As the sense most associated with food and diet, taste not only helps you to enjoy a great meal, it's also vital to keeping you safe. Among other things, a healthy sense of taste helps people immediately recognise foods that they are allergic to and also helps them avoid foods that are stale or may be dangerous to consume. If your sense of taste has begun to deteriorate, don't despair. Awareness of your situation and appropriate action can bring back the pleasure of taste that you are used to enjoying.
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See your doctor if your sense of taste has decreased. Through a medical visit, you'll know if your taste buds are being adversely affected by medication, an underlying disorder such as dysgeusia or ageusia, or a degenerative condition like Alzheimer's disease.
Stop any bad habits that directly affect taste. A reduction in smoking can make your taste sense stronger, as can improved brushing and flossing habits. See a dentist regularly to keep your oral health at a high-functioning level.
Make food flavours stronger with herbs and spices. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders suggests that spices and herbs can improve the taste of food when your taste senses are lacking without adding any potential health risks to your body.
Eat more individual foods instead of combining them into one dish. In an article for "American Physician," Dr. Steven M. Bromely cites food colour, temperature, aroma and texture as four characteristics that can be enhanced and are critical to taste disorder treatment. By enjoying different foods individually, you can focus on discovering the unique flavour that each one offers.
Tips and warnings
- Don't add salt or sugar to your diet to offset a loss of taste. This can lead to additional health issues like increased blood pressure or diabetes.
- If you add spices or any other new ingredients to your meals, measure according to recipe guidelines rather than to taste.
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- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Taste Disorders
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- Simple Steps to Better Dental Health: Dysgeusia
- "American Physican" magazine; Smell and Taste Disorders: A Primary Care Approach; Steven M. Bromley, MD; January 2000