The Fascinating Connection between Smell and Taste

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To fully enjoy the taste and smell of food, there are several things you can do. Before you eat, stir your food to release more aromas and savor the taste by chewing slowly. Eating different foods separately can also help your taste buds stay fresh. Additionally, using essential oils like jasmine, peppermint, or vanilla can stimulate your frontal lobes, making you more awake and aware. Keeping food in its original shape can also improve its taste, as research has shown the brain makes a connection between how food looks and how it tastes. Describing different smells with words can help you remember them better.

As we age, our sense of smell may diminish, making it challenging to detect dangerous scents like gas leaks or smoke. A study has shown that people over 60 are less able to distinguish between different smells than those under 45. Installing smoke and gas alarms and throwing away expired food can help prevent accidents. Maintaining a scent journal and exposing your nose to new smells can help maintain your sense of smell.

Enjoy your food

Here are some ways to make your food taste better and get the most out of your sense of taste and smell:

  • Stir your food: Before you dig in, take a moment to stir your food around a bit. This will help the molecules open up and let out more of the smell, which can make your meal taste better overall.
  • Slowly chewing your food releases more flavor and keeps it in touch with your taste buds for longer, which makes it easier to digest. When you eat slowly, you can savor the taste and fully enjoy the tastes in each bite.
  • Take separate bites. If your sense of smell is getting dull or overloaded, try eating the different foods on your plate separately. Take a bite of steak, then a bite of potato, then a bite of salad, etc. This can help your taste buds get back to normal and keep your nose from getting too full.

Wake up to the essentials

Use essential oils like jasmine, peppermint, or vanilla to feel more awake and aware. Just put a few drops on your arm and smell it as you go about your day. Research from the US Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation has shown that these smells can stimulate the beta waves in your frontal lobes, which can make you more aware and make you feel more awake. So, aromatherapy could be just what you need if you need a pick-me-up at work or help staying focused during a long study session.

Bring back the speech

The way food looks can have a big effect on how it tastes. When making a special meal, don’t make it look too fancy, because that can take away from the taste. Research has shown that the brain makes a connection between how food looks and how it tastes. This means that a whole fish will taste better than one that has already been cut up. By keeping the shape of the food, you can make it taste better and be more fun to eat.

Name it

Adding words to your vocabulary that describe different smells can help you spot and remember them. Professor Tim Jacob from the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University in Wales thinks that putting knowledge in two different parts of the brain, one in the smell center and one in the language center, makes it easier to remember smells. So, if you want to remember a certain smell, try to describe it in words to help you remember it better.

Detect it


As you get older, your sense of smell may get worse, so you might not be able to smell gas leaking, smoke, or food that has gone bad. A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that people over 60 are less able to tell the difference between different smells than those under 45. The study showed that the younger group could tell the difference between two smells that were mixed together, while the older group had trouble doing so. Installing smoke and gas alarms and testing them often can make it less likely that you won’t smell smoke or gas. Also, make sure to follow the “use-by” dates on food and throw away anything that looks like its gone bad.

Exercise your nose

We must frequently expose our nose receptors to new scents in order to maintain our sense of smell. We can accomplish this by maintaining a scent journal in which we record the various smells we come across. Another thought is to attempt recognizing various scents while blindfolded or with our eyes closed. We can prevent our sense of smell from becoming dull by exposing it to novel scents on a regular basis.

Add zinc-rich foods

By eating more zinc-rich foods, you can improve your ability to taste and smell. Zinc is an important element that helps your senses work. If you don’t have enough zinc, you might not be able to taste or smell as well. Oysters, beef, chicken, beans, nuts, and whole grains are all good sources of zinc.

Whip up an appetite

Before a meal, going for a fast walk or run can help you smell and taste better. Researchers think that exercise makes your nose moister, which makes you more sensitive to smells. The spring and summer are the best times to spot this effect.

Steam cleaning

People often lose their sense of smell because their noses are clogged. They can also hurt and make you feel bad, giving you headaches, sore throats, breathing, and making you tired because you didn’t get enough sleep. Inhaling steam is a simple and effective way to treat this condition. You can do this by putting a towel over your head and taking in the steam from a bowl of hot water, or you can use a vaporizer. If steam doesn’t help, you should see a doctor. He or she may offer a decongestant nasal spray, drops, or medicine.

Cool that hot chile burn


If eating spicy peppers makes your mouth feel like it’s on fire, drinking full-fat milk or yogurt can help. This is because capsaicin, the chemical that gives chiles their heat, dissolves in fat, and drinks with fat in them can help reduce the heat. This is why spicy stews are often served with yogurt-based drinks like lassi and raita. Chilies don’t get less spicy when you drink water or soft drinks.

Fight blandness with spices

You may notice that you add more salt and sugar to your food as you get older. This is because you can lose up to 60% of your taste buds by the time you are 60, and your sweet and salty sensors are usually the first ones to go. To make up for the loss of taste without putting your health at risk, you can add more herbs, spices, and acid notes like lemon and vinegar. Meals can also be more interesting if they have different tastes.

Avoid salt in the air

When making healthy and tasty meals for airline passengers, cooks face many challenges. One of the biggest is the dry air in the plane, which dulls taste and smell senses and makes food seem less tasty than it does on the ground. To make up for this, a lot of airplane food has too much sugar and salt. You can still eat healthy foods while flying, though, if you pre-order a special meal for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

Miss a meal

Researchers have found that being hungry can make you taste sweet and salty things more. In a study done at the University of Malawi, male students were told to skip breakfast and then drink liquids with different amounts of sugar, salt, and bitter tastes. The findings showed that the students could taste sugar and salt better, but not bitter tastes. This could be why when you’re hungry, food feels better. Knowing this could also help you cut back on salt and sugar, which could lower your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. If you wait until you’re hungry to eat, you might not add as many bad things to your food.

Stick to “natural MSG”

According to studies, the amino acid L-glutamate, which is naturally present in foods like mushrooms, mature tomatoes, and ginger, produces the umami flavor, the fifth taste. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common ingredient in packaged foods in the West and many Asian cuisines to artificially increase the umami taste. Although the Mayo Clinic has not discovered any clear evidence linking the symptoms and the ingredient, some people claim to experience symptoms like headaches after consuming foods that contain MSG. But because MSG has such a strong flavor and might tempt you to eat unhealthy foods when you’re not even famished, it might be a good idea to keep your intake to a minimum.




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