It's a mystery among scientists and those who study aging and its effects on a growing number of Americans. Just like your eyesight, taste buds start to diminish. At birth, a person has 10,000 taste buds, but after age 50 that number begins to decrease. Combatting this issue is difficult with limited research to support the when, why and how, but our residential chef has great ideas to make dinnertime a little bit more enjoyable for you! Studies show that taste cells simply stop functioning after age 50, and although we don't have answers as to why or how knowing this fact can help alleviate some of the stress and annoyance that comes along with the natural aging process. Flavor is a combination of taste and smell, so if your nasal passages are blocked or you've recently suffered a cold, your ability to taste might be lower. Dry mouth is another symptom in connection with the loss of taste, as when the mouth is dry its harder to swallow. This makes eating way less enjoyable deterring seniors from gaining the proper nutrients needed to live a healthy and happy life.
Although we don't know why we lose our taste, the risks it poses should be known and understood. The four most prominent sensors are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. These sensations tend to go first which may cause too much sodium intake resulting in high cholesterol leading to increased risk of heart disease. The ability to taste certain foods keeps your interest in those foods very high, but once you lose that ability eating becomes a chore. This causes serious weight loss, and for senior health this is a big risk factor. Staying on target with your weight factors into bone health and mobility. Without the ability to move around without help you might be hindering your independence.
Risks for Alzheimer's Disease has been found in water with too many impurities such as iron or copper. Linked to loss in memory, ability to keep track of daily tasks or simply keep up with a conversations are the first signs to early onset of dementia. These are symptoms your doctor or home care professional will alert you too.
So how do we make meal time more enjoyable? Dinnertime should be social event. Invite friends and family over to spend time together. Start a potluck dinner every week to taste your friend's cooking to gain valuable insight into how to season your food for more flavor! If you have limited mobility services provide meals right to your door and take care to provide nutritious well balanced meals three times a day.
Monitor the temperature. Serve or eat food when it is hot and it will taste a lot better. Eating leftovers can seriously cut down on the nutritious value as well as the overall flavor after it's been inside of a tupperware for a day or two. Always eat meals a little warmer than usual or a little colder. Luke warm temperature detracts from the flavor big time.
Season your food the right way. A loss of taste often causes people to oversalt or over pepper food, but using the right herbs and spices can make a big difference. Incorporate basil into your Italian dishes, oregano to liven up a Greek dish and cilantro for an extra spicy Mexican dish. Whatever your preference, try something new!
We understand the process of aging can be difficult on both mental and physical states, but the Hacienda Del Rey is here to deliver great ideas to continue living a happy and healthy lifestyle!