25 Jun How To Develop A Taste For Nutritious Foods
Nearly everyone I know has food cravings. In fact, they’re an important way our body signals to us when we need to balance our diets with a little more of this or a little more of that.
Salty foods derived from the earth contain minerals like iron, selenium and iodine. Fatty foods allow us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins in fruits and veggies and sweet foods offer not just pleasure, but glucose for fuel. When we listen to our cravings and follow them wisely, we begin to intuitively eat, trusting what our body is telling us.
Unfortunately, the introduction of processed foods has had a powerful influence on our tastebuds. Tastebuds around the world have gravitated to the high salt, sugar and fat foods with added flavourings and little to no nutrients. These lack very little resemblance to the naturally salty and sweet foods we were programmed to seek out.
This change in our tastebuds have lead people to prefer processed food over healthy produce. A piece of broccoli, a bowl of salad or kale chips seem high unappetising to the modern day eater. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Developing a taste for nutritious foods is highly possible and when you have overcome the cravings for unhealthy foods, you won’t turn back!
Here are some ways to reclaim your taste for healthy, nutritious foods:
Find non-food pleasures
Many people fall into the trap of using food to satisfy their emotional needs. While it is important to enjoy food, finding other pleasures can help provide the comfort you’re seeking. This may be spending time at the beach, picking up a sport or a craft, getting fresh air or simply hanging with friends.
Try food alternatives
You may automatically reach for a bag of chips to satisfy your salt craving, but why not try something a little healthier? Try a handful of nuts with a sprinkle of sea salt, soup or spices with a kick like cumin, pepper or ginger. Those with a sweet craving may enjoy apples with a dollop of nut butter, yoghurt with drizzle of honey and a pinch of cinnamon or a hot chocolate made with cacao and honey.
Try and try again
If your health food alternative doesn’t quite cut it, don’t give up on first try. It takes up to 20 exposures before a child or adult accepts and enjoys a new food, so patience is the key. Remember, all that processed foods has masked your tastebuds, so new flavours may seem like a whole new, crazy world initially.
Check for deficiencies
If you’ve been fueling your body with unhealthy diet for an extended period of time, it might be worth while checking for a nutritional deficiency or a hormone imbalance. A blood test by your health provider, can reveal if you’re low in iron, vitamin B12 or protein or perhaps a hormonal imbalance is leading to your sugar cravings.
When you eat, it’s the initial few bites that are most rewarding. As you continue to eat, it becomes less and less so. When you eat mindfully you take in the whole experience of eating; the taste, smell, texture and feeling as you chew and swallow the food. Regardless of what you’re eating, if you eat mindfully you may just find you’ll enjoy it more and need less of it to feel satisfied.
Value healthy food
The more you value healthy, wholefoods the more motivated you are to consume them. Educate yourself on the importance of eating ‘real’ produce for your health and wellbeing. If you tend to be driven by the environment, research the impact processed food manufacturing has on the planet. If you are financially conscious, weigh up the cost of eating unhealthily verses healthily.
As you become more mindful, more attentive to nutritious foods you’ll be surprised at how quickly your tastebuds will adapt along with your desire to consume healthy produce. That chocolate bar you always ate at 3pm, will eventually taste so sickly sweet, you no longer enjoy it. Over time, you’ll become more aware of your body’s signals in regards to not just cravings, but also hunger and fullness.
Learn about how nutrition can be simple when you understand the key components of wellness. Take a look at our Wheel Of Wheelness and download the free pdf.