viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013

Retrain your Taste Buds

Acquiring a new taste and adjusting our diet to eat more vegetables, fruits and fish is easier for those who simply like anything, or swallow anything. But for some, the taste of a simple leaf of spinach is really unpleasant, therefore the healthy lifestyle becomes a nightmare.

Why is that?

2 things:
1-Our DNA
2- Like mother like son

1-Genes naturally determine how developed certain taste buds will be. We have 5 different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter (and umami).  Some people will react differently to bitter or salty depending partially on the way their buds assimilate that sensation. The classic example is the bitterness of Broccoli.And this is due to our unique genes that are inextricably connected to the type of receptors for that taste. 

2-The second reason, and most powerful one, is how varied the diet of our mum was before we were born and even months after. Let me explain you ...

Everything the mum eats goes through the amniotic fluid to feed the fetus, and that includes flavor components too.
Not only this, but another crucial aspect is the breast milk (versus infant formulas) which will also contain flavors from the mum´s diet. 
I recently read a very interesting research study to determine how our taste buds develop and whether if there was a link between mum´s diet and a well developed taste to all sorts of foods from a young age.
And this was the case study for a group of mums planning to breastfeed:
Group A:
- Last 3 months of pregnancy: water
- Breastfeeding: carrot juice
Group B:
- Last 3 months of pregnancy: carrot juice
- Breastfeeding: water
Group C (Control):
Last 3 months of pregnancy: water
Breastfeeding: water

When the mums started to give a solid diet they prepared cereals with carrot and with water and... the result was that the babies whose mums had a diet  with carrot juice during and/or after pregnancy enjoyed much more the carrot flavor. While babies who did not taste the carrot flavor before (from breast milk or mother´s diet) did not enjoy the carrot cereal according to the negative facial expressions the mums noticed (the mums did not know anything about the researchers' question)
Those happy babies had tried the flavor many times before and got used to it! So, training your taste buds requires trying once and again and again... and eventually you will start to appreciate the new taste. It has been reported in several studies that we need to give it a try, at least 10 times. So even if you don´t appreciate your broccoli or your kids cannot eat anything, don´t give up! It´s all about training and eventually you will discover a whole new world of healthy foods. 

Flavor is a combination of many factors, not only the taste but also smell, texture, spice, temperature, setting, and memory. To really appreciate food’s flavor, experience it with all the senses. The simple scent of freshly baked bread may be a large part of your indulgence. And, a calorie-free one!

The key!  Remember that is not only the taste, but many other factors that will make a much more enjoyable experience eating all sorts of foods. And the best news is that weight loss accelerates cause we eat slower and recognize when we feel full and satisfied.

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