13 Oct, 2022 A comment we hear time and time again from our home delivery customers is that after finishing their detox, everything they used to eat suddenly tastes different. And they’re not imagining it. By following a few simple steps, you can actually retrain your taste buds for the better, and can notice a difference in what you crave, as well as how things taste, in just a few days. Food Taste bud cells undergo continual turnover, even through adulthood, and their average lifespan has been estimated as approximately 10 days. In that time, you can actually retrain your taste buds to crave less refined foods and to really appreciate the vivacity of plant-based foods. After eating a diet with less refined foods – think wheat, dairy and refined sugar, you will notice that if, and when, you reintroduce them to your diet, their flavour will be much more pronounced and may taste sweeter, or saltier, than they did before. 5 steps to reset your taste buds

  1. Get in the kitchen. Cooking from scratch and avoiding processed foods is the best way to have more control over your diet. You’ll immediately be cutting out the added salt, sugars, oils and preservatives used in a lot of processed and store-bought meals. Try experimenting with lots of flavoursome ingredients like citrus, herbs, and spices to help brighten your palate.
  2. Avoid wheat, dairy and refined sugars. It’s this combination of high sugar, high carb, high fat foods that make you accustomed to taste-numbing foods and stop you from appreciating the sweet, sour, bitter flavours you get from vegetables. While you may not have an intolerance to wheat or dairy, eating foods that are designed to work with your body, not against it, will help the natural detoxification and resetting process. Thankfully, we now have great alternatives, with a plethora of plant-based ingredients on the market, and good quality gluten-free oats and flour readily available.
  3. Try to reduce, or ideally eliminate, alcohol and caffeine. These both affect our blood sugar levels and it has been proven that when our blood sugar levels are more stable, we are less likely to crave quick fix foods and instead reach for fruit and vegetables, which will train your body to appreciate a more variety of flavours. Try simple swaps like having a cup of herbal tea in place of that extra caffeinated cup and alternate a glass of water with alcoholic drinks each round.
  4. Try to eat between 5-10 portions of different coloured fruit and vegetables a day. This will ensure you become accustomed to eating a wider range of flavours, with a higher intake of nutrients. This way you will feel more nourished and satisfied, as well as more likely to appreciate food that doesn’t have all the added sugars, salt and other nasties. Smoothies are a great way of upping your fruit and veg intake. For inspiration read our Guide to the Perfect Smoothie.
  5. Make time for breakfast. Set yourself up to success so that you feel and nourished and satisfied from whole, unprocessed foods. When in a rush in the morning, it’s common again to reach for sugary quick-fixes, which will set you off on the wrong foot again in terms of becoming attached to these foods. It’s worth getting up that extra 10 minutes earlier to enjoy a breakfast that contains slow-release carbohydrates to maintain steady energy levels, as well as a little protein, and healthy fats to help keep you feel fuller longer. We love porridge topped with nut butter, banana and a sprinkling of seeds. Overnight oats or our baked oat bites are great options if you struggle to find time for breakfast, as you can prep these beforehand.

Once you’ve followed these steps for a few weeks you will notice a difference in what you crave, having retrained your taste buds for the better. We make this even easier with our home delivery plans, delivering your meals for the entire day to your doorstep each morning. To truly reap the benefits, we recommend doing it for at least five-ten days, as this allows time for you to retrain your palette as well as fully detoxify the body. View our meal plans here. Straight from the Captain Obvious department: About 90 percent of women often experience the intense desire to scarf down foods like cookies, potato chips, and other diet disasters, according to new research. Here’s what you don’t know: You can kill your worst cravings without waging an all-out willpower war. Turns out, most junk food-related yearnings are learned over time, based on years and years of steady exposure (flashback to grade-school sleepovers and late-night dorm ordering). But it’s never too late to retrain your taste buds to lust after nutrient-dense fare—even those veggies you swear you can’t stand. Get to it with an assist from the folks who study how to do just that. 1. Taper Off the Trash
Frequent consumption of sugary, fatty, or salty foods both hooks and dulls your taste buds; eventually, you’ll need to shovel in more to score the same level of satisfaction. Luckily, the opposite is also true: The less of a food you eat, the less of it you need to score a rush, says David Katz, M.D., a nutrition expert at the Yale School of Medicine and author of Disease Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well. The key is cutting down in baby steps. If, for example, you typically take three sugars in your coffee, try adding only two this week, then one the next. Within a month, you’ll notice that smaller amounts of your guilty pleasures are enough to hit the spot—leaving your palate more receptive to new flavors. 2. Try, Then Try Again
Even if you didn’t grow up loving legumes, there’s still hope. Studies show that kids who keep trying just a single bite of a health food they dislike (think: those Brussels sprouts) will eventually lose that aversion. «Such training works the same way with adults, and often faster,» says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a professor of marketing at Cornell University and author of Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life. After sampling something three to five times, you’ll start to think, «This isn’t so weird or awful.» says Wansink. «Before you know it, you’ll actually enjoy the flavor.»

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preview for Women's Health US Section - All Sections & Videos 3. Mix Old with New
Still having trouble downing bitter greens, or feeling kind of meh about root veggies? Pair them with a sprinkling of something you do like. Stir-fry bok choy in a bit of soy sauce, for instance, or dust roasted turnips with some Parmesan cheese. «Initially, what you’re doing is masking their flavor, but after several exposures, your brain forms a positive association with both tastes,» says Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of Chicago’s Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. «You’ll soon find you like the new food on its own.» 4. Don’t Follow Your Nose
It may not be the flavor of, say, cauliflower or broccoli that you object to, but the smell. «Green peppers, for example, have a bitter taste but a rather sweet scent, so most people find them agreeable to eat,» explains Hirsch. To make odoriferous vegetables more palatable, boil or steam them to remove sulfurous (a.k.a. stinky) compounds. Then serve them in a different room. Note: Your sense of smell is at its weakest in the evening. So if we’ve inspired you to play around with your food choices, know that nighttime’s the right time to start getting adventurous. 5. Keep Up Appearances
Pretty plating can also put you in the mood: In a recent study, diners rated an artfully arranged salad as 18 percent more yummy than less attractive salads containing the exact same ingredients. While you’re at it, place greens on the right side of your dinner plate. «Americans typically tackle that side first,» says Wansink. «Putting vegetables or nutritious food there means you’ll eat it faster.» 6. Adjust the Volume
Though experts aren’t quite sure why, the soundtrack to your meals can influence your fickle tongue. Loud noise (e.g., techno) tends to make food taste less flavorful, according to a study in Food Quality and Preference, while music that could be described as more pleasant (like piano-based tunes) seems to enhance flavors. It could be that your brain is so intent on processing jarring sounds that it underperceives tastes—a reaction you can use to your advantage. Play mellow tracks (or whatever takes you to your sonic happy place) to keep yourself eating the healthy food you already dig; pump up the volume when introducing bitters such as okra or collards into your diet. More from Women’s Health:
7 Ways to Eat More Veggies
3 Ways to Curb Sugar and Carb Cravings
7 Ways Nutritionists Deal When They Get Cravings for Unhealthy Foods Unless you’re facing a particularly unappetizing dinner, purposely losing your sense of taste is not advised. Taste is a survival mechanism that keeps you from harm. It is not isolated to your tongue. It also involves your sense of smell — together called the olfactory system. Most of what you think of as «taste» really happens in the nose. Humans have four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Remember: Permanent loss of taste might affect your ability to detect dangerous natural gas leaks, fires and poor cooking. Hold your nose. Before you taste or eat something gently pinch your fingers on the fleshy part of your nose (breathe through your mouth). By blocking air that goes through your nose, you’ve blocked the transmission of chemical messages sent up to the nose by the taste buds. The taste buds, or papillae, aren’t designed to totally «understand» the complexities of taste and must send the information they gather up to the nose. A specific nerve center in the the nasal lining, called the olfactory bulb, filters and then sends the refined taste messages to the brain. It is in the nose that you will discern tastes such as the fruitiness of a good wine or the musky taste of goat cheese. ... Brush your teeth. Certain medications (Zicam) or toothpaste (Sensodyne) have been reported to dull or eliminate the sense of taste. Medications that contain high levels of zinc might be toxic to the olfactory system. Chemicals in the toothpaste, potassium nitrate, potassium chloride and fluoride neutralize the signals of pain from sensitive teeth. They may also interfere with the signals from the taste buds. ... Get a cold. Virus infections, allergies, colds, flu or sinus infections block the part of the nose that discerns taste. These obstructions prevent air flow and the chemical messages of the tongue from reaching the olfactory bulb in the nose. ... Inhale smoke. Since identifying flavors in food is a combination of taste and smell, you’ll need something that will destroy both. Smoking can damage the taste buds by causing tongue ulcers, and it also irritates the nasal lining (the skin on the inside of your nose). The double-edge sword of smoking impairs your ability to taste, not to mention your lungs.


  • If you lose your sense of taste, ask you doctor about taking zinc — not Zicam. Deficiencies in zinc may be responsible for some people’s loss of taste or smell, or both. You also may need a regimen of antibiotics to clear up infections in your nose or sinuses.


  • Never try to lose your sense of taste. This sense is a built-in protection to detect poisons, spoiled food with dangerous bacteria, smoke from fires, natural gas and other fatal chemicals. The body requires all systems to function correctly. Removing one will cause others to be compromised.

References Writer Bio Bernadette Sukley’s work has been published in «Natural Health,» «Sports Illustrated for Women,» «Men’s Health» and «Swimmer» magazines as well as local magazines and newspapers. She’s been fact checking, writing and editing for over 20 years. Sukley specializes in health and lifestyle topics. Image Credit Human nose macro shot image by Gleb Semenjuk from Fotolia.com

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