Love broccoli. Why We Dislike Some Foods and How to Change It

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Love broccoli. Why do we hate certain foods, and how to change it

Following these simple rules, you can change the attitude towards hated foods.

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There are foods that attract us, but there are others, such as broccoli or blue cheese, that do not make us want to eat them. However, psychologists are sure that everything is in our head, and following a series of simple rules, you can change your attitude towards hated products, writes Science Focus.

It is curious that we are attached to some tastes from birth. One of them is sweetness. First, an earlier preference for sweets helps attract babies to the slightly sweet taste of breast milk. Researchers believe that our general preference for sweets is an evolutionary adaptation that encourages us to seek out and consume carbohydrate-rich foods. In addition, scientists suggest that sweetness is also a kind of safety signal – it is unlikely that there is a naturally sweet product in the world that would be toxic.

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Our tongue has bumps called papillae that contain thousands of receptors that can capture basic tastes:

  • sweet;
  • salty;
  • bitter;
  • sour;
  • umami (savory taste of cheese, meat and mushrooms);
  • oleogustus (unique taste of fat).

Foods rich in minerals are known to have a salty taste. Minerals are important helpers for the activity of enzymes in the body, but they are also necessary for the proper functioning of our brain and nervous system – nerves send their messages using sodium ions.

Carbohydrates and fats are important sources of energy, and umami indicates the presence of amino acids necessary for the creation and repair of tissue cells, and also plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters.

That being said, we tend to find bitter and sour tastes unpleasant, especially in childhood. Researchers believe that this is an important protective adaptation – such tastes can indicate the presence of toxins. It is hypothesized that children are much more sensitive to these tastes than adults, perhaps due to an increased risk of toxicity or other harmful side effects. Curiously, over the course of life, our sensitivity to bitter decreases – therefore, many adults love coffee, but children do not like its taste.

Psychologists note that our love for coffee is associated not only with taste, but also with the sensations that it gives. Coffee drinkers would most likely turn down a second sip, but that all changes when the caffeine hits our brains, producing a pleasantly mild feeling of euphoria and heightened alertness. It is known that these pleasant sensations are coded along with the taste of coffee – as a result, we begin to love this invigorating drink.

Researchers have concluded that psychology plays an important role in our taste preferences. For example, if your grandmother used to make you a walnut cake as a child, then as an adult you are more likely to love walnut cake, as well as roasted nuts and anything that tastes like that.

Psychologists say that in a sense, every time you eat a nut cake as an adult, you will evoke and neuralgically experience these associations. That is, in fact, most of the pleasure of walnut pie is associated with our memory.

At the same time, if the first experience of acquaintance with walnuts had a negative connotation, for example, you got sick. With a high degree of probability, in adulthood, they will cause you negative associations, which means that you are unlikely to love this product.

So how can we change our attitude towards hated products? Psychologists have come to the conclusion that some of our preferences are related to psychology, but there are those that are due to genetics. Alas, the latter cannot be changed.

Psychologists believe that in order to change the attitude towards food, it is necessary to try it in large quantities in a pleasant and calm environment. In this way, we can learn to appreciate certain products.

In addition, psychologists advise trying the same product prepared in different ways. For example, if you don't like Brussels sprouts, try shredding them and sautéing them with garlic.