As a baby, you were born with over 10,000 taste buds, but after you turn 50, that number starts to gradually decrease. Loss of your sense to taste should not be overlooked as just a sign of aging, because it can have serious consequences for your overall health. Without your sense of taste, it is possible to lose interest in foods you used to love to eat, which could lead to a deficiency in your nutrition. However, you can salvage meal time with a few expert tips and maybe another scoop of ice cream!
Losing your taste can be frustrating and unsatisfying, but imagine if you lost your independent lifestyle because of a serious fall, home fire or home invasion. Luckily there are things you can do to regain your taste as well as your independent lifestyle. With Life Alert Protection’s emergency pendant you can live alone without ever really being alone. Simply wear the pendant around your neck or wrist and receive an emergency medical response fast with a single touch of a button. Whether you’re in the shower, it’s a late night, or even a Sunday, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, Life Alert is available 24/7!
So grab a bowl of your favorite chips and don’t worry if you encounter a food coma, Life Alert is only a push of a button away! But if you find those chips or your other favorite foods are being thrown away do their lack-luster flavor and you’re not eating as much, you may want to use the tips provided by Everyday Health1 to keep your loss of taste from inferring with your health and enjoyment of life.
1. Make meals social events. Eat with other seniors or at extended-family celebrations, potluck dinners, and community meals, Gerbstadt says. You’re more likely to eat well and get proper nutrition when you’re having a good time with family and friends. Shut-ins also can benefit from Meals-on-Wheels or other similar programs where friendly drivers with nutritious meals appear at their door.
2. Watch the temperature. Food that is supposed to be hot tastes better when it actually is hot, and food that is supposed to be served cold tastes better when it is cold, says Jessica Crandall, RD, CDE, program director for Sodexo Wellness and Nutrition Services and an ADA spokeswoman. “To increase the taste, you may need to make your dishes a little warmer or a little colder,” she says.
3. Use more herbs and spices. Herbs and spices will offer more flavor without increasing your blood pressure the way that salt does, Gerbstadt says. “There are hundreds available that will liven up any entrée or meal.” Crandall recommends basil for Italian foods; cilantro for Mexican, Latin American, and Asian cuisine; oregano for Italian and Greek cuisine; and turmeric for Indian cuisine. Cooked vegetables such as beets, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, turnips, and winter squash can benefit from some caraway, and dill seeds are a great addition to rice and fish dishes. Another no or low-sodium option is citrus juice, citrus zest, or flavored and aged vinegars, Gerbstadt says.
4. Try something new. “When you try new foods and experiment with recipes, you create variety,” Crandall says. “Variety can make meals more enticing and can build better nutrition into what you’re eating.” Even seniors who are set in their ways can be tempted to try something new and nutritious if it contains ingredients they like.
5. Savor your favorite meal. People very often have a particular time of day when they have a bigger appetite. For some, it’s right after they wake up, so breakfast is their main meal. For others, it’s later in the day, when they’re more alert but relaxed. Pay attention to what time of day you’re hungriest, and then make the most out of the meal that coincides with that time.
However, you should always check with a doctor that your loss of taste isn’t the result of a more serious medical condition.
Without taste, meal time can become a burden and no longer enjoyable. However with these tips you can make eating fun and social! However, be sure to check with your doctor that there are no underlying health issues resulting in your loss of taste. Enjoying food does result mostly from taste, just like enjoying life usually results from security and independence. You can have both of those things with Life Alert Protection! By wearing the Life Alert emergency pendant, you can receive an emergency medical response fast, 24/7, with one touch of a button.
Battling your taste buds is a war you can fight, but encountering a serious fall is a battle you may not be able to bounce back from. However, with Life Alert Protection you can! For a free brochure to learn more about Life Alert services, please call 1-800-513-2934.
1. Orenstein, Beth W. “When Aging Steals Your Sense of Taste.” Everyday Health. 18 December 2014. < http://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/when-aging-steals-your-sense-of-taste.aspx>.