If you look in the mirror and stick out your tongue, you will see about 10,000 taste buds. Your taste buds recognize 4 types of flavors- sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The biology of your taste buds is very complex. They help set your body’s metabolic system in motion. They also trigger digestion, as soon as you taste something, your brain is already releasing insulin and signaling your digestive tract to secrete hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to prepare for the food you are about to eat (Kendrick, 2015.)
What you probably didn’t know, is that the foods that we eat can affect how our taste buds work. Years ago, the flavors of our foods came strictly from plants and animals, and now we get it from synthetic sugars, fats, and sodium (Kendrick, 2015). These flavors fail to have any type of nutritional value- and actually lead you to crave even more processed foods. These flavors also activate the parts of our brains that are associated with desire and reward. Because of this, our palates tend to become picky and our taste buds actually change (McClees, 2014).
The good news is, you can retrain your buds to enjoy whole foods! Once you stop eating processed food, you will be amazed at how quick your palate will change. You will enjoy foods that you never thought you would!
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