Taste and Smell:

How to Promote Healthy Senses of Taste and Smell

By Dr. Ben Kim
DrBenKim.com

Taste is 80 percent smell.

You have about 10,000 taste buds on your tongue that help you differentiate between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and other tastes.

But your taste buds are small players compared to the nerve fibers that sit near the roof of your nasal passageways and help register various smells, at least where your ability to taste different foods is concerned.

There is mounting scientific evidence that suggests that having a poor sense of taste may lead to regular overeating. The idea is that when you are partially numb to what your food tastes like, you may require more overall volume to feel fully satisfied.

Whether this is true for you or not, it's in your best interest to have keen senses of taste and smell - both can help you avoid foods, substances, and circumstances that are harmful to your health.

Simple Action Steps that Promote Healthy Senses of Taste and Smell

Clean Your Tongue

Whenever you brush your teeth, use your tooth brush or the edge of a spoon to gently clean the surface of your tongue. Rinse well after each cleaning, and be sure to give your cleaning tool (brush or spoon) some time under a stream of hot water to help remove or kill off undesirable bacteria.

Always use a tooth brush with soft or extra soft bristles, and replace your brush regularly - about once every two months at a minimum.

Regularly cleaning your tongue can help keep your taste buds optimally receptive to registering different tastes.

Clean Your Nasal Passageways

The following procedure, done regularly, can help promote a keen sense of smell by keeping your nasal passageways clean. This procedure can also help prevent or address nasal congestion.

  1. Stand over your bathroom sink, turn on the cold water, cup your hands together to form a basin-like shape that allows the cold water to pool.
  2. Bring your nostrils down to your hands and fill both with cold water by inhaling very gently to ensure that water goes as far back in your nasal passageways as is comfortable. Hold the water in this position for up to three to five seconds.
  3. Move your hands to the side and allow the water to drain from your nasal passageways. As the water runs out of your nostrils, cover up one side at a time while blowing gently through the other side. This will help remove any mucous and waste materials in your nasal passageways.
  4. Repeat the steps listed above two to three times or until you feel that your nasal passageways are completely clear of debris.

What's nice about the cleansing routines described above for your tongue and nasal passageways is that you can do them as many times as you want throughout the day without any adverse effects.

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