All rights reserved.
There are many popular food plans and no lack of
internet advice from thousands of people who lack an
understanding of food therapeutics and have little or no
professional training. Good marketing sells fads to people who
are desperately trying to recover good health and lose weight.
Current scientific findings often contradict previous findings
by the same experts. A perfect diet that will bring everyone
good health does not exist and accepting this fact is a good
starting point for achieving balanced health.
professional guidance for the right nutrition and
health plan for
reversing your health and weight issues, and removing the degenerations that cause
them. You can greatly improve every aspect of your physical,
mental and emotional health with a customized holistic approach.
Schedule an Introductory Holistic Health
and Nutrition session with Deborah Barr, 30-year
Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. You'll be on your way to better
health. Sessions can be done by phone,
skype, or at Pittsburgh office.
client success stories
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30-year Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor/Coach, speaker, and author,
helps clients reverse health and weight issues;
achieve emotional harmony, radiant health, passion, peaceful
living, work-life balance, and a life they love. In 1985 she
founded Whole Health Resources, the premier Holistic
Health Center in Pittsburgh. WHR’s mission is to promote the
healing and development of body, mind and spirit, and to teach
an understanding of the relationship between diet, attitudes,
lifestyle and wellness. She offers free help through her 2 e-newsletters,
Holistic Weight Loss, and Whole Health
Matters, and free articles.
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