Madhura-The sweetness of life
Our entire system aims to stay alive and has built up a particularly fine intelligence. For example, it is best to develop a dislike for spoiled food, because your whole system knows that this is not exactly helpful to survive. On the other hand, our system is also aimed at ensuring that it gets those things that keep the system up, strenghten and nourish it.
The taste sweet, Madhura in Sanskrit, according to Ayurveda plays a major role in that process of ‘maintenance and support’. Many foods that have nourishing and building qualities for the body are ‘ sweet ‘ in taste. With sweet a neutral kind of sweet is meant here. So I do not mean the sweetness of sugar, but a neutral (as much as possible unprocessed) form. Like milk, wheat or rice can be sweet from themselves.
A meal that has sufficient neutral sweetness of good quality in it will result in a more satisfied and relaxed feeling. The times this is not the case, you may notice after the meal there is another urge for something sweet. We usually solve this by grabbing a slightly less qualitative form of sweet, for example in the form of a biscuit or chocolate. This ‘instant sweetness’ solves the signals of the body, but it does not give the nourishing and building qualities that the body seeks. You could say that you are misleading your system by giving it something with a sweet taste, which gives your body the ‘sweetness signal’ so it can rest in its ‘quest’ for things that sustain it, but in the meantime they lack the building qualities. At the same time, it also tells us why, as a human being, we have a love affair with everything that is sweet, something that the food industry thankfully responds to by adding sugars.
When you notice that you often feel an urge for sweet after a meal, take a look at the meal you have eaten. Sometimes, for example, we may already be full of a meal, but it does not give a saturated feeling. It is not related to the size of the meal, but the quality. To what extent was your meal qualitatively nourishing to support your body?
The craving for sweet after a meal is not always due to a lack of ‘madhura’ in a meal. This can also be due to a disrupted digestion. An Ayurvedic nutritionist can guide you through this to balance your digestion. Often just a few simple things that are changed or introduced can be very helpful.