What could be better than a thick slice of a vine-ripe tomato, sprinkled with fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil? Or a crunchy apple fresh from the orchard? Eating is so enjoyable when we get in touch with the flavor of food.
Savor The Flavor
My fondest memories of the seasons involve food. What could be better than a thick slice of a vine-ripe tomato, sprinkled with fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil? Or a crunchy apple fresh from the orchard? Eating is so enjoyable when we get in touch with the flavor of food.
Here’s an easy way to savor the flavor-taste every bite. Each type of food has its own unique flavor. For example, foods made with whole grain such as Whole Grain Total? cereal have a nut-like, rich taste not found in refined grains. “You can ease your taste buds into the flavor of whole grain by gradually trying new foods. Set a goal of trying one new food made with whole grain a week. Then start substituting foods on a daily basis-instead of your regular choice, experiment with a whole-grain food choice. Soon whole-grain foods will be a regular part of your diet,” suggests Joanne Slavin, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Minnesota and expert on whole grain.
Keep in mind that foods should please all the senses. “Taste, appearance and texture affect a food’s appeal, as well as its nutrition,” says Dr. Robert Henkin, M.D., founder of the Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, D.C. “For example, a bowl of cereal made with whole grain, along with skim milk and fruit, makes a visually attractive, crunchy, and flavorful meal.”
Sense of taste and smell naturally diminishes in many older adults. Others may lose the sense of taste as a result of medications, long-term illness or viruses. When foods become harder to taste, herbs, spices and condiments can be added to bring out their flavor. Supermarkets and gourmet stores also sell concentrated flavors, in the form of jellies and sauces, as well as flavor enhancers such as regular and low-sodium bouillon cubes and broth.
Flavor can also be enhanced by including fruits and vegetables in mixed dishes. Dr. Henkin notes that in addition to being naturally low in salt and fat, they are an important and flavorful aspect of healthy eating.
Q: Food doesn’t have much flavor to me anymore, but I keep eating it. I’m afraid I’m going to gain weight. What should I do?
A: First, add flavor with fresh herbs and condiments such as lemon juice. Resist the temptation to add extra salt and sugar. Then, make your food more appealing with colorful fruits and vegetables. Remember to eat slowly and to stop eating when you feel full.
Note to Editors: This is Series V-14 of 26.