Many children grow up with a dislike for greens, which are essential to our health. The bitter flavor in many of them such as kale, dark lettuces, arugula and other greens are difficult for many of us to adjust to, however, the reason we adapt and begin to like greens may have to do with our spit.
New research now suggests that our spit adapts to the greens and as a result, we produce new or different proteins that make greens taste better to us.
While bitter foods are naturally disliked by many of us at the beginning, many of us learn to adapt to these foods that are full of vitamins, minerals and substances.
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Your Spit Might Help You Learn to Eat Your Greens
When people were repeatedly exposed to bitter compounds in a study, their saliva changed to produce proteins that rendered those flavors more palatable.
By Livia Albeck-Ripka
It is not uncommon for children to despise kale, broccoli or the bitter taste of brussels sprouts. By the time we become adults, many of us have learned to eat our greens. But it wasn’t just willpower that helped you develop a taste for foods that once made you grimace. New research shows that proteins in our saliva may adapt and bind to bitter compounds, making them more palatable.
The study, presented at an American Chemical Society meeting this week, found that when people were repeatedly exposed to bitter compounds in cocoa, their saliva changed to produce proteins that rendered the flavor of those compounds less bitter.