If You Thought Losing Your Eyesight Was Bad, How About Declining Taste-buds?

Most Baby Boomers now need glasses to read almost anything. My big thrill with my e-reader was that I could pump up the type to a place where I didn’t need my glasses. Downside? Only a paragraph per page. Along with diminished eyesight, receding hairlines, and other body parts that always worked better, now we have to worry about declining taste buds. We have about 10,000 taste buds as adults, we lose some, and the ones that remain grow less sensitive (unless your my aunt reacting to spicy food). And more bad news, your sense of smell also diminishes, for some people with sinus issues, as early as age 50.

So what? According to this article in the Miami Herald “ When food becomes less appealing, seniors tend to eat smaller meals or skip them altogether. They begin to lose weight, which can lead to frailty.

“Since it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not always noticeable at first,” says Dr. Kent Holtorf, who specializes in age-management medicine at The Holtorf Medical Center in San Francisco. “Usually, if they talk about it when they come in, they’ll mention it as a secondary symptom.”

Among the factors that exacerbate the loss of taste perception are smoking, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and medications including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and some arthritis remedies. Dietary restrictions to deal with hypertension and diabetes further complicate meal prep.”

What to do?

  • Add flavor. Using any kinds of herbs and spices will always help even if it’s as simple as a few grinds of pepper. Many spices, like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have other holistic healing benefits in addition to adding flavor.
  • Lemon or lime juice adds a nice acidic touch, as will flavored vinegars, like balsamic. When you watch chefs at work, they’re always adding something acidic. Try it. I make almost all my salad dressing with lemon juice instead of (or along with) vinegar.
  • I personally don’t have issues with salt, but if you do, try a salt substitute like Mrs Dash, or Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt (which does have salt mixed with other seasonings).
  • When my aunt isn’t around, a dash of hot sauce or sriracha (if you don’t know about this, check it out, Asian section of the grocery), goes a long way.
  • If I’m wearing my locavore hat, fresh, local and seasonal always tastes better that out of season and flavorless.
  • Don’t forget that setting a nice table, and plating the food well always helps.

What other ideas do you have to make meals more appetizing?

Check out this week’s Blogging Boomers Carnival. Great cat photo for you feline lovers out there.

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