Make Your Meals Taste Better!

How To Improve Your Sense Of Taste

It might seem to go against common sense, but often the better we taste our food, the easier it is to keep our calories under control. That’s because a delectable meal tells our brain we’re satisfied and passes the message along to our gut. On the flip side, as we age, our appetite sometimes shrinks and we don’t get enough nutrients. In either case, bumping up taste buds, can give you the boost you need to enjoy a nutritious meal. 

Here’s how you can improve your sense of taste.

Since smelling is the most important part of taste perception, start out taking small quick sniffs to pull the aromas into your nasal cavity. 

When chewing food, draw a small amount of air into your mouth to increase the rate at which the aromas go into your nasal cavity. Wine tasters frequently do this 'slurping' effect while tasting wine. Don't worry about doing it as much as they do. A small amount is just fine. 

As you chew, move the food around your mouth so it warms and gets broken up. It will dissolve more and release more aromas to be processed by your nasal cavity. 

Eat a different food with every forkful. Instead of eating the entire steak at once, then moving on to the potato, take a bite of steak, then a bite of potato, then a bite of spinach, etc. Recurrent new exposures will keep your olfactory nerves from getting bored, thus enhancing your taste buds.

• Eat only when you are hungry. Our sense of smell (and thus taste) is strongest when we’re hungriest. • Take frequent breaks when tasting to give your senses a break.  • Be a taste tester. Try to resist ordering that favorite entree or dessert you always get. Mix it up and be open to discovering new flavors.  • Make a list of any medicines you’re taking and ask your doctor about their effect on smell and taste. Hundreds of medications affect taste and smell, including statins, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and chemotherapy drugs like methotrexate, also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. If your meds are on the list, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives or lower doses. Don’t, however, stop taking your medication or cut your dosage on your own. Robin Westen is ThirdAge’s medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.        
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