Sage Advice About Appetite and Taste

Sage Advice About Appetite and Taste

The Definition of Appetite and Taste

When an individual has an instinctive desire to eat food which is essential to maintain their life, then it is known as appetite. It is totally different from hunger which is physiological and the results of the body's biological changes that signal the need for food to maintain the energy levels.

According to Wikipedia, appetite can result from hunger or devoid of it and due to emotional or environmental conditions such as appealing food which  is able to stimulate appetite. Satiety is the absence of is the sensation of feeling full and will result in reduced appetite.

Appetite seems to exist in all higher life-forms and is a complex mixture of physiological and psychological phenomena with the reason to regulate adequate energy intake to maintain the metabolic needs. According to Cambridge English Dictionary, the feeling that a person wants to eat food is also known as appetite. While Merriam-Webster defines appetite as a desire to be fulfilled, especially the desire to eat.

Taste is the particular quality of many different foods or drinks that allows a person to recognize the flavor and aids them decide what to eat and influences how efficiently the foods or drinks are digested. So the sense of flavor is activated when the chemical substances from the foods or drinks activate the 5 specialized receptor cells and subsequently guide on the future foods and drinks choice based on the learned consequences of ingested foods. Wikipedia states that there are five taste modalities sensed by the taste receptors of the tongue which are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and savory.

Factors That Affects Appetite and Taste

There are plenty of reasons why a person's appetite can be affected and that includes the environment, stress, behavioral and social issues, water, lifestyle, sleep, medications, mental health, and physical health. 

An infection in the nose, throat, or sinuses, head injury, a polyp or a growth that blocks the nasal passage may affect a person's taste or smell.  There seem to be factors also influencing taste perception and that includes age, meals, hunger, lesions of the oral mucosa, cigarette smoking, obesity, medications, pregnancy, temperature, radiation, and adaptation.

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite, medically referred to as anorexia, means an individual has reduced desire to eat for a wide range of reasons. Some of the reasons are short term such as colds, food poisoning or by a variety of conditions and it is temporary. The signs for loss of appetite include not wanting to eat, unintentional weight loss, and not feeling hungry and the idea of eating food creates nausea.

Causes for the loss of appetite are numerous and they includes stress, pregnancy, a stomach bug, metabolic problems, depression, chronic liver disease, medication, COPD, aging, dementia, nervousness, HIV, grief, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney failure, heart failure, cocaine, heroin, speed, chemotherapy, morphine, codeine, antibiotics and COVID-19.

Loss of Taste

Loss of taste, or the medical term for it is Ageusia. Ageusia can happen due to many health problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or also known as GERD, the infection to the salivary gland, sinusitis issues, poor oral hygiene, and even because of COVID-19.

Science Based Ways for Appetite

Serotonin, a brain chemical is important in regulating appetite which is the key factor for eating disorders which dictates how much food to eat. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), protein from animal sources and vegetables are equally important to keep appetite satiable.

An intake of high fiber aids in releasing hormones that slows digestion, increase satiety and regulate appetite. Drinking warm water is able to regulate hydration and influences appetite for solid foods. Variety of textures and flavors grants a variety of nutrients that signals for satiation of appetite.

Mindful eating balances appetite and helps cut down on emotional eating. Eating slowly is more satiating and affects the endocrine system that interacts with the digestive system. A smaller dinnerware does suggest satisfaction and curbs the appetite.

Regular exercise guarantees calorie burning and reduces appetite. Good quality sleep does wonders with the appetite-regulating hormone of leptin. Managing a good stress level goes ways to decrease cravings and protect against appetite.

Ginger helps in easing the stomach and reduces nausea for increasing appetite in cancer patients. High protein or fiber or healthy fats or complex carbs are helpful in regulating appetite levels throughout the day. Enjoy your favorite food in moderation so that your cravings go down and reduce your appetite.

Tongue and Taste Bud

Human beings have a different number of taste buds that work well with smell because we taste with our brain and eating sweet foods helps in forming a memory of a meal and scientists are able to tweak our taste buds on and off by manipulating our brain cells. Flavor is commonly known as the food taste is actually a permutations of savory, smell, feel, taste, spiciness, temperature and texture.

The average tongue is about 3 inches long with the current title of World's Longest Tongues belongs to an American by the name of Nick Stoeberl according to the Guinness World Records which measures at 3.97 inches. An individual has taste buds that account between 2,000 to 4,000 which are responsible for tasting and feeling the flavor. The taste buds are able to renew themselves every week without fail.

Our tongue is a muscle and it is made up of 8 different types of muscles which creates a flexible matrix that works independently of the skeleton. Everyone has a unique tongue print much like the fingerprint and researchers are working on using the tongue as a biometric authentication as a reliable way to identify a person positively. 

Home Remedy

The following are the easiest and simplest home remedies which are dedicated for loss of appetite and taste. For loss of appetite, add rock salt to the mix of the juice of lime and ginger which are in equal quantity. For three times a day, take one tablespoon of this mixture and you can see that your appetite is restored in about 5 to 6 days. This remedy is also useful for indigestion issues.

For loss of taste, take a piece of lime and warm it with rock salt for sometime. Let both the items activate each other's components and then chew it. You will get your taste reactivated and you will regain the flavor feeling.

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