Who doesn’t want to be at his or her best. Whether you are trying to persuade a prospect, convince your manager, or trying to get your point across to colleagues or business partners, if you lack the required energy for these interactions, most likely you will come across as dull, monotonous and uninspiring. The way people perceive you has a lot to do with your energy levels. No doubt about that.

In order to have the energy required to be at your best, it is important that you eat nutritious food and a balanced diet — this is something that I’m sure you are quite aware of by now. But in addition to getting the right amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins, there is also a very important element that we need to be aware of, that plays a massive role in our energy levels and overall physical wellbeing.

And this is your sense of taste.

Although taste is a big part of the EXPERIENCE of eating, you should start paying attention also to the PRACTICAL and FUNCTIONAL aspects of your sense of taste. Let me explain.

When you are hungry, your brain sends you a signal to indicate that it is time for you to satisfy the energy and information demands of your body. One way that we inform our brain that we have provided our body with all the major food groups and nutrients that we need, is through our sense of taste.

Because the nutritional content of the food we eat is coded in the taste of the food itself, our taste buds, send messages to the brain, informing it of the type of food that we are ingesting, even before the biochemical elements of the food are released into our bloodstream.

There are six tastes, that inform our nervous system of a meal’s nutritional content, and these are the following:

Sweet.- Brings about satisfaction, builds body mass and it also has soothing effect on the body

Sour.- Stimulates the appetite and aids digestion

Salty.- Enhances the appetite and makes other tastes more delicious

Pungent.- Promotes sweating and clears the sinus passages

Bitter.- Helps to detoxify our body

Astringent.- Has a Balancing effect

If by the end of a meal, our nervous system doesn’t register all six tastes, the brain is not satisfied and continues to send signals to eat more. This may result, in us taking in, too many of the incorrect calories. If you overeat, you will drain your energy levels and you can kiss good-bye the sharpness and brightness that will make you stand out.

So to be at your best, make sure that the 6 tastes are present at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here is a quick reference guide to help you along the way:

Sweet Category: Grains, pasta, rice, bread, fish, starchy vegetables, dairy, meat, sugar, honey molasses.

Sour Category: Citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, alcohol, salad dressing, pickle foods.

Salty Category: Table salt, soy sauce, fish, salted meat, seafood.

Pungent Category: Peppers, chillies, onions, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, cloves, ginger, mustard, salsa.

Bitter Category: Green leafy vegetables, kale, green and yellow vegetables, celery, beets, broccoli, sprouts.

Astringent Category: Lentils, dried beans, green apples, grape skins, tea, cauliflower, pomegranate.

Try including the 6 tastes of success in your next few meals and pay attention to how you feel. You’ll be surprised…

Please share your comments in the space provided below.

César Gamio
Master Educator, Chopra Center University
Senior Advisor to the Global Center for Conscious Leadership