The Best Brain Foods Have The ‘6 Tastes Of Life,’ Says Deepak Chopra—From Sweet And Sour To Bitter And ‘Astringent’

Make It May 25, 2023


The Best Brain Foods Have The ‘6 Tastes Of Life,’ Says Deepak Chopra—From Sweet And Sour To Bitter And ‘Astringent’

There is a wealth of information out there for those of us in search of healthy ways to keep our brains sharp — from staving off brain fog to using simple hacks to boost our memory and even physical exercise to help lower the risk of dementia.

There are also many foods that can help support your brain health. To keep things simple, Dr. Deepak Chopra suggests eating the rainbow, which means adding foods with each of the seven colors that make up ROYGBIV to your meals.

“The best foods for your brain health are foods that have maximum diversity of plant-based foods, that are organic, that have seven colors of the rainbow,” Chopra, who currently serves as the chief wellness officer for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, tells CNBC Make It.

For example, regularly including apples, oranges, bananas, celery, blueberries, eggplant and grapes in your diet, will help you meet your color quota.

Colorful fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients, “compounds that give plants their rich colors as well as their distinctive tastes and aromas,” according to Harvard Health Publishing.


When eaten, the phytonutrients in plant-based foods can lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, the Harvard blog states. Flavonoids, a group of phytonutrients found in colorful plant-based foods, have also been linked to an improvement in brain health and a reduction in cognitive decline and dementia.


Focus on a diverse plate and the ‘6 tastes of life’

To get the most health benefits for your brain from what you eat, you should focus on diversifying the foods on your plate, which includes the “six tastes of life,” Chopra says. This guidance is based in Ayurvedic medicine.

“These foods have the highest number of micronutrients, which are directly derived from the energy of the sun,” says Chopra.

“So, when you eat a diet that has those seven colors of the rainbow, and those six tastes that I mentioned, you are actually using the force of life to enhance your wellbeing.”

The six tastes of life include: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. While you’re probably most familiar with sweet, sour and bitter tastes, astringent is harder to identify.

Foods with an astringent taste “have drying and cooling qualities,” according to Healthline. Some of these include parsley, beans, turmeric and vanilla.

Here are some nutritious foods with each of the six tastes:

  1. Strawberries (sweet)
  2. Lemons (sour)
  3. Almonds (salty)
  4. Cranberries (bitter)
  5. Onions (pungent)
  6. Broccoli (astringent)

For an easy way to incorporate these foods in your diet, consider a bowl of strawberries, blueberries and cranberries for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

And for lunch or dinner, toss together a colorful salad of leafy greens, avocados, broccoli, carrots, your protein of choice and top it all off with some almonds.

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