Lately, we’ve been seeing a new breed of snack in natural grocery markets. Modern-day snacking is merging with ancient alternative medicine. These snacks, which extend well beyond Golden Milk Lattes, use a mix of spices and herbs and label themselves as Ayurvedic.
Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the knowledge of life and longevity,” which pretty much says it all. Ayurveda is a system of medicine dating back 5,000 years. The philosophy emphasizes a whole-body view of wellness, promotes food as medicine, and seeks to balance the human body. Ayurvedic medicine is personalized based on your dominant dosha, or your mind-body type. Sarah Otto-Combs, a NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Siddha Labs, says, “Ayurveda, at its core, is a recognition of patterns in your body and in your environment and how to balance them.”
Taste this trend by picking up a bag of Jai Mix (currently in my snack drawer), a savory blend of toasted coconut, peanuts, and crystallized ginger. It boasts the six tastes of healthy Ayurvedic eating: bitter, astringent, pungent, sour, salty and sweet.
Beyond balancing taste, how do craft snacks fit into Ayurvedic philosophy? “You see a lot of companies that put turmeric or ashwagandha in something and it’s Ayurvedic, you know. And it’s a marketing tool,” explains Otto-Combs. She advises anyone starting on an Ayurvedic journey to meet with a practitioner to learn more about their unique needs first. For marketers and product developers, she offers 4 key principles to ensure products are Ayurvedic in this article. Education is key when walking the line between appropriation and appreciation. Of course, a bit of extra turmeric––a natural anti-inflammatory––never hurt anyone, either.
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