We know smoking can cause heart disease, cancer, and lung diseases like severe bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is also among the leading causes of death in the US today. Aside from the numerous health risks of tobacco smoke, smoking can also affect your sense of taste. If you’re thinking of quitting it might help to know how smoking can harm your taste buds. The sooner you give up smoking the better for your tongue. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your taste buds will recover.
Your taste nerve cells or your gustatory cells are located in your taste buds of your mouth and down to your throat. These cells react to the foods or drinks together with the saliva. Most of your taste cells are found on the small lumps on your tongue, these taste buds send the information through the nearby nerves, which then send the message to your brain. Smoking causes an alteration to this process which greatly affects the way you taste the food you eat, and most importantly it harms your tastes buds.
Below are the 4 reasons why smoking affects your taste:
1. Nicotine overwhelms other tastes.
Nicotine, the major compound found in tobacco smoke, overwhelms the taste of your food. Nicotine gives a bitter taste, and can be too overpowering to other tastes. May be this is the reasons why most smokers find some food less palatable. This can also be associated why smokers can easily lose their appetite on particular foods.
2. Cigarette smoke inhibits your taste response.
Cigarette smoke contains irritants that alter the natural response of the nerves to tastes. This is similar to the sensation caused by capsaicin, the compound found in jalapeno or chili peppers that give the burning sensation, which reduces the taste sensation of some foods. This will tell you why most smokers would often complain of blunt taste on their meals. And if they’ll prepare the meals themselves you may find it too salty or too flavorful.
3. Nicotine mess with your brain.
Studies suggest that nicotine causes the nerves in your brain that are associated with your sense of taste to malfunction. When nicotine reaches your brain, it activates the areas responsible or associated with eating. These areas interact with your brain including that of your sense of taste. Nicotine then inhibits the proper communication of nerves resulting to a reduced or delayed delivery of message from one nerve to the other. This is the reason why most smokers can’t differentiate or identify particular tastes.
4. Smoking likewise affects you sense of smell.
Further, tobacco smoke does not only affect your sense of taste, it also harms your sense of smell. Studies would reveal that your sense of smell and taste are closely inter-related to each other. Without out your sense of smell you cannot fully enjoy the taste of the food you eat. The nerves found in your nose play an important role in enhancing the taste of your foods. Without the other can result to a reduced function of the other.
Previous smoker for years stopped and now my food tastes authentic!