“What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice”-Though the poem might go like this, in real life each of have different taste perceptions-some like sweet, some like spiciness and some others like both. But there are almost none who likes the taste of bitterness. Even uttering the word ‘bitter’ brings upon a frown in out face and we are instantly reminded of the vegetable that stands true to its name-bitter gourd! The ‘bitter’ part in bitter gourd says it all and we need no further explanation on this. With many people in the world going vegan or pursuing a vegetarian diet, plant-based foods are gaining popularity worldwide. Besides, when we decide to start eating healthy food, the obvious choice is to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses. It is also necessary to know that many people are not great fans of vegetables, especially those that taste bitter such as bitter gourd and broccoli.
Broccoli cannot be compared to bitter gourd on any given day but some individuals are extremely sensitive to different tastes, in the sense that they have very high sense of taste, which makes vegetables such as broccoli taste extremely bitter and inedible. Read more about such elevated sense of taste and how this affects the nutrient intake of such individuals by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. But its better to give broccoli a second chance in your life to avoid the bitter consequences of nutrient inadequacy later. But according to a new study, adding broccoli to diet rather than changing your mind will in fact change the taste of the food. This is not magic but due to the action of proteins of found in saliva.
Do you know that the food we eat interacts with the saliva first even before it interacts with the taste receptor cells? Saliva is home to more than 1000 proteins and each of them influence stimuli even before the food is tasted. The food we eat marks a signature in the salivary proteome and these proteins regulate the sense of taste. We already know that any changes made to the diet changes the proteins present in the saliva and this research shows that the proteins in the saliva bring about changes in taste. We might not like the taste of bitter gourd or broccoli but introducing the foods repeatedly might improve their taste as the proteins are regulated meanwhile. This is applicable to kids as well-that’s why we reintroduce foods to kids even though they might not like the piece of carrot or drumstick provided. By repeatedly familiarizing foods kids’ taste buds get regulated and they start accepting all kind of veggies.
If you want to know how much is good enough, we cannot suggest a specific number for repeating the specific food but only tell that including them repeatedly at successive intervals would definitely change taste perception. This could bring about optimal changes in many people’s diet plan as repeatedly telling that something is good would not make it good in any way but repeatedly tasting the food would help the person understand that’s its indeed edible.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.