We all have the experience that the elderly always feel that [the mouth is tasteless] and eating what is not delicious. Apart from some diseases and symptoms caused by drugs, the situation most people face is a normal physiological change.
Degeneration of taste is inevitable in life.
Most people begin to feel the deterioration of their sense of taste when they are over 50 years old. Food that used to feel delicious is now becoming more and more dull. People often attribute this to being clear of heart and desire after getting older, but it is not-this is a physiological change accompanying aging.
First of all, people perceive taste through taste buds on their tongues.
This perception is usually realized by the binding of specific [taste components] to specific receptors through channels on cells. As aging occurs and progresses, the cell membrane structure of taste bud cells will change, making it much more difficult for taste substances to enter cells.
Secondly, the [taste] people feel is actually the superposition of taste and smell.
There are only a few basic senses of taste, but the sense of smell is much richer. This is why it is difficult to feel the taste of food when you catch a cold or hold your nose. As the human body ages, the number of olfactory receptors gradually decreases, resulting in a gradual decrease in olfactory sensitivity. The degradation of smell also greatly affects the perceived [taste].
Third, people’s aging is often accompanied by the deterioration of dental conditions.
Inadequate chewing due to [bad mouth] will also affect the release of aroma substances in food.
In addition, the elderly have less saliva secretion and food cannot be fully moistened. This will affect swallowing and appetite.
The organs that feel the taste in the mouth will grow old with the human body.
Taste has deteriorated, will it have what effects on health?
Overall, there are two effects: oral weight and poor nutrition absorption.
As taste deteriorates, People’s perception of delicious food is gradually becoming slow. To enjoy the same delicious food, one needs to [add to the taste]. In particular, the demand for sweet and salty food needs more sugar and salt to make up for it. Both are risk factors that need to be limited by a healthy diet, especially for patients with diabetes and hypertension, which can be described as “health killers”.
In addition, the deterioration of taste often leads to a decrease in appetite, thus reducing the total amount of food eaten. When the total amount of food is insufficient, it will become difficult to realize comprehensive nutrition, especially vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, which will directly affect the health status of healthy bodies.
Taste decline is inevitable. How to stick to a healthy diet?
Taste degradation associated with normal aging is inevitable and irreversible. When it comes, we can only face the reality. The following ways can help reduce the impact of taste degradation, thus increasing appetite and ensuring the body’s nutritional needs.
1. Eat with others.
Some studies have found that, At social events, friends’ dinners or family gatherings, People tend to eat more. For example, a study published in 1994 recorded the diet of 515 volunteers within 7 days. The results showed that eating more with other people, especially when eating with family members, was more obvious. This is true not only for young people, but also for old people.
2. Eat at the optimal temperature of food.
Different foods have different optimal temperatures, some are suitable for eating hot and some are suitable for eating cold. The poor appetite of the elderly in China is often more “improbable”, which will make the food taste worse. Therefore, the food for the elderly should be carefully cooked and eaten at the most suitable temperature so as to feel better flavor.
3. Use spices instead of sugar and salt.
Sugar and salt (including soy sauce) are the most common and important seasonings. Excessive use of them is not conducive to health. However, many plant spices and seasonings have no health problems and can be used to increase taste, such as pepper, spice, pepper, chili, mushroom, tangerine peel, cinnamon…
4. Try new foods.
New foods bring new appetites. Of course, this may vary a little from person to person. Some people will lose their curiosity to try new foods as they get older, while others will try more. Whether it’s new foods or familiar ingredients or new practices, as long as they are willing to try, they may encounter joy.
5. Don’t stick to the eating time, eat when you want to eat most.
Many people will have more appetite at some point in the day, some in the morning and some in the evening. There is no need to stick to which meal, nor do you need to care about how others or TV experts say three meals should be distributed. Eat more of the meal with good appetite and enjoy yourself.
6. In addition, there are some unscientifically proven practices that can be considered.
For example, the use of beautiful tableware is said to be conducive to increasing interest in eating. Improving the light in the kitchen and dining room can make food more attractive. Avoiding noisy background sounds is also conducive to a good mood when eating.