Imagine how fit and healthy you’d feel and look if you could train your taste buds to enjoy healthy foods that are nutrient and anti-inflammatory powerhouses like broccoli, turmeric and kale, as much as those comfort foods you crave like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cookies and cakes. You can actually train your taste buds to favor your fit and healthy body and life and it’s quick and easy! As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, we’ve helped our clients to train their bodies’, their lifestyles as well as their taste buds to like healthy foods— and this helps with weight loss, getting a flat belly, as well as with getting healthy and preventing chronic diseases! And just like for our clients, foods that you may avoid because you just don’t like the taste can become some of your favorite foods.
Think you don’t like broccoli? Or other healthy foods? Try these healthy recipes:
Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussel Sprouts
There are several ways that you can train your taste buds to like healthy foods. For years, we’ve taught our clients about taste bud turnover. Like all cells in your body, your taste buds are constantly regenerating and turning over and creating new ones, every 21 days. This means that you can actually train your taste buds to adjust to new flavors as you change what you eat. We’ve always taught our clients to try a new food or try to adjust for 21-days, as that is the maximum amount of time your taste buds need to turnover. Many times, it takes only a week, if not just a couple of days to adjust, and from there, to start liking new flavors that you formerly were not a fan. So, if you don’t really love broccoli, keep trying it for 21 days, and by the end of the 21-days, your taste buds will have adjusted. Voila! For us and our clients, we’ve found that training your taste buds works best when trying to like low-salt foods, less sweet foods and tart and bitter foods—and in the process, these foods become new favorites and help to promote a healthy lifestyle and a nice side effect is a flatter belly! And we even have this taste bud “reset” as piece as part of our 21-Day Body Reboot, where we guide members of the program through our system to re-train their taste buds on the fast track– and most people end up changing many of their lifestyle eating behaviors and acquire new favorite foods that they previously didn’t know they would enjoy. They happen to drop some weight, while they’re at it (that’s their goal).
In addition to training your taste buds by relying on cell turnover, there’s new research that finds that food tastes less bitter as you eat more of it. It turns out that our saliva changes to like the bitter food if we train it to! Think of bitter foods… broccoli, turmeric, Brussels sprouts, just to name a few. The bitter flavor of some of the healthiest foods like these, may turn you off and may be why you or your family don’t eat them. But with this cool science-backed (and our client-tested scenario) as you eat more of these healthy, bitter foods, your saliva actually changes and has more proteins that bind to astringent compounds, making food taste less bitter. So basically, our saliva actually works for us to help us to like healthier foods! This is why we love spit! 😉 Just keep it in your mouths, folks! 😉
We think it’s pretty cool how the researchers came to this conclusion about our saliva since it hits home with our hot chocolate love affair 🙂 …
The research was presented at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in August 2018 by scientists from Purdue University, who used unsweetened chocolate as the bitter item to test the change in saliva. (If you’ve ever made the “mistake” that we have and taken a bite out of baking chocolate, you know that unsweetened chocolate doesn’t taste like a Hershey’s bar—and it isn’t sweet on its’ own!) The researchers had people drink unsweetened chocolate almond milk three times a day for a week. They discovered a change in the saliva of people who drank the drink and it created a protein that ultimately helps to mask bitterness by binding to it.
While this is awesome news if you’d like to start eating more healthy veggies, this also is great news for those with a sweet tooth—if you are a hot chocolate drinker, you can ultimately use less sugar to mask the bitterness. This was the case for Lyssie. She makes hot chocolate using raw cacao powder (which is naturally bitter) and a very small touch of organic stevia. When she first started making it, she didn’t want to use much sweetener and unknowingly was testing this research as she made her hot cocoa with just a tad of the stevia, making the hot chocolate mostly bitter, with a hint of sweetness. In the beginning it took an adjustment and definitely wasn’t the hot chocolate that she was used to, but now she craves this not-so-sweet drink!
This spiced hot chocolate is very low in sugar, but what’s amazing is that with our taste bud turnover, we omit the honey and just use a teeny dab of organic stevia powder.
The great news is that you can apply this to other aspects of your life! If you have a sweet tooth (or a salt tooth) and you currently eat really sweet foods (or very salty foods), your palate starts to like that level of sweetness (or saltiness). If you give your palate foods that aren’t as sweet (or as salty), soon your taste buds will become accustomed to those and you’ll need less sweet foods (or less salty foods) to satisfy your cravings. We personally, have a sweet tooth, and for us, one way we start to satisfy our sweet cravings is by using fruit to retrain our taste buds.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve experienced this scenario or if you train yourself to like healthy foods! We can’t wait to hear how it goes! And please pin this to share it with your friends to help them to become healthier too!
Wanna know a little more?
There have been many times when we’ve personally had to change our palate and just like yours will, our taste buds have quickly adjusted to new flavors. While we love healthy foods NOW, this wasn’t always the case for us. We were picky kids who didn’t like veggies and now we love them and they are some of our favorite foods. We love them so much in fact that we wrote The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure, because as nutritionists we know and have witnessed first hand what veggies can do for your health, your waistline, your weight loss diet, your health and skin complexion and we knew we had to find ways to help others to reap the benefits.