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Retrain Your Tastebuds

Eat less, eat well, eat plants

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Retrain Your Tastebuds

Nutritional researchers are proving that we can choose to change our daily eating habits.

Old habits die hard—or so we’ve been told. But nutritional researchers and foodies alike are proving that, in fact, we can choose to change our daily eating habits. And it’s easier than we thought.

According to Michael Greger, MD, the revolutionary physician who professes Hippocrates’ adage to “let food be thy medicine,” dietary change for the better starts with retraining our taste buds. “Within a few weeks of eating healthier, our taste sensations change such that foods with lower salt, sugar, and fat content actually taste better,” says Greger.

Five tastes

Taste buds are located on the tongue and elsewhere in the mouth. They are the delicate front line of our taste sensory system. With up to 100 taste receptor cells in every single taste bud, they are a part of the complex, integrated system that receives and carries taste messages to our brains—salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and savoury (or umami, a Japanese word meaning “deliciousness”).

In North America, many of us have unconsciously trained our taste buds to prefer (and even crave) a very limited range of flavours and textures. Overexposure to junk foods riddled with sugars, saturated fats, artificial flavourings and sweeteners, colours, salt, and a myriad of other food industry chemicals has distorted and desensitized our taste buds.

Some may choose to begin the journey from taste bud-dulling junk foods to whole, natural foods with a simple seven-day herbal cleanse designed to gently support the body’s own innate detoxification and elimination system. Always choose a cleansing program that includes an eating guide and nutritional food chart.

Vibrant flavours

Don’t worry about counting calories. Do make your calories count, however, by choosing nutrient-dense plant foods that fill you up, not out. You will naturally begin to eat less because of the nutrient density and high fibre content of a plant-based diet. The vibrant flavours of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains will reawaken your taste buds and your natural desire to enjoy the intricate flavours of healthy foods.

This short-term elimination of sugar, salt, refined foods, gluten, animal foods, and byproducts from the diet may create a dramatic shift in our eating habits.

Don’t be surprised if you feel so much leaner, cleaner, and healthier that you choose to embrace this way of eating indefinitely. Your taste buds will thank you—and so will your heart, brain, waistline, blood sugar, skin, circulation, and mood. a

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