Ever wondered why food becomes tasteless when your nose is blocked? It’s because we smell our food more than we taste it. Our nose can differentiate among around 10,000 smells while our taste buds can only indicate one of the combinations of the five basic tastes (that is sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami). The conventional method of eating involves the taste buds only while the other senses are not consciously used if used at all. If other senses are also put into action, not only can the benefits of nutrition be enhanced but also the food can be rendered more delicious!
Human beings have been gifted with the five basic senses and apart from hearing every one of them can be used to eat. How? Let’s take them one by one.
Use the taste buds to distinguish among the five tastes and the intensity of one taste or the other. The tongue has thousands of taste buds each capable of distinguishing among the five tastes. Use the hands to touch and feel the food (cleanliness is necessary) because the body assigns feeling to every thing it comes in contact with and gives it a ‘good or bad feeling’ label. Hence the body ‘tastes’ with its nerve endings on the skin. Use your nose to smell the meal before you eat it, the olfactory lobe and limbic system combine to form a system that enables the brain to keep a track of every smell and also tag it as a good or bad smell. Use your eyes to see the colors and shades of what you eat, we usually make up our minds to a great extent about the food’s taste before even starting. See your food closely and try to associate with the data from other senses. Lastly, know your food. Know how much calories it carries and carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and water. Not all of these are important, but atleast know the amount of any of the above that is far more than normal in any food.
Combining all data, you will be focusing your attention on the food with the whole of your body increasing the body’s awareness about the food and hence enabling the food to be more ‘body friendly’ because the body now knows what’s coming in and prepares to deal with it.